Matteo Guendouzi’s bust-up with Mikel Arteta led to his absence from Arsenal squad against Newcastle United
- Arteta has given a lot of importance to player behaviour since taking charge and players have been impressed and surprised by his approach
A bust-up with Mikel Arteta in Dubai during the winter break cost Matteo Guendouzi a place in the Arsenal squad against Newcastle United, the Telegraph reports. His absence, however, did not affect the Gunners, who put in a five-star performance in the second half, scoring 4 goals and maintaining their 10th-placed position in the Premier League table.
The result hinted that the winter training camp at Dubai had paid dividends, with the win clearly one of the best performances from the Arsenal team this season. Arteta had aimed to use the winter break as an opportunity to get to know his players better and also shape them into his philosophy. While the time out was largely successful, it appears that there was a controversial moment in the camp as well.
It is now revealed that Guendouzi had an argument with Arteta on the training ground during the winter break and those arguments escalated later in the team hotel in the evening. It would ultimately lead to the Frenchman’s absence from the matchday squad, the first time that had happened this season.
Arteta gives a lot of importance to player behaviour
Guendouzi joined Arsenal from French side Lorient in 2018 and despite his young age, quickly established himself as an important member of the squad. The 20-year-old has already appeared more than 50 times for the Gunners and has a fire in his belly that has not gone unnoticed so far.
However, his Spanish manager and the coaching staff were hardly impressed by his behaviour and attitude at Dubai and that apparently led to a heated exchange on the training ground.
Arteta had previously informed his squad that it was up to them to live up to his expectations and the players had been both surprised and impressed by his intense approach. The Spaniard has also given a lot of importance to player behaviour since taking charge and even admitted on Sunday that Dani Ceballos had not started earlier because there were some issues with his behaviour.
Arteta mentioned after the win over the Magpies that it was a tactical decision to leave Guendouzi out but also hinted that there were disciplinary issues with the player. When he was directly asked the reason for the Frenchman’s absence, this was his response:
The reason is that players who, in my opinion, are training better, behaving better and are more applied to deliver on the pitch what we want, are the players that are selected.
Published 17 Feb 2020, 19:31 IST