In his first press conference as Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta made several things clear. One was that he was grateful for the opportunity and happy to be back in North London.
He also spoke about what he expects from his players:
I don’t want people hiding. I want people taking responsibility for the job. Anybody that doesn’t buy into this is not good enough for this environment or culture. The players have to accept a different process, a different way of thinking. If we don’t have the right culture the tree is going to shake.
It appears that midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has ran afoul of his new manager’s wishes. For the first time this season the Frenchman was not included in Arsenal’s 18-man squad for a Premier League match.
According to reports in The Telegraph, Guendouzi had a heated argument with Arteta and the rest of the coaching staff during the team’s recent training camp in Dubai. It apparently started on the pitch and continued back at the team’s hotel.
While details have not been released, apparently Guendouzi’s attitude has been questioned.
When asked about Guendouzi’s absence from the match squad versus Newcastle Arteta stated, “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 selected.”
Dani Ceballos was given a rare start in midfield and put in a strong performance. Said Arteta about Ceballos, “the way he’s been training, he completely deserves a chance,” which comes after saying that Ceballos needed to change his attitude and train better. I don’t know about you, but I see a not-so-subtle message aimed at Guendozui here.
Guendouzi is just 20 years-old and still learning. Despite his young age, he played extensively under Unai Emery. With a new manager in charge, Guendouzi is now facing the realities of having to fight for his place on the team sheet.
We’ll soon find out how Guendouzi reacts to his manager’s discipline.