Football News

Arsenal boss Arteta hints at Guendouzi behaviour issue as he explains why midfielder was dropped

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 8:30, 18 February 2020

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has suggested behavioural issues were behind Matteo Guendouzi’s omission from his latest squad.

The 20-year-old French midfielder had featured in five of the Gunners previous six games before Newcastle United visited on matchday 26.

Guendouzi’s up and down season: Five key things to know…

  • Matteo Guendouzi was one of the first players Unai Emery signed as Arsenal boss in July 2018
  • The central midfielder has since gone on to make 77 appearances for the gunners in all competitions.
  • Since taking charge, Arteta has used Guendouzi on seven occasions, starting four of those games.
  • He was absent in the Gunners recent 4-0 league win over Newcastle United.
  • Arteta suggested an issue of discipline could have played a factor.

His absence was notable following their return from warm weather training, but Arteta’s men had no trouble against the Magpies despite a difficult opening 45 minutes.

Steve Bruce’s side had managed to hold Arsenal at bay at the Emirates Stadium by half-time, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pépé would strike in the first 12 minutes of the second half.

Mesut Özil and Alexandre Lacazette rounded off the 4-0 win late on with Dani Ceballos, replacing Guendouzi in the starting line-up, playing 82 minutes.

This was only Arteta’s second win in the Premier League, from eight matches now played, and it’s clear the Spaniard is now laying down his law.

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“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,” he told beIN Sports.

Following reports of a falling out, former Arsenal striker Charlie Nicholas offered a warning to Guendouzi, insisted he would not play until he reaches Arteta’s expectations.

“Some young players are playing well,” he told Sky Sports.

“It was harsh on Gabriel Martinelli to miss out, and Mateo Guendouzi has done well, but he is not moving on at the minute; he has upset Arteta, who wants him fit; he will not be there until he sorts himself out.”