Matteo Guendouzi was left out of the Arsenal team to face Newcastle United after a heated brawl with Mikel Arteta and members of his coaching staff during the club’s winter training camp in Dubai.
The 20-year-old is thought to have clashed with Arteta on the training ground before the discussion continued at the team hotel later that evening.
Telegraph Sport Last week he reported that some of the club’s players were struck and taken by surprise by Arteta’s demanding approach, with the Spaniard clarifying that the burden is on the team to meet his expectations.
Arteta is not afraid of being outspoken and he and his technical staff were not impressed by Guendouzi’s attitude and body language in Dubai, leading to their angry exchange. Despite his age, Guendouzi is known for being among the most rowdy members of the Arsenal team.
Guendouzi wasn’t even on the bench for Sunday’s huge 4-0 win over Newcastle United, with Dani Ceballos starting alongside Granit Xhaka at the base of midfield. It was the first time that Guendouzi had not been involved in a Premier League team this season.
Arteta said it was a tactical decision, but he also hinted at a disciplinary problem with Guendouzi after the game on Sunday when Arsenal’s head coach said he selected players who “were doing better” in the club.
When asked why Guendouzi was not in the team, Arteta told beIN SPORTS on Sunday: “The reason is that the players who, in my opinion, are training better, perform better and are more applied to deliver what we want on the pitch , it’s the players that are selected. “
The winter break was seen within the club as a great success, with the weather in Dubai offering Arteta the opportunity to further deepen its players in its philosophy. Sunday’s Newcastle win has been one of their best performances of the season so far.
Guendouzi has been a revelation for Arsenal since he arrived as a relatively unknown by the French second tier Lorient in 2018. Despite joining in as a prospect for the future, the Frenchman has made more than 50 Premier League appearances for the club.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are hoping to make progress in talks with the teenage winger Bukayo Saka, whose current deal expires at the end of next season. When asked about contractual negotiations, the eighteen year old said that his agent is “solving the problem.
“I leave all that stuff to my agents and parents,” said Saka. “I only like my football and I play football. It’s for my agent. They are solving it. Obviously I’m enjoying football, I enjoy playing with the new manager, so we’ll see what happens. “
Saka has eight assists in all competitions this season, more than any other Arsenal player, and has thrived in an unknown left-back role since Arteta’s appointment in December.
“It’s not my natural position, but it has given me all the advice I need. I have Granit behind me, David [Luiz] supporting me and talking to me, so he gives me the license to go and express myself in the third final. ”
Arsenal meet Olympiakos in the Europa League this week and his hopes of qualifying for Europe next season have been strengthened by the return to the goal scored by Alexandre Lacazette, whose attack on Newcastle was his first half December.
“It was really difficult and complicated, because sometimes I had some games with no chance, sometimes I missed him or the goalkeeper saved him,” said Lacazette. “Of course it is always difficult for a striker not to score, but it happens in football. I hope it’s the last time for me. “