Dani Ceballos might have been a surprise inclusion in the Arsenal midfield yesterday, but there was a surprise exclusion too as the Gunners ran out 4-0 winners over Newcastle.

There was no place at all in the match-day squad for Matteo Guendouzi, a player who has almost always been there since his arrival in the summer of 2018. When he’s fit, he’s in the team or at least the 18, so it was unusual for him not to be selected.

Ceballos rewarded Mikel Arteta with an excellent performance, and the manager spoke afterwards about how the Spaniard had forced his way into the team through his hard work on the training ground.

“He was injured and when he started to train I didn’t think he was fit enough,” the manager told the BBC.

“He completely changed his behaviour and trained like an animal.”

So, when asked about the absence of Guendouzi, he hinted at the 20 year old perhaps taking his place for granted having been almost ever-present since he joined.

“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 said.

It’s not at all unusual for a young player to need a bit of a reminder that they have to train and behave in the right way. Even Nicolas Pepe has been left out as recently as our last game against Burnley, but bounced back with a goal and two assists against Newcastle on Sunday.

“We’ve said some things and we need Nico to maintain game by game,” said Arteta of the record signing.

“He knows that and it’s the way he was applying himself defensively in a few moments, he was top drawer.

“That’s what he wasn’t doing in the past and when he does that, the rewards in the other box come.”

Under Arteta the bottom line appears to be a willingness to work hard, and if you don’t, you don’t play.

It’ll be a test of Guendouzi’s character, but hopefully one he can rise to.

Check out today’s Arseblog: Arsenal 4-0 Newcastle: Pepe shines on a day of many positives

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Venga Bus

The Non Negotiables!

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

When he said those 2 words in his first interview, I grinned from ear to ear and instantly had a feeling that Arteta will be the one.

gooner

I always knew Mourinho was agent Smith

goonero

Why, Mr. Anderson Arteta? Why, why, why? Why do you do it? Why? Why get up? Why keep fighting? Do you believe you’re fighting for something? For more than your survival? Can you tell me what it is? Do you even know?

Arteta: Because I choose to

Linus

Morpheus;He’s the one

goonero

Arteta: we can finish top 4

Morpheus Arsene: look, he’s starting to believe

The Arsenal

Pepe had 4 ball recoveries…I saw Ozil head the ball

gooner

there was a glitch in the matrix

Le me

Unrelated to the post. Does this mean that Ozil is training at the level Arteta deems necessary? It is contrary to the popular belief.

Maul Person

That is the inference, yes…

IamaGoober

I think Guendouzi will be a top player no doubt about it, but he definitely needed reining in a bit as he has put in a few sloppy performances as of late. Stuff that he wasn’t doing when he first broke into the side started creeping into his game. Unai should take a bit of responsibility for his recent down turn in form. He definitely did over use him when it was abundantly clear to everyone else that he needed a rest, but Emery insisted on playing him anyway. So a bit of time out the side should hopefully get… Read more »

IamaGoober

‘completely expected’

Laca81

Believe it. The only person who covered more ground than Ozil against Newcastle was Xhaka. Don’t be fooled by popular beliefs coz the stats seems to say different. Ozil is really putting in a shift

samu

Ive seen those stats and yeah he’s always up there, but aggressive running and sprints are way way down…just to put some balance in lol. I wish Xhaka had pace and i wish Ozil was a mean bastard with it but hey ho i wish i was a footballer haha

Mpls

when you’re ‘aggressively running’ and doing sprints it helps to know what the game plan is otherwise it’s headless chicken time.

I don’t believe under Emery any of them had that clarity of game plan.

Atom

I think most people recognize Ozil has materially upped that side of his game since Arteta joined (not sure why he wasn’t doing it before tbh). The main concern with Ozil the past few years really is his lack of consistency and waning production. Yesterday was his best game in ages. That said we need to think hard about his replacement this summer whether it’s Rowe/ changing our system slightly or bringing in someone from the outside. He looks like the aging athlete who can still turn it on occasionally but those occasions are fewer and further between. Maybe Arteta… Read more »

G-Man

Özil was brilliant against Newcastle yesterday. The last time he played that well was against Leicester last season!

SB Still

I think the metric would be very different for different sets of players.

For Ozil, as much I would love to see him putting in a crunching tackle, Arteta would rather have pragmatic but a high level of expectation in terms of offensive output. I think Ozil would certainly have upped his game in that metric.

I’m not the biggest fan of Ozil but personally it doesn’t matter to me much, what individual players do, as long as we keep producing very good to exceptional performances.

Mafika

What is the popular belief?

mc1892

There’s something rather nice about having a manager who clearly won’t take any s**t. So excited to see what MA can do with this team with more time, the shift in atmosphere amongst the players is nothing short of astounding given where we are a couple of months ago. I’d also like to say how much respect I have for Mustafi. He’s got a long, long way to go to convince me he’s good enough to stay (i’ve said on here many times he’s my least favourite Arsenal player ever, in fact..), but to come back from where he was-… Read more »

Kostas

MA has a long way to go but from the early signs seems like a great motivator!

Welsh Gooner

First half left much to be desired yesterday but I was a breath of fresh air in the second half as we showed our class and displayed what Arteta has been trying to drill into the squad. I love his approach to training and squad selection, don’t perform in training, don’t get picked. It’s the reality check that the club has needed. Yesterday was the first time in a while I came away from a game smiling like an idiot. I have watched the highlights over and over. Here is to a strong and to the season.

Abbey

“He completely changed his behaviour and trained like an animal.”

How do animals train?

Gar14

like ceballos

Wilsheres Middle Finger

By working their ‘balls off’ like Laca.

In MA we trust.

Onenil

Hamster. Wheel.

Trez

Guendouzi is obviously talented but he needs to be managed well. He low key cost us games a few times but people barely noticed or brushed it off.
He’s young and will learn but patience… Arteta is going about this the right way.

Ya Gooner

He has that kind of fire that can either manifest itself in a bad way or a good way. The bad way is arrogance and Bentley style overconfidence, the good way is fight, grit and no nonsense. I said it before and got mad downvoted but at the moment he gets ghosted past too easily and doesn’t put in a solid challenge. He needs to gain some muscle and improve the defensive side, if he does that he could become a complete midfielder as he has the talent.

Rich

Players go up a level physically between the ages of 22-24. Ndidi cost Leicester €20million, he had 2years, then starting going up a level towards the end of last season, now he’s played 100+ PL games, and he’s worth £60-£80million. If he was at Arsenal? he’d have been heralded as our saviour on arrival, then written off for the rubbish bin after a few months of indifferent performances. Ive seen a few reports regarding Guendouzi’s bad behaviour, which is a worry. But he’s also valued at €45million, which is a €38million increase on what we paid already. I think Guendouzi… Read more »

GoonerMonkey

It just feels like Arteta knows how to talk to his players to get the best out of them. Maybe it’s due to him not being long out of his own playing career. He vividly remembers what players need to hear and when. Plus having been a player under Wenger, a great man-manager even if his tactcs became a bit predictable, and shadowed one of the most successful managers of recent times in Pep – I am beginning to love our young Non-Negotiable manager.

Make Arsenal Great Again

This is what this team needs. You don’t apply yourself, you don’t play. Simple

Cmdn

Guendouzi already getting it hard in media. Thanks Arteta, another hit! Ofcourse i dont even need to scroll down to see this fanbase attacking him. I know this scambase to a T. Bad move from manager, vilifying publicly our 20y talent.

Duno

What many people seem to miss is that they take Arteta’s words as a case of black or white. That dude is so intelligent that I’m pretty sure he tackles each problem singly and uniquely. I’m sure he doesn’t expect Ozil ‘to train like an animal’. Ozil probably doesn’t but he’s so smart that he knows what he needs from Ozil, he knows he can not get that until the summer at least. So, what does he do? He definitely won’t alienate him like Emery. Arteta is so clever in his man management and his ability to convey his message… Read more »

Duno

Too many typos. Ugh! There’s a comma after man management. His should be he’s. IK should be ‘in’.

Kampala gooner

Work hard, and play. I can leave with that

Wilsheres Middle Finger

Guendouzi could/would have slowed down our game a shit lot yesterday too.
Not what you want playing at home against an inferior team.
It’s no harm for him to be on the fringes of the squad for a while so that he can take stock and improve the weaknesses in his game.

Oregoon

Ceballos and Ozil in the same midfield and we get a clean sheet? A very pleasant surprise and hopefully we will see them together more often. Having two playmakers in the midfield opens things up more.

Mootilated

Whispers doing the rounds that they have not got along very well over the last few weeks, resulting in a couple of altercations.

Onenil

Only one winner there (if true)

martine kallua

Yes mr arteta you can …….we have given you all our trust ………make the team role up ………….we gunners are behind you ………big up auba……pepe …….ozil …….laca …..cebalo….and my boy saka

Swedebasher

A big plus under Arteta is that we have now have a “larger” squad of players who can and do perform when selected. Everyone, it seems, has upped their game; Ceballos being a case in point. This isn’t Emery’s Arsenal where you got to start because the alternatives were few – and it bodes well for the future.

Charlie

They’re all excellent players on their day. Guendouzi hasn’t been putting in the performances that he was earlier in the season so maybe it’s time that he was left out.

Ozenal

Guendouzi has been spoilt. And expecting others to fit to his criteria. Hence him shouting at defenders when it was he who originally let the player run straight past him too easily.

para

At last some order in the place.
We have a squad and it would be foolish to play a same set of players week in week out, they are fallible to all the other things that affect their day too, just like us. So a player may have an off time for any number of reasons, its good to have a structure that encourages players to perform in training if you want to play. This in itself will automatically sort the players into 1st and 2nd team for that week or even game.
Love it.

John

Guendouzi tracks back when the opposition counter attacks with all the gut-busting energy and zeal of Denilson feeling his hamstring. Until he shows a lot more defensive alertness I would keep him out of the team. We have better options.