Aside from the club’s interview with Mikel Arteta, we’ve not heard much from the Arsenal camp since the players and staff went into self-isolation back in March.
Initially, they were holding daily meetings, undertaking solo training programmes and generally keeping themselves in good nick in case they were called upon. With football still not on the horizon, we imagine they’ve been allowed to relax a bit.
Via social media we’ve learned that Mesut has become a dad, Hector and Ainsley have cut off their hair, Lacazette has become really good at posing with his Ferrari, Sokratis still can’t smile and Aubameyang owns loads of random footballs. It’s been a thrilling ride.
But what of Matteo Guendouzi? For some reason, we imagined that of all the players, he’s the one who might be finding it harder than any to stay indoors and social distance. All that hair, all that energy, all that eagerness to mug off other people…surely he must be finding it tough?
In an interview with TF1 journalist Julien Maynard (translated by Sport Witness) it sounds as though he’s coping fine. And interestingly, he has some very mature views on what should and shouldn’t be happening.
While the Fifa, Uefa and governing bodies across the world desperately try to figure out how to get players back on the pitch, Matteo believes that football should be a distant second to the health of everyone around the globe. He’s not interested in kicking a ball in anger anytime soon.
“For me, what I think is most important is to not start things up again, no games, no training, until this epidemic stops. What’s most important is everybody’s health, and not just in the football world, but in the medical world and the world in general. That’s really what’s most important.
“I’m in favour of nothing starting up again until this virus is taken off this world.”
He added: “For now, the orders have been clear. There’s nothing at all. No training, no games, and not for a while. We know the United Kingdom took measures a bit after France, which means this period is starting to be very difficult here.
“There’s a lot of people who are starting to die from this virus. I don’t know if we’re at the start or just in the middle, but we know it’s not the end of this virus, so we know it’s not going to start back up just yet.”
It’s hard to argue with his standpoint. That said, with players in Germany returning to training this week, albeit under strict conditions, we suspect the Premier League will be champing at the bit to do similar.