Mikel Arteta has urged his players to control their emotions after they reacted badly to Saturday’s defeat to Brighton by piling in on scorer of the winning goal, Neal Maupay.
The Frenchman had already made himself the target of Arsenal anger in the first half having unnecessarily jumped into keeper Bernd Leno causing the German to fall awkwardly. Stretchered off with his knee in a brace, our number one pointed the finger of blame at the striker who escaped unpunished.
It sounds as though our players spent the rest of the game aiming verbal digs in his direction but Maupay had the last laugh when he netted in the 95th minute.
At full-time, Matteo Guendouzi, as is so often the case, completely lost his cool and was caught on camera with his hands around the striker’s throat.
It remains to be seen if he’s punished but a ban of some sort could be coming his way.
With midfielders Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira injured, a suspension would leave Mikel Arteta with a major selection headache as gamnes continue to come thick and fast.
Unsurprisingly, he’s told his players to channel their anger in the right way.
“I haven’t seen the images [from Guendouzi] or what happened but we will talk about it if that is the case. Emotionally, we have to control the situations much better.
“I think every game is completely different. When I was talking about competing there are details when you go ahead and game management-wise where we have to improve a lot.
“But we are a very young squad, I don’t want to use it as an excuse because it is still a football game and it doesn’t matter at what age you are competing, but at this level you can’t do it.”
Having lost consecutive games for the first time since taking over at Arsenal, Arteta was asked whether his squad were struggling with the new playing conditions, which include travelling to matches on the day of games and no fans.
“It would be difficult at home as well without fans – we are taking a big part of what makes this sport so special,” he said.
“It is what it is, we are playing on fantastic pitches with the same distances and dimensions, 11 against 11, let’s compete and win football games, that is all.
“I think the preparations towards City and Brighton were completely different, even if we try to go in the same day.
“I don’t think it is an excuse for us to use about preparation, we had more than enough in the game to win it comfortably and threw it again so I don’t like to use excuses like this when we lose a football game.”