Mikel Arteta says his first impression of the footage of Eddie Nketiah and Dani Ceballos clashing in the warm-up at Fulham last weekend wasn’t positive, but after speaking to the players, and understanding the context of the issue, he was pleased with how it was resolved.
The two players were obviously fired up, perhaps frustrated that they weren’t starting, and after some pushing and shoving they were separated by coaching staff.
It was shown on BT Sports, making it a talking point, and the Arsenal boss admitted he’d prefer if things like didn’t happen publicly, even if it was very much a storm in a teacup with the players making it clear there were no hard feelings with a social media post after the game.
“I was surprised first of all because it’s not a common thing to see,” said Arteta ahead of Saturday’s visit of West Ham to the Emirates.
“At the start to be fair, I didn’t like publicly too much that image. Then I understood what happened, I understood how much they both wanted to play and the level of frustration they were managing.
“But I really liked the way things were resolved. First of all between them personally, and then publicly with that picture.
“End of the story! Let’s learn from that and move on.”
Arteta also pointed to the way both players contributed when they came on as evidence of their commitment and desire to play.
“You can see the way Dani came on the pitch, the same with Eddie in the last few minutes, how committed they were.
“You know, I can’t demand the players to be all the time at 100% – pushing and pushing – but then to be soft and have a really bad body language during the rondos.
“So yeah, if you give me the choice, I don’t want them to kill each other! But it’s ok, it’s not bad.”