Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro has confirmed that Arsenal players that travelled to Dubai have been “dealt with internally.” The Gunners boss said that he and the club understood and shared the feelings of anger towards three Arsenal players that flew to Dubai during the winter break, one of whom subsequently contracted covid, with last weekend’s game against Aston Villa postponed as a result.
Montemurro told Arseblog News, “We had some official scenarios around players going to Dubai and in the madness of that last week before Christmas things changed and were locked down. Obviously our feeling is one of disappointment. From my perspective it’s about the moral compass of the club and the individual and the consequences of these situations.
“The players have apologised for their actions and we have dealt with them internally. For me the big thing now is that this doesn’t happen again. For me it’s all about actions now, it’s about making these players understand the circumstances, they are rolemodels and they are in the public eye and we won’t be able to tolerate these decisions, not just from a sporting perspective but from a morality perspective.”
Montemurro also said that he “totally understands the anger of the greater public,” adding, “we have to be better.” During the press conference, Joe was quizzed by other journalists on the issue too, particularly around the potential impact on Jen Beattie, who has just finished radiotherapy after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
“In the moment they probably didn’t consider those situations but I can guarantee you that going forward they have understood the effect and the potential repercussions. We can’t change the past, we are disappointed that it happened, are we going to make sure it doesn’t happen again and the situation is dealt with properly? Absolutely. We need to make sure the players learn from their actions and that they don’t happen again.”
Joe was pressed on whether the incident might have repercussions on team spirit, “There are all different emotions flying around initially but we’ve had a good discussion internally and we’ve understood and dealt with the situation at hand.” Joe was also asked whether the players- only one of whom has been identified- would issue a public apology.
“That’s something I will have to leave that to Arsenal to make that decision, we’ve dealt with it in the way that we believe is right the biggest thing for me is action and that when faced with these moral decisions they make the right one. From my perspective I want to say we’ve dealt with it, we understand and we hope it won’t happen again and move on from here.”