Arsenal Face Dressing Room Chaos With Key Players ‘Mentally Clocked Out’
Mikel Arteta is facing a battle to stay in control of the Arsenal dressing room as his players become increasingly disillusioned with the manager's project.
The latest low for Arsenal was a 1-0 defeat to Burnley on Sunday during which Granit Xhaka was sent off for grabbing Ashley Westwood by the throat. This is on the back of Nicolas Pepe's red card against Leeds for headbutting Ezgjan Alioski in November.
Arteta called both incidents "unacceptable". But, according to a report in Football.London, the ill-discipline points to a fractured dressing room with many players "mentally clocked out" and key players barely speaking to the manager.
Part of the problem is reportedly Arteta's willingness to call out his players in post-match interviews rather than defending them to the media and saving his criticism for behind closed doors.
David Luiz and Arteta are, according to Football.London, barely speaking to each other at the moment - although Arsenal have strongly denied that there has been any issue between the manager and Luiz.
There is also said to be some confusion among first-team players as to why Mesut Ozil and Sokratis have been banished from Premier League and Europa League squads, with no explanation being given to the team.
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Arteta, for his part, is said to have been furious when the details of an alleged training ground scrap between Luiz and Dani Ceballos were reported in the media.
The Spanish gaffer believes there is a dressing room leak and his vowed to "destroy" the player who's feeding such information to the press by banishing them from the first team.
However with Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendou sent out on loan - and £27 million, summer 2019 signing William Saliba apparently upset at his lack of first-team action - Arsenal seem to be running out of players they actually want in a first XI.
The 1-0 loss to Burnley was the Gunners fourth consecutive home league defeat in a row - their worst run in 60 years. There's also concern over the form and body language of captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who scored an own goal against the Clarets.
Whatever the truth of Arsenal's dressing room situation, it clearly cannot be a happy place to be right now given the abysmal run of results that's left the club languishing in 15th place in the Premier League after 12 games.
All imagery: PA Images
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