Mikel Arteta vows to punish Arsenal mole after David Luiz and Dani Ceballos fight leaked

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has admitted that every time his office door opens these days he expects more bad news. The honeymoon period, the Spaniard admitted on Friday, is definitely over – after just 11 months in charge.

As if a humbling 0-3 home thumping by Aston Villa before the international break that spectacularly punctured the feel good factor around the Emirates and left the Gunners lying 11th in the table was not bad enough, Arteta then saw two players test positive for COVID-19 in Sead Kolasinac and Mohamed Elneny.

Then Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was caught up in utter chaos while playing for Gabon in the African Nations Cup, forced to sleep on an airport floor.

To top it all, Brazilian Wilian then went on a trip to Dubai without permission from the club – and Arteta was left fuming after David Luiz and Dani Ceballos had a punch-up in training.

Not the best preparation for a trip to Leeds tomorrow. The Gunners manager said: “I come in and I am expecting someone to come through the door and give me bad news.

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“I try to prepare myself in the morning. Every time you are resolving problems. If you get shocked by that every day, energy-wise it is very consuming.:

Arteta has insisted he has dealt with the dispute between Luiz and Ceballos, and Willian’s unscheduled trip – but admitted that it is so hard keeping a grip on discipline in a pandemic.

The Spaniard said: “It’s impossible – we have so many rules, so many guidelines.

“Sometimes, without even thinking, you break them. In training when you give a bib to someone you think, ‘I cannot do that, someone has to come and get it with gloves.’

“Everyone can make a mistake – it’s where that mistake is coming from.

“As a manager resilience is key – how you bounce back, how you navigate through difficult moments. How convinced you are about what you are doing and how you judge yourself on the decisions you make.”

He revealed: “The ‘honeymoon’ is a consequence of when you do things right. When I lose a game it takes me a week to get through it.

“When we lose it the way we lost against Villa, it’s even harder, because it makes me think about things in the past I hated and don’t want to see again.

“There are a lot of things to change and improve – me first. It is going to be a bumpy road. I said that on the first day.

“But the optimism that I have, the belief that I have in where we are going, is great. The challenges since I joined have been enormous.”

Arteta has vowed to hunt down the Arsenal mole who is telling tales on his troubled squad.


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The Gunners manager was furious this week when news of a training ground scrap between Brazilian defender Luiz and Spanish midfielder Ceballos leaked out of the Emirates.

Arteta admitted that keeping tabs on his squad with them scattered around the world on international duty during the coronavirus pandemic was difficult.

But the Spaniard said of the Ceballos bust-up: “I don’t like the fact that that incident comes out at all.

“And I will find out where it is coming from. That goes completely against what we expect from each other, the privacy and the confidentiality that we need. There will be consequences.”

Asked if he will be quizzing his staff, the Gunners manager said: “Yes.”

Arteta also revealed that he had had words with Willian, who flew to Dubai during the international break on a trip the club knew nothing about – but would not confirm if the winger would be in the squad for tomorrow’s trip to Leeds.

He said: “Willian and I had a conversation and I explained what I expected. There are a lot of personal factors at the moment. From our side, we need to be in their shoes.

“Players are having different issues, like any person out there and sometimes they make decisions based on the needs of the moment, or what people are expecting from them.

“Whether they are right or wrong, it’s a thing that we have to discuss. But it’s been dealt with in the right way.”

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