Arsenal’s winless run continued as we could only manage a draw against Southampton at the Emirates yesterday. The pressure is mounting on Mikel Arteta’s shoulders with some fans calling for his head already.
The Gunners boss’ early success at Arsenal seems a distant memory now. He is the focus of criticism from a section of the fan base and the media, but it looks like there are people inside the club as well who aren’t entirely happy with his treatment of a few players.
Arteta was hailed by many for his non-negotiables when he first took over the club. He has been a disciplinarian and he hasn’t been afraid to make big calls that have annoyed a few fans – just ask Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi.
However, The Athletic claim that some players at Arsenal are unhappy with Arteta’s ‘double standards’.
The report claims that the Arsenal boss’ decision to not take any action against Willian for travelling to Dubai without permission during the last international break has annoyed a number of players.
The Brazilian was even handed a start in the first game after the break against Leeds United. That reportedly angered a number of Arsenal stars as they felt that the consequences would have been a lot serious if the player in question was not Willian.
Arsenal Insider’s view:
Arsenal players have every right to be upset. Arteta clearly seems to have a few favourites in the squad and Willian is one of them. The Gunners boss had a chat with the Brazilian about the incident and that was that.
Granit Xhaka and Nicolas Pepe also received support from the Arsenal boss after their recent red cards. Arteta was right to back his boys, but he hasn’t always been consistent. He took the opposite route while dealing with Guendouzi for the exact same behaviour a few months ago.
These things will certainly cause a few problems behind the scenes. Arsenal players still trust Arteta but that could change quickly. If the results don’t improve and if he continues his preferential treatment towards certain players, he might lose the dressing room, and eventually his job.