Mikel Arteta responds to claims he’s ‘losing Arsenal dressing room’

Mikel Arteta the Arsenal Manager is interviewed before the Premier League match between Arsenal and Burnley at Emirates Stadium on December 13, 2020 in London, England.
Arteta is under pressure (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta insists it’s ‘impossible’ to keep everyone in his Arsenal squad happy but insists he’s not interested in the ‘disruptive’ rumours surrounding the club.

Reports have come out of the Emirates claiming that many senior squad members have grown frustrated under Arteta and there’s a sense that he is “losing the dressing room”.

It’s been a disastrous Premier League campaign for the Gunners.

Arteta’s side are currently 15th after 12 matches played and just five points above the relegation zone having lost four of their past five matches.

It’s been claimed that Arteta threatened to ‘destroy’ the source of a leak within the Arsenal dressing room, while other players have clocked off under his watch.

But while he accepts it’s hard to keep everyone happy, he suggested the ugly scenes behind any dressing room only emerge when a club is struggling.

‘I’ve said it many times, when you have the squad that we have at the moment for many circumstances, it’s impossible to have 31 happy players in the camp,’ said Arteta.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Granit Xhaka of Arsenal look on during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Burnley at Emirates Stadium on December 13, 2020 in London, England. A limited number of spectators (2000) are welcomed back to stadiums to watch elite football across England. This was following easing of restrictions on spectators in tiers one and two areas only.
Arsenal are struggling (Picture: Getty

‘It’s impossible and I don’t know any club in the world that has that, but obviously when you lose again, these things are going to come out to try to put more pressure on and be disruptive. I’m not interested in any of that.’

He added: ‘I wouldn’t say you have to be a friend, but you need a level of chemistry and understanding and a relationship because in the end what you have to build has to be expressed by those players and they have to believe in what you’re trying to transmit to them.

‘They have to trust you as a man and your work needs to have a meaning when you speak to them.’

Questions have been asked over the discipline of Arsenal players this season, with both Nicolas Pepe and Granit Xhaka being sent off for altercations with opponents, but Arteta insists he is not concerned in that regard.

‘Well, we’ve had six red cards since I joined and only two have been discipline: Pepe and Granit,’ said the Arsenal boss.

‘The rest, there have been two late tackles. One with Eddie [Nketiah] against Leicester and the one against Palace, which was Auba.

‘And then the other ones, there were two actions when a player was going through on goal and the defender is trying to prevent a goal.

‘So they are not six disciplinary red cards. There have been two and those two have been dealt with.’

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