Arsenal: Arteta laments Xhaka red card in Burnley loss
Representatives of Arsenal defender David Luiz have hit back at claims the defender is no longer on speaking terms with manager Mikel Arteta. Reports emerged of a bust-up between the two following Arsenal’s latest Premier League defeat at the hands of Burnley.
Luiz, 33, has not been included in the Arsenal squad for their two most recent Premier League matches after suffering a head injury against Wolves.
According to football.london, the relationship between the two men has ‘soured’ with neither one speaking directly to the other currently.
However, the player’s representatives have responded to the claims with the following statement: “David Luiz strongly denies this story about him and Arteta and insists he has a good relationship with Arteta and wishes nothing but success.”
After Luiz was allegedly involved in a training ground spat with team-mate Dani Ceballos, the report claims that ‘several’ agents of first team players had briefed the media about the incident.
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Arteta then hit back claiming he would ‘destroy’ whoever was the source of the leaks.
The Arsenal manager is under increasing pressure following the club’s latest defeat at the hands of struggling Burnley.
Pierre-Emerick Aubamyang’s own goal condemned the Gunners to a 1-0 defeat and their seventh defeat from league 12 matches this season.
The loss was also Arsenal’s fourth successive defeat at home, an unwanted record that stretches back to 1959.
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Sitting down in 15th place, Arsenal are now just five points off the relegation zone.
As well as reported issues with Luiz, Arteta is also said to be dealing with discontent over the treatment of Mesut Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
Both players have been left out of the Arsenal squad this season but are both said to be highly respected by their team-mates.
The treatment of two influential players is said to have left an atmosphere of negativity in the changing room.
Arsenal’s defeat to Burnley also saw Granit Xhaka sent off for violent conduct after grabbing Ashley Westwood by the throat.
The red card was the sixth issued to an Arsenal player since Arteta’s arrival nearly a year ago, twice as many as any other team in the same period of time.
This trend has led to questions over discipline with the squad and the football.london report also claims that Xhaka himself is unhappy with Arteta and how he is being used in the team.
Arteta has however received support from Gunners left back Kieran Tierney who says the players need to take responsibility for their wayward form this campaign.
“We are not showing the manager what we can do and how much we believe in him,” said the Scotland international.
“Every game there are signs we are doing a bit better but it is still not good enough.
“Hard work is the only thing [that can fix this], nothing else for it. There are no excuses.
“There is nothing I can say that will make people believe a positive thing is going to come out of this.”
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