The Spaniard joined the Gunners in December 2019 and one of his biggest priorities was to change the culture of the football club. Arteta, being the disciplinarian he is, set some strict rules, and not all players were on board.
Mesut Ozil became the first person to have a problem with the Arsenal boss and he was shown the door. Matteo Guendouzi followed the German and he was pushed out of the side too. The latest one is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was stripped of his captaincy and released by the club following his disciplinary breach.
Keown hasn’t necessarily criticised Arteta but the Arsenal legend has claimed that he has never seen a manager who has fallen out with as many players as the Spaniard has.
Martin Keown: I haven’t seen a manager fall out with as many players as Arteta
The legendary Englishman said on Talksport while speaking about Arteta’s fall-out with Aubameyang: “What I don’t want is the manager to get a reputation for falling out with players.
“I don’t know another high-profile manager who has fallen out with quite so many players.
“Maybe it was easy to fall out with [Mesut] Ozil, people are saying I’m picking on him, but [Matteo] Guendouzi has since gone on and done quite well, he’s got into the French national team.
“You can’t keep falling out with people!”
One of the biggest challenges a modern manager faces in today’s game is how he deals with each player. Man-management is an extremely essential part of football and that’s what made the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger the great managers they were.
Arteta’s man-management, when you look at players like Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Granit Xhaka, has been brilliant. But, what he has done with the likes of Ozil, Guendouzi and Aubameyang raises the question of if he could’ve been a bit better at handling those situations.
Keown’s right, It’s unusual to see a manager fall out with as many players as Arteta has in such a short space of time. However, the important thing for Arsenal is that the board is on the same page as the manager, and they are continuing to back him.