"Players have apologised and we've dealt with it internally" - Joe Montemurro speaks up about Arsenal players in Dubai
Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Joe Montemurro speaks up about the "disappointment" in light of three of his players flying to Dubai over the holiday break. On return from their trip one player tested positive and forced teammates into self-isolation, resulting in Arsenal postponing their match against Aston Villa. Not without controversy. 

The Arsenal boss hopes to move on from this situation after dealing with the matter internally in how he sees fit.  

"From my perspective it's about the moral compass and the consequences of these situations and these players have apologised for their actions and we have dealt with it from an Arsenal perspective, internally. 

"The really important thing is that when they're faced with these moral situations, it doesn't happen again. For me it's all about actions, it's about making sure that these players understand the situations and these circumstances.

"They are role models and they are people who are in the public eye and we won't be able to tolerate these decisions, not only from a football perspective but also from a global morality perspective."

  • Public still awaits an apology

Many of the Arsenal and women's football fans think the best to do is have the players apologise publicly, but it's not up for Montemurro to force the players to take action outside the club.

"I will have to leave it to the greater Arsenal to make that decision from a personal fan perspective. They [the players] understand their actions and we have dealt with it how we think is right."

"I totally understand the reaction of the greater public, it's a very difficult one because either way you look at it, from all aspects and all angles you look at it, it's so difficult to say that this is the only way it should be tackled and this is the only way it should be done.

"The individual has to understand that there are greater things out there that have an affect and consequences. As much as I understand the greater public and their anger, it's something we just have to be better at as people and we have to make sure that these situations don't happen again." 

"From my perspective in want to be in a position to say we've dealt with it, we've made them understand, we hope it won't happen again and we will move on from here." 

  • Team reaction

Arsenal have now not played a match since before the holiday break and some of the team is understood to be 'frustrated' about the actions of these few players.

"I think there's all different emotions flying around initially but we've had a good discussion internally and we've understood situations," said Montemurro.

"We've dealt with the situation at hand, we've dealt with the severity of certain things and in all aspects there's no right or wrong. We can't change what's happened, we can just make sure that there's a full understanding of what's happened."

  • Conclusion of the season

With already more than seven matches postponed this season due to COVID-19, this season could potentially see same outcome as a year ago should outbreaks and postponement continue to happen.

"It's a definite possibility, the importance of whats happening out there and making environments safe is paramount. So yes, i wouldn't be surprised if this keeps going on and what happened last year happens again.

"The league would have to look at other alternatives and it will be disappointing. It has been very difficult from day one to navigate, everyday brings a different challenge.

"Whether it's a protocol, a training exercise, players struggling with wellbeing and mental health issues, it's been very tiring and very difficult we'll just have to wait and see how it pans outs."

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