Arsenal dressing room 'toxic' with 'factions' in squad over Mesut Ozil and Sokratis axe by under-fire Mikel Arteta

ARSENAL manager Mikel Arteta is having to deal with a split dressing room while attempting to turn around the side's dire run of form.

The Gunners last won in the Premier League on November 1 and morale is reportedly low within the camp.


According to the Mirror, Arteta is respected by the vast majority of the squad but his handling of certain issues has led to disagreements.

In particular, the decision to exile Mesut Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos is one point of contention.

The German playmaker's absence from Arsenal's Premier League and Europa League squads has come amid the side's desperate struggle for creativity.

And Greek defender Sokratis is also unavailable for selection after being dropped, with both men seen as big personalities in the team.

The Gunners' well-stocked squad is likely to be cut down in the coming transfer windows as contracts expire and fringe players sold.

But it is reportedly becoming unwieldy for Arteta while he manages the side's crisis on the pitch.

A number of events have led to serious disciplinary questions of the Spaniard.

Seen as somewhat strict, he publicly lambasted Nicolas Pepe for a hot-headed red card against Leeds last month.

And yet fellow winger Willian was let off the hook for a trip to Abu Dhabi in spite of coronavirus restrictions.

Arteta's trust in the Brazilian has not been repaid on the pitch, with the summer signing yet to score for his new club.

And the lack of discipline has been underlined by the seven red cards Arsenal have picked up since the manager was appointed – far more than any other top-flight side.

Gabriel Magalhaes' dismissal versus Southampton in midweek meant he missed Saturday's defeat to Everton.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Thomas Partey were absent through injury as the Gunners were left in 15th place of the table.

Despite their troubles, the Arsenal board are reportedly determined to stick with Arteta in the long run.

And it is said that a healthy transfer kitty is being drawn up to sign a creative midfielder in January.

Real Madrid playmaker Isco has been linked with the North London outfit reportedly happy to settle for a loan deal if need be.

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