Paul MacInnes on 6 December 2018
Unai Emery has brushed aside controversy over Mattéo Guendouzi’s hair by telling his youngster to get it cut.
The French midfielder had his frizzy hair pulled straight by Marouane Fellaini during Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United on Wednesday. The Belgian, who recently got rid of his own trademark afro, escaped punishment from the referee, Andre Marriner, and Emery believes the incident is now cut and dried.
“I think the best thing is that he cuts his hair before the next match, then the problem is finished,” Arsenal’s manager said. “Just as Fellaini did. I have not told him that to his face, though. I respect a lot the players; their hair and their hair colour.”
The Spaniard, who is hoping his team continue to gel as they take a 20-game unbeaten run into their home match with Huddersfield on Saturday, sought to defuse the incident.
“I think when I was a player it was the same,” Emery said. “But today with all the cameras, everyone can catch all the situations in 90 minutes. But for me some questions are only between the players on the pitch.”
Emery said Rob Holding was still being assessed after suffering a knee injury at United but fears the defender is facing a lengthy spell out. “The first news is not good,” he said. Concerns are growing that Holding may have damaged a cruciate ligament.
The manager had better news regarding Aaron Ramsey, who he said had sustained only a “small” ankle injury.
Mesut Özil may return against Huddersfield after almost a month without a game. Emery initially explained the playmaker’s absence as being because of a need for greater “physicality” in the team but has since said Özil has been missing with a back injury.
Özil’s physical condition is such that he may be in a position to play. “On Friday we make the decision,” Emery said. “He had backache and now he is working with one physio. Today he was on a pitch running and touching the ball. We are going to look when he can come with us.”