Analysis of Guendouzi and his last game for Arsenal (at Brighton) What a waste…

The Guendouzi Derby by Dan Smith

In what should have been just another away game for Arsenal in the Premiership, little did Matteo Guendouzi realise that he would go over a year without pulling on the red and white shirt. He most likely never will again.

After Neil Maupay had scored a Brighton winner with seconds remaining at the Amex, the Frenchman’s response was to grab his fellow countrymen by the throat.

Maybe surprisingly, the then 21-year-old escaped any FA sanctions for starting a skirmish at the final whistle.

In reality it would be his employers who handed out the biggest punishment.

By the time the Gunners had acted, no one could accuse them of lacking class or standards. One of their players had not acted in a way that represented our proud values and Arteta was not going to tolerate it.

At first, the incident was dismissed as a youngster showing his inexperience and not coping well with the strikers over celebrations.

Some gooners even defended the midfielder, proud that he had the leadership to stick up for Leno who had got stretched off earlier in the afternoon after colliding with Maupay.

At a time where our mentality was in question many in our fan base were happy that we had a player who cared so much. Shouldn’t a player be angry after a defeat?

As days passed though, we started to learn what had been said in the South Coast.

In reality Maupay had apologised as early as half time for his role in the injury to our keeper.

He had spoken to Arteta in the tunnel to send his condolences after a challenge that was clearly an accident. So, this idea that Guendouzi was over emotional out of concern for a peer’s welfare doesn’t add up.

This wasn’t Eduardo at Birmingham or Ramsey at Stoke.

Maupay had already said in his post-match interview that Arsenal had ‘spoken too much’ and lacked ‘humility’.

Then came the leaks that Guendouzi had spent the afternoon boasting to his opponents about his salary!

A source told the Sun: ‘He was saying the Brighton players were s*** and that he and his team-mates earn so much more than they ever will,’ and added ‘He’s done it in other games as well. Arsenal are a decent club and hate that sort of behaviour.’

At the final whistle, his first thought was not to boast that he played for a bigger club but to again refer to how much he earnt.

That his first inclination was to show off about his wages was a worrying insight into his personality.

Arsenal fans learnt there was truth to the rumours when the midfielder wasn’t even on the bench for the next game even when we could have 9 subs.

Our manager called the decision as, ‘squad management’ saying ‘ Whatever internal issues we have we deal with internally.’

Even then though, the thought the the player would never be in another Arsenal squad seemed far-fetched with his coach promising, ‘The door is always open, and everyone is welcome to jump on the boat.’

Our boss would say the same thing for the final 8 games of the season even banning the player from Wembley for the FA Cup Final. The club’s official stance was that due to COVID they had to limit the number of non-playing staff they could invite. It was cynical and no one will ever believe that Matt Smith being on the bench but not Guendouzi (or Ozil) was a footballing decision.

It seems that the Brighton saga was the final straw for Arteta. He had already warned the player about his behaviour during a trip to Dubai (as had Edu).

It seems that his demeanours were not the issue but his desire to not take any accountability.  It’s believed If he had simply shown any remorse in disciplinary meetings, he might still be playing for us today.

When he didn’t, his manager felt he had to set an example. Seemingly very close to senior players like Auba and Laca, it’s believed many in the dressing room appreciated the hard stance shown by the manager.

If this were a movie, this would be the part where it flashes up where the key individuals are now.


Guendouzi is still officially an Arsenal player, yet you sense unless we get a new manager, he will never play for us again. He will be well aware that if his employers had their way he would have been sold by now.

Once valued at over 40 million, a combination of Covid, and clubs aware that Arsenal want him off their wage bill, has meant that clubs have been able to purchase him on loan.

He failed to change his perception in Hertha Berlin where their manager described him as ‘it’s like puberty for him, like a rebel. He has to work and learn.’

His current spell at Marseille has been a mixture of fortunes. On the pitch his form has been good enough to get him called up for his country, but in their last game he got in a row with his own team-mate.

If certain criteria are met Marseille will have an obligation to make the deal permanent (believed to be 12 million.)

Arteta is still our manager and has made a habit of washing his hands of anyone who doesn’t suit his ethos, instead of teaching them in training to be better. As a rookie coach, someone should have stepped in and said it wouldn’t be tolerated.

The Spaniard simply gave up on resources who could have been assets on the pitch. Guendouzi could still develop into a quality player, while at the very least freezing out the player reduced his value.

Maupay is still at Brighton and as their recent tweet indicates, is not shy in stirring the pot. He was winding Crystal Palace fans up on Monday, and one way or the other will be the pantomime villain on Saturday. In all seriousness he seems like a genuine nice lad who just enjoys the banter.

Take the emotion out of it, if Guendouzi was indeed boasting about his earnings, the temptation would be to have the last laugh if he scores.

Let’s be honest, a certain Thierry Henry loved an arrogant celebration and I loved him for it. It’s not arrogance if you can back it up though. Thierry Henry could, Guendouzi couldn’t.

Maybe one day he will? Just not in an Arsenal shirt…

Every time, I see this fixture I just think what could have been? What a waste…..


Be Kind in The Comments


Tags Brighton Guendouzi Maupay


  1. I think this matter should be handled in a way to support the future growth and change in Guendouzi. He needs help, not words that run him down further. I am told some stars were equally refractory in nature including Van Persie and Suarez who got called up to Barcelona even after an incident. This chap is a rookie and should be helped

    1. @Fred Umaks
      You’re trying to preach common sense to the wrong crowd here Gooner. They seem hell bent on labelling Matteo as a bad apple with these constant character assassinating articles…

      1. NY[Gunner If Arteta don’t like you your out what Arteta says goes he has to much power in this club a rookie manager as well this club have gone down years ago teams feared playing Arsenal Now they say bring them on

  2. Maupay is a good opportunistic striker and a good provocator

    Guendouzi was simply too naive and immature to have fallen into Maupay’s trick. Hopefully no hot-headed Gunners fall into similar scheme today

  3. Can I issue a sensible and also realistic plea to all those on here who , even now, hanker after Guendouzis return!

    The plea is that he clearly will not be coming back. That SHOULD be plain to anyone who has ANY thinking ability.

    MA has correctly and promptly got rid of this trouble maker and the only reason he is not yet sold is that his reputation and the Covid financial problems BOTH put off any prospective buyers.

    So can we please stop talking and writing articles about this silly, immature, arrogant and ordinary -IN PLAYING ABILITY – young man. Or rather, young “child”!

    1. @jon fox
      Give it a rest…Dude is streets ahead of any of our current midfielders. And he proves it in every match…

      1. He hasn’t proved he’s streets, or blocks ahead of any of our midfielders. Would you really have Matteo over Partey, Odegaard, ESR, or Lokonga? All of them have been better than Matteo and none of them carry his baggage or limitations. Hertha Berlin could have gotten a steal for him. But they didn’t. Makes you wonder why they didn’t want him doesn’t it? It wasn’t financial reasons. Their coach said it very early on, it’s his behavior. At Marseille, there are already reports of friction with teammates of him boasting about how much better he is and how others aren’t earning as much or running enough. But if you watch their games, you realize, he’s not helping them any with his ability either. He’s just as bad when they lose the ball or get scored on as his teammates. Matteo was overrated when he came in and he’ll be overrated when he goes out.

        1. @TxGooner
          You’re having a laugh right? You obviously haven’t been watching him play. You’re simple following the other biased lot…

          1. Nope. Only person having a laugh is you. Guendouzi hasn’t been great for Marseille yet this season. He’s always been slightly better than good but never great. And he isn’t pleasant to be around. Like I said, he’s Balotelli without the talent. The bias is entirely yours. I’d rather have all the midfielders I mentioned previously. They’re all better than him. Aside from Partey, they all have more potential than him and they all impact a game more than him. His fouling isn’t that tactical. His misplaced passes or lost balls result in a lot of risk to the defense or goals. He’s like Xhaka passing the ball into Chris Woods so it bounces off and scores. But without the precision (even if accidental) to thread a ball through that unlocks a defense and scores a goal. He runs a lot though. And he’s a bit more difficult to steal the ball from, but his decision making is slow, his field awareness is average, his one touch passing is average, and his strength on the ball is meh because he’s slight. He plays the wrong style for this team. Similar to Pepe and how he slows the game down when he gets the ball. And why Pepe is better on the left than right. But you know all these things because you’re having a laugh.

          2. Put it this way so you get it. There isn’t an Arsenal player on the team that has played with Guendouzi saying they can’t wait for him to come back. None of them stood up for him when he stepped out of line. If you’re good, people will defend your awful personality. But when you aren’t, good riddance.

        1. This player has no future in any top level club, if he cannot control his temper tantrums.
          I personally have not seen anything that would want him back at our club.
          I very rarely run any of our players down, but “standards” at our club need to be upheld and I back MA completely… why does controversy follow him everywhere he goes?

      2. I think your opinion is so utterly wrong as to be laughable. Better than ESR? , BETTER THAN SAKA? Odegaard? I pity you. I really do!!

  4. Maupay collided with Leno on purpose. There was no way he was winning that ball. Leno screaming on the floor, carried of injured. I was angry watching it wanting the ref to give him a card. Can only imagine how the players on the field felt. I’m sure Maupay did not intend to cause an injury that would keep Leno out for around 6 weeks but it did because he went into the keeper when he was catching the ball while jumping in the air. There are many here guendozi is not their “cup of tea” that’s fine but remember he’s our player and the hope is he improves in all areas on and of the pitch whether we are keeping him or selling him.
    You’d expect this constant criticism, mentioning of his temperament from a spuds fan site about one of our players. Give the kid a chance! Let’s see where he’s at next year!!!

  5. SILLY, I MATURE, ARROGANT, bla bla bla…

    Only one person has the liberty to use such words on a player or a fan and no body will complain.

    Return him the same favour and have your post removed by the admin with immediate effect.

  6. If it was a young Neymar in Barcelona who did what Guendouzi did, would he have been cast away like that? Arteta is a rookie and I do not blame him for not handling the situation properly. However, I blame him for allowing it get to the level of casting the player out. Arteta learned from Guardiola who unknown to many is probably the most arrogant manager on this planet. His players do not complain because his methods always get the results. Arteta wanted to use that method to handle the issue and it failed woefully. I didn’t watch Eric Cantona. But many call him the greatest premier League player if the 90s. Yet he’s more known for his fiery temper than his football talent. Guendouzi might ever come back, but the coach and board should not ha e allowed it get to this level

    1. I’m sorry Reggie, but it seems that all of our writers want to give their opinions.
      Don’t worry, there will be others posts that attract you mate…

  7. Guendouzi’s temperament reminds me of a Barton or Bowyer. Clearly talented players wih leadership potential but never learnt how to control their temperament.

    Now maybe he figures it out and becomes a fiery leader a la Keane – perhaps not at that level but that to me is what he needs to figure out. Do I want to be a Barton or a Keane? My money is on Barton. You’re right Dan what a waste it will be.

    1. These are well made points and the Bartons of this world are their own worst enemies. Such a shame when the passion isn’t or hasn’t been targeted in the right way

    2. Joey Barton? You’re joking, that guy is vile. MG is nothing like him. Stubbing cigars out in team-mates eyes, countless fights during training and matches, even prison. Shouldn’t have been anywhere near football and how anyone can call him passionate is beyond me, he’s an absolute disgrace

  8. I think a lot of people forget that Dubai wasn’t the first incident Guendouzi was involved in. He had several discussions about his attitude and behavior before hand. He was repeatedly told he would need to show remorse and apologize to his teammates before they would let him back onto the field. He didn’t even have to do it in public like Pepe did after his red card. He could have done it in private like Xhaka after his but he never did. That’s disrespectful. If you don’t respect your teammates or your coach, they don’t have any obligation to work with you to make you better. Guendouzi is going to go down the road of Balotelli except less talented. Arteta didn’t owe him anything after the Maupay incident. Guendouzi had already been given chance after chance after chance. And there is one thing that is consistent with Arteta, you exhibit Arsenal values and work hard, you get chances. You may still have to earn your time (a la Pepe after his red), but you’ll get it. We’ll probably find out more about Oezil when that documentary comes out but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some element of not exhibiting the same values, work ethic there too. Not to say Oezil doesn’t have them, his charity work clearly shows he does but he also had issues with being part of the glam squad which clashes with the Arsenal values. And, he was benched and told to earn it back. He just didn’t feel he had to work harder to earn it back. Guendouzi is much the same. But again, less talented.

  9. So fed up with those who pretend Guendouzi is just like other players who occasionally flare up or are passionate. He is a constant source of drama on and off the field. It’s an attitude issue, look at his history with everyone except Emery that he worked with (the strong rumour on Emery is that his softly softly approach to his antics behind the scenes severely annoyed a lot of our squad.)

    Current rumours out of Marseille:
    He clashed with OM teammate Gerson at the weekend, reportedly questioning him for not running enough.

    Since then, French reporter Romain Canuti has claimed that he now ‘grates’ his Marseille teammates for how he reacts to simple things like poor touches in training.

    “It’s not just Gerson who is fed up with Guendouzi,” said Canuti. “It does not matter, we should not interpret too much, but there are some players at OM who have trouble with Guendouzi. His way of working, when he always blames other people for things, when he puts both knees on the ground in training to implore the good god because the touch is not good, it annoys.”

    Previous club Hertha:
    Hertha’s coach Pal Dardai described him as ‘rebellious’ and likened his behaviour to that of someone of a much younger age.

    “It’s like he’s in puberty sometimes, rebellious,” he said. “You have to know where the limit is. He has to learn, learn like a beast.”

    Hertha chose not to pursue a further deal for Guendouzi despite his clear availability this summer.

    Obviously there was the Dubai incident with Arteta and then the Brighton incident where he was banished. Worth noting he was banished for the way he reacted in the aftermath behind the scenes not for the incident itself not sure why people struggle grasp that.

    At Lorient under Casoni:
    It is not the first time that the Frenchman has found himself under the microscope, with Casoni revealing that the Lorient academy graduate has always been difficult to handle.

    He told reporter Freddie Paxton: “Guendouzi’s problem is not physical and is not technical. It’s his attitude, it’s not good for the team or the coach.

    “My relationship with him wasn’t very good. I picked him for a cup game against Nice but he got booked early on. The ref told me at half time to warn Guendouzi: one more foul and you’re off, but in the second half nothing changed.

    “I was left with no choice but to sub him off. When I did, he refused to shake my hand.”

    Casoni added: “He took his job seriously, his training was no problem, and his character is to always want to win.

    “Sometimes when he talks it’s good. But sometimes he talks badly. He talks too much.

    “His talent isn’t in question, that’s not the issue. He can be a top, top player and I think he can still succeed abroad. It’s up to him to change his attitude.”

    Then of the course the famous incident that led to us picking him up cheap after he was banished from the 1st team for 3 months by Landreau after causing the manager himself having to come on the pitch to prevent a brawl:

    And it reared its ugly head early on in his career at Lorient.

    With his side trailing 2-0 at half-time to Valenciennes, an 18-year-old Guendouzi unleashed his frustration on his team-mates – many 10 years his senior – complaining about their lack of effort.

    His manager Mickael Landreau had to step in and separate him from the pack before a brawl broke out, he was substituted and banished from the first team for three months.

    Direct quote from Landreau:
    “He irritated me terribly. He is a difficult player to command. He sometimes has a behaviour with the group that is very, very difficult. He has an exaggerated ego, but he certainly needs it. He is like that and the companions must accept. He’s tough on a daily basis, but on the other hand he’s talented.”

    Is everyone wrong about him? Not sure how this is ever a debate at any point with his track record.

    1. Wow.. I didnt even know some of these and I had already concluded that this guy is a trouble make. Great comment

    2. Ok, Angus. Fair points. Can’t disagree on all. But didn’t the French reporter Romain Canuti also say that People of that region, usually embrace that competitive spirit or something? And the foreign players had difficulties regarding Matteo’s temperament? Not the coach/manager, who by the way in the next match benched Gerson. So to me, it looked like he supported Matteo’s stance lol. About Hertha, didn’t Hertha ask Pal Dardai, to step down after a string of poor results in 2019, and Sporting director Ame Friedrich publicly defend Guendouzi, claiming he is a great professional?
      I don’t know much about his time at Lorient, but from what I do know is that people tend to focus on one side of the coin regarding Guendouzi a lot. Blaming him for most of the on-field incidents. I agree maybe he is an easy target, after his history, but even Neymar took time to become a calmer guy. And this guy is talented, maybe just has a desire to win a little bit more than his colleagues, like Cesc and Alexis here who were made fun of by their teammates for wanting to win too much?
      Anyway, I know that he won’t play for us probably, because of the obligation to buy. Just that there has been kind of a witch hunt incident hereafter his Gerson fight when all the weeks he was performing well no comments or articles lol. Doesn’t it remind you of when people blamed MA(maybe still do) for benching Smith Rowe when it was clear that he was injured and after he became well he was eased into the first team fairly quickly?

      1. Also the incident with Van Aanholt, who by the way publicly body-shamed him with that wig comment after something trivial like an overreaction for a penalty. With no evidence of any personal abuse by Matteo, don’t you think we should be angry with the Netherlands fullback, rather than, again blaming a player who is still in our books?

  10. Another article to criticise Guendozi
    I won’t point out his Lorient antic because he has same issues like Van Persie.

    About his Hertha issue…
    Why did the new coach used him more and call him a talented player?(ateast he watches Hertha games before he was appointed)
    Hertha did not sign him because of financial reasons and not because of his behavior (fake news every where)

    About the teammate issues…
    It shows how many people hate him on here or for some never follow his matches and news about Marseille but only read news that criticises the man.
    If what he did to his teammate was wrong, will his coach bench the teammate and play Guendozi instead?
    It means the coach supported him and knew exactly what happened and I’m sure he saw Guenz more in training than the lies that his been spread on here.

    About the issue against Galatasary…
    I know if it was Guenz who later went online to bodyshame Van Aanholt, hell would have break lose in here.

    Read France Coach comment about Guendozi and think again if you think we have a better DMF than Guendozi except Partey.

    If you can atleast hide your hate about him and close out Arteta’s love that is eating you up and watch him play and watch him before he react to certain things, I believe you will know he doesn’t just fight for no reason.

    I remember Fans loving this guy whenever he reacted this way during Emery era but since he wasn’t love by there God Arteta, they chose not to love him too.

    Just get off his back and stop worrying about him. Let him be.

  11. Bragging about wages is actually more common than you would think: players call it “cashing somebody off”.

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