Guendouzi reveals he’s trying to sharpen his defensive game

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Matteo Guendouzi says he’s working to improve his defensive and tactical positioning during games revealing that Arsenal’s coaches have him working on a special training programme.

The France under-21 international, who has started all three games of the new season, also believes that he has the trust of coach Unai Emery who had no qualms about throwing him in the deep end as soon as he arrived from Lorient last summer.

“I’m really happy with how things have gone,” Guendouzi told Arsenal.com ahead of the North London derby.

“This last season has been extremely important to me in terms of how I’ve played and the progress I’ve made.

“I’m really satisfied with how the season has been. Now of course in terms of the season to come, I feel like I’ve got a lot to show. There’s a lot to learn too, in terms of the team dynamic and style of play.

“Unai has really helped me, he gave me a lot of game time last season and this season as well. My relationship with him is really based on mutual trust.

“He’s really invested a lot in my progress since I arrived at the club, which has been extremely important for me. He’s given me a lot of advice on and off the pitch, which is something that I really appreciate. We talk a lot and this has helped me grow on a personal level but also within the team.

“I feel like I need to work on my defensive and tactical positioning, being closer to the ball.

“It’s something that I’ve been working on in training but also by watching videos of myself as well as studying the stats, and working with the coaches on a programme.”

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Rich
Rich

Guendouzi is an absolute baller, there are no 20yr old central midfielders in this league anywhere near his level, providing he stays hungry? He’s going all the way to the top.

Worrying we’ve not managed to get him to renew yet, it’s been reported as far back as the end of last season we’ve been trying.

A Sven Mislintat gem

C.B.
C.B.

When did’baller’ become a football phrase? It always makes me think of someone who cries a lot.

Flavoured Rice

It’s used mostly by young people and would be more accurate to spell it as “Balla.” Either way, it induces the same effect or massive cringe when heard

C.B.
C.B.

I’ll ask my son if he has heard it used. I wondered if it is an American term, I’ve not heard it in the UK.

Upamecano but downalego
Upamecano but downalego

Tends to be a middle-class white kid phrase used in an attempt to get ‘cred’ by sounding ‘gangsta’ online to those who don’t know how well raised the child is.

When I was a kid we had a guy called ‘Baller’ Bill who used to stand at the bus stop all day, occasionally after a few pints in The Mare he’d lob a nut out of his fly-hole at passing cyclists, hence the name. Wasn’t even treated as a crime back then.

So, regardless of generation, there’s always an element of cringe/horror to certain terms. Despite the fuzzy-haired veiny grossness of Bill’s habit I do get a chuckle nowadays when people use the term ‘Baller’ as a compliment. Whereas what Bill used to do, last time I checked, is now referred to as ‘hanging brain’.

…However, none of you really needed to know any of that. Though I guess this is might be a breakthrough in my therapy.
Balls well that ends well.

Dave M
Dave M

Good sign you might be getting old

Upamecano but downalego
Upamecano but downalego

Haha true, but better to be old and understand what fun is rather than being an ‘edgy’ youth obsessed with views, followers and being something they aren’t 😃

Elbon
Elbon

Being groomed long term for the deep lying playmaker role, and you can see there’s a huge upside to his game when he’s more polished. He tall, although he rarely competes for headers now*. He can take the ball on the turn and carry it, he’s very mobile, can dribble, has a good eye for a pass etc etc. More important Emery seems to trust him. I fully expect him to start tomorrow.

bob
bob

If he and Torreira can form a solid defensive pivot, it would allow us to field our star attack way more easily. That’s the model even Madrid had so much success with.

Really exciting thinking how much dynamism they could bring to the midfield, they are both such hard workers, and seeing that energy and engine paired with some tactical experience to direct it to the right moments on the pitch could be really potent for years to come.

In the short term, if they could be a base that could let Ozil play and support our PAL trio, without being so vulnerable, then we will be well on our way this season💪

robbo
robbo

Elbon, definitely. Seems like Emery saw that from the beginning. I think he’ll start crowding Xhaka out by December/January if he continues progressing. The thing is, he’ll have a couple bad games at some point and the fans need to not lose their collective sh*t. He’s 20. I’m so curious to see who this year’s standout ‘kid’ is. Hopefully Willock.

C.B.
C.B.

Good to have one of our midfield strongly focused on the defensive angle. And also being a big strong guy.

We’ve been crying out for this for years.

Stone the Gunner
Stone the Gunner

No doubt if he get that out of the way he will be one of the best midfielders in Europe. A future Arsenal legend in the making. I just hope with all these youngsters Arsenal is bringing through that we will be able to keep them. If we do, in 2 to 3 years time Arsenal is going to be a very strong team. Removing all players above the age of 27, Arsenal’s young squad is averaging the age of 22.5. That’s including Bellerin, Holding, Mavropanos, Pepe and Chambers. With the addition of Saliba and a possible Exit of more senior players we will possibly be having the youngest squad in the Premier League.

11dc
11dc

If we remove everyone over 20 we have a super young squad with an even lower average age!

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

So we’ll always be the underdogs and get the support of football fans everywhere whenever we play anybody with an actual grown up in the team. Man City fans will support us against Liverpool. Liverpool fans will support us against Man Utd. Newcastle fans will love us against Sunderland. Sp*rs fans will be as confused and misguided as ever.

The time is right! Cull all the Oldies!! It’s Arsenal’s time for World Domination!!

LifelongGooner
LifelongGooner

Also if we remove all the players we have no squad.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

Is there a trophy for the youngest squad in the PL, so as to actively remove all those above 27?

Clockendrider
Clockendrider

Apart from the fact that removing all players above 27 would take out Sokratis, Auba and Laca, this is a meaningful comment.

HansRott
HansRott

Last season you could almost guarantee he’d get caught in possession once a game – rather like Xhaka, pointless fouls, and mostly-stupid yellow cards. It was never an actual statistic, but more of a signature reflecting the difference between a French lower-league and the Premiership.

As far as I’ve seen that’s rarely happened this season, if at all. His timing has been better, his passing, and above all – his judgement. It’s never going to be 100% so soon, but it’s a lot of pretty big steps in the right direction.

Also, good to know that AFC coaches are employing the concept of ‘special training programmes’ to good effect. I’m almost as pleased to know that as seeing Guendouzi improve his tactical awareness skills.

Santori
Santori

He’s been sharp Matteo.

Also impress with Willock. BOTH players add a lot of energy to the midfield and have been very diligent.

BUT too many Arsenal fans live in dream land.

Again certain players get criticised out of proportion while they turn a blind eye on other.

Luiz makes two GLARING mistakes against Liverpool (and he did one against Burnley) ALL 3 punished by goals against us.

Instead these fans prefer to harp on about Mustafi or Granit or Kolasinac or Ozil.

No mention of Luiz. Crickets.

Granit is the most perculiar.

1) Against Liverpool, he worked the ball out of midfield to create two of our BEST chances in the game. One for Pepe and the other for Auba on the break resulting in one on ones not taken.

2) He also intercepted the ball high up second half which resulted in our consolation with Torreira. Had this been say Torreira or Elneny or some player these fans prefer to wank off to, there would be a MOTM nomination.

3) Nor did he do anything too wrong defensively. He came up with 3 blocks in the game the same as Sokratis or Luiz. And without conceding a silly penalty or being turned like a school boy. Or risking a red pulling on Van Djiks jersey to impede his own player (Guendouzi) and allow Matip to score for the matter.

We will of course need him to be better yet but given the frailties of others, it is always as ever surprising the level of criticism where say Torreira who gave away the ball 6 or 7 times in a spate of games over last Xmas resulting in at least 4 goals against, is talked up as the dog’s bollocks.

Now we have a situation in which we may have to keep Mustafi.

Sure he has flaws but was Luiz trumpeted as a great decision in market ala Squillaci proven otherwise to be anything but an older version?

Had he been signed by Wenger the double standard would have these same fans bleat about it being a band aid panic buy.

Considering the (un) surprising fact that Luiz has proven to be somewhat of a liability, it won’t be a surprise to have to keep Mustafi if he finds no joy in market.

Holding’s imminent return is a plus but we have yet to see him effective in a back 4 as well. Chambers has promise and I want to see more of him but he has had issues pre-season too with positioning (several easy goals conceded from relatively harmless balls lofted in). Jury is still out if he has come to terms with this although it seems he has taken the lessons on board.

all this again simply as I mention the fact that we yet again neglected to do proper business in one critical area at the back.

We needed to spend all remaining effort (with Pepe on installments at high price and Cebellos on loan) on the Cback.

Instead we :

1) Tried to rely on Koscielny one MORE season too far (Frankly as mentioned, he did us a MASSIVE favour not extending but we did not take full advantage of it)

2) Wasted 27m (even if on installments) on a young and relatively unproven player judged over a very narrow bandwidth of games (19 only full or partial appearances) who if he fails to deliver will cost us plus be hard to move on and had impact to our additional transfers in the summer with zero impact to availability this season.

3) Got a good Lback in Tierny but as I mentioned frankly we could have waited (till Jan) and instead concentrated on higher priority at Cback bc Monreal was good for another season.

4) Instead of getting the top Cback we needed for now, we got Sideshowbob some people prefer to imagine as a great coup. He will have his good days but there will (like MUstafi) be a mistake in there or two.Go figure.

btw
btw

Luiz may be a liability, but judging him on the basis of 1 game for us is the definition of knee-jerk. In any case, hopefully Holding and Chambers will push him down the pecking order and he remains a strong backup/cup option.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Oh look, a black and white wallpaper sample. What’s that doing on here?

Upamecano but downalego
Upamecano but downalego

Thanks a lot for that painfully long load of meh, my eyes have just handed in their four week notice.

Tanned arse
Tanned arse

Don’t suppose you noticed xhaka and all his ‘experience’ casually jog across the front of the penalty area when the ball was shifted out to Arnold for the 2nd goal. For someone who criticises fans for not acknowledging or seeing important things you seem to miss a fair bit yourself. If as an experienced player he’d had ran across to block an obvious passing lane into the center of the area (to firmino) then the ball doesn’t even arrive and create such a dangerous situation. For me this guy doesn’t get the basics. Hasn’t learned and his ‘experience’ is just related to age and games played.

sami
sami

Xhaka you say? lol sheesh

Lucas Sam
Lucas Sam

I can see what, Emery is trying to do is what he could not finish with Lo Celso before psg foolishly shipped him out. So much potential our Gendouzi is!

dddddd
dddddd

Ask his older brother to teach him

Arsenalfanman
Arsenalfanman

He reminds me a little of Rosicky with how dynamic he is, I miss Rosicky. ☹

para
para

Great

Flavoured Rice

The standards of Arsenal fans has dropped so low that a player like Guendouzi is now considered good enough to start.

Guendouzi does not assist not score. He cannot tackle particularly well, nor does he pass the ball quickly when transitioning between defense and attack. He seems to just get an easy ride because he is young. If he was 25 or 26 and played the exact same as now would fans claim he is still amazing or, as another fan cringely put it “a baller?”

Forgive me for asking a perhaps obvious question to fellow Gunners, but, what does he actually do so well that fans have to rave ad nauseam about him constantly, like he is the next best thing since sliced bread.

And please, no mention of his age and that is not a talent unique to him. I just genuinely want to know what my fellow fans see in him as I am not convinced by him at all yet.

Juan Cornetto
Juan Cornetto

Well opinions are like bottoms and all that but for my money he’s an excellent passer with both feet and can play it short and long. He reads the game and transitions quickly from defence to attack, taking only the minimal amount of touches. He doesn’t hide from the ball, which is probably why in conjunction with his youth he has been caught on the ball in dangerous areas but he will iron that out of his game; the other side of that is he is decent on the turn and had good close control. He has a decent if not spectacular shot, a good engine, is clearly getting better with his defensive positioning and his relative youth is a factor irregardless. He’s the same age bracket as mount at Chelsea, mctominay at Man U etc and I know who I’d rather have.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Yes, I’d have all three of them.

Flavoured Rice

Appreciate your opinion. I’ve personally yet to see all the hype all around him be justified but as he is an Arsenal player I’ll get behind him and wish him the best.

Mark
Mark

Has a great future ahead of him, so confident as such a young player. Certainly needs to continue to mature physically and gain strength along with more experience and focus on the defensive side, but love the way he competes and is not afraid of the big moment.

Teryima Adi
Teryima Adi

@Mark…and he is not afraid of the big MOMENT. Lol