Guendouzi reveals he’s trying to sharpen his defensive game


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 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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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


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


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

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… Read more »

Dave M

Good sign you might be getting old

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 ?


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.


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… Read more »


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.


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

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… Read more »


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

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!!


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


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


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


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… Read more »


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… Read more »


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

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

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

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… Read more »


Xhaka you say? lol sheesh

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!


Ask his older brother to teach him


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



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… Read more »

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… Read more »

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.


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

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