Monday, March 20, 2023

Guendouzi: I had to foul Zaha

Matteo Guendouzi said he had no choice but to foul Wilfried Zaha when the Crystal Palace striker threatened to race through on goal deep into stoppage time. 

The French midfielder, seemingly inspired by the goings-on at the Rugby World Cup in Japan, upended the Ivorian winger in comedic fashion to preserve a point for his teammates before the whistle was blown on a 2-2 draw at the Emirates. 

“I had to foul Zaha at the end,” he told, “otherwise he is through on goal on his own.

“I’m the last defender but I’m far from our goal as well. I had to do it.” 


On a frustrating afternoon for Arsenal, not only did VAR officials overrule referee Martin Atkinson to award the visitors a first half penalty, converted by Luka Milivojevic, they also chalked off a potential late winner by Sokratis for an infringement in the build-up by Calum Chambers. 

Reflecting on the interventions, Guendouzi said: “I’m not sure what happened on our disallowed goal. 

It’s like last Monday at Sheffield [United]. The ref didn’t check with VAR then on Sokratis and Saka. This time he checks and it goes against us. 

“I haven’t seen it again yet but we lose two points because of that today and a point at Sheffield too.” 

Having dropped five points in the space of a week, the Gunners are now four points adrift of the top four with matches against Wolves and Leicester to come next in the league.

What was a solid, if unspectacular, start to the season has quickly morphed into something more mediocre. Guendouzi insists the team don’t have a mental problem. 

“We really wanted to win the game so we attacked a lot towards the end to get the third goal,” he said. “We allowed spaces [for Palace on the break] but it’s because we really wanted to win.

“It’s not a mental issue [letting a lead slip]. We didn’t manage to hold our advantage. We knew they were a good team, with individual quality, and they played well for their goals. 

“Zaha did well to get a penalty. It’s down to us to work so we win these kinds of matches after taking the lead.” 

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England vs South Africa! My bets on England, although both teams came a long way to the finals ? Refreshing to see something interesting from Arsenal when the usuals isn’t working ?

Dave M

FFR maybe should have called him up. There were some French Rugby players missing easier tackles than that.

Iron Ljung

This foul was about the only enjoyable thing about that game

Naked Cygan

It would have been more enjoyable if he tackled Xhaka while he was heading down the tunnel!!!


Then xhaka hit emery, both of them down!


Great tackle! Stopped play with minimum risk injury to opposition… going in with his legs would have been more risky.

A solid shirt tug would have been another decent option.


Well done Matteo, quick thinking decisive action.


Plot twist: Matteo is trying to impress KSE and get a gig with the LA Rams


I love him. He has no mentality problem and probably can’t imagine his teammates having one either (FFS he’s 20) but there is a problem. We need a new manager, and a new captain.


Not excusing our performances against Sheff Utd or Palace, but he’s 100% right on how VAR has been applied inconsistently in the last two games. It’s infuriating!


Genuinely a highlight. Well done, son!

The Arsenal

Yes you did son yes you did. About the smartest thing someone did alw


Good cynical tackle. Arsenal lacks this and always allow opposition to break and score.

Cliff Bastin

His statue should be this foul.


Kid is Ace. Love him.


He’s a very lucky lad. That by all accounts would have been a RED. Fortunately we had a geriatric bothering on alzheimer playing the ref. I suppose you’d say he had to take one for the team. BUT had say Granit did that, the moan would be he was jeopardising the team. Sokratis gave away a free kick on edge of area, again had it been Granit, there would have been instant criticism. This is the sort of scapegoading that have allowed deluded and shallow Arsenal fans to have the wool pulled over their eyes all too easily. they listen… Read more »


But there is a difference on both counts. Guendouzi sometimes gives the ball away but what he always does is immediately go to win it back, which often he manages to do. What I am sick of seeing is the likes to Granit giving the ball away and then going for a jog around the pitch. This is the whole point of Guendouzi, just like the foul, when others make a stupid foul it is because they are stupid. Guendouzi wasn’t being stupid, he knew what he was doing and did it anyway. He shows a passion and level of… Read more »

Zed Gooner

Santori, Xhaka wasn’t to blame for any of the goals but he didn’t exactly cover himself with glory with his half assed attempt to block the cross that led to CP’s equaliser. It is disturbing in that it isn’t the first time I have seen him make similar half hearted attempts at stopping crosses from coming in. Just haven’t resulted in goals conceded. It seems he is more intent in not giving away a penalty or free kick via a handball rather than actually stopping the opposition player from crossing. This from someone who is our deepest lying midfielder, our… Read more »

canon fodder

Well said!


For me Matteo is what Elneny was promised to be when he was signed. One more like Matteo in the middle of the park and we will win the damn league.

Nicolas Pepe

Gendouzi is top top quality. Did you see the chip to Laca? He’s got technique stamina he’s a fighter


Best tackle of the season contender?

The Kolkata Gooner

Guendouzi reminds me of a young Fabregas. Give him the armband already!


Was expecting VAR to overturn it and award it our way…

Nicolas Pepe

Give him the captaincy already

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