Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Guendouzi: I’m not a bad boy

Matteo Guendouzi may have been banished from the Arsenal squad for disciplinary reasons but the midfielder insists he’s not a “bad boy” and that his temperament has helped not hindered him since he set out to be a footballer.

Currently on loan with Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin, the midfielder was yesterday confirmed as the captain of France’s under-21s for the upcoming group stage of the European Championships.

At Clairefontaine, they obviously believe he can be moulded into a leader, even if Hertha boss Pal Dardai amusingly claimed, “It’s like he’s in puberty sometimes, rebellious.”

Speaking to France Football as Les Espoirs’ new captain, Guendouzi was asked if he’s misunderstood.

“I’m not a bad boy, quite the contrary,” he said. “If you want to succeed, you have to have a very good character, but also this personality to always want to be the best, always to want to win, to progress. It will differentiate you.

“There are a lot of very good players. Excellent people have failed to turn pro and, for these cases, the mentality has a very large part of the responsibility. My character and my personality have allowed me to do great things. It will still help me to go to the highest level.”

Having made the step up from Lorient to Arsenal with surprising ease, Guendouzi went on to make 82 appearances in the space of two years before his infamous falling out with Brighton’s Neal Maupay. He even earned a call-up to the France national team in that period and again he says his character played a part.

“There are huge players who came to England early and didn’t make it,” he said. “Even more in a very large club. If I hadn’t had this character, I would never have played so many matches at Arsenal.”

Whether he gets the chance to play for the club again remains to be seen. When his loan move ends in the summer he’ll have one-year left on his Gunners contract. While the 21-year-old maintains his time at the Emirates isn’t over, he admits a decision will need to be made in July. Incidentally, he’ll become a dad around about the same time.

“I am focused on my season at Hertha Berlin. Then, we will make a point with my entourage and the people of the club to ask and discuss the future. I am still an Arsenal player. This summer will be a decisive deadline.

He added: “I belong to Arsenal for another year (until June 2022). I am here [at Hertha Berlin] to improve. From the moment that I am playing for Arsenal, I will give everything for this club, for the fans, for the team, for the staff. I will work hard for the shirt as I have always done.”

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I hope he succeeds in life

Johnny 4 Hats

I say this without a whiff of xenophobia but, he’s awfully French isn’t he?

Salibaba and the Forty Thieves

C’mon are we forgetting that Wenger and some of our best players (historically) are from there? In my opinion, Arsenal is probably the worst club to support if you are going to make that statement.

We are the French Connection personified😂😂😂.

I do despise Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac though. Genuinely terrible people


So much to admire about France. Serge Gainsbourg for example. If Serge had been a footballer he’d have been Bendtner, Guendouzi and Henry rolled into one. The man was a fucking legend!

Quentin Quarantino

He just needs a good kick in the hole… the woolly headed fucker!

le caiman

your parents must be brothers and sisters.


I really liked Guendouzi. To put it into context, he played almost 60 times in 2 years for the club in the League (Jack Wilshere managed only 120 odd games over 10 years). Maybe with a bit of guidance he could turn his career around.


Thing is, if we were to keep him, we would have to give him a new contract. He’s got only one year left. This summer he would be worth a few million, but if we were to keep him he would be worth no millions. You think Arteta is ready to gamble on him?


Arteta doesn’t seem the forgiving type…

Vaibhav Pandey

Arteta wants only one boss in the dressing room and that’s him whoever accepts that will be taken onboard. I think Arteta can take a gamble but Douzi might have to accept lesser playing time which might be the tricky point for him.

Tanned arse

I really like the talent and he’s got a great working attitude on the pitch. Problem is, it’s often misdirected. He wants to be super busy and have the ball all the time. It’s a lack of discipline and arteta won’t allow that in any position on the pitch, absolute least of all is the middle of the park. He’ll be got rid of which is a shame from an ability standpoint and also a financial one because in a couple of years time he’d potentially fetch £50m+. This summer we probably won’t get £10m. The other issue is clearly… Read more »


I think we’ve moved on past his standard now. He doesn’t get near a midfield of Party, ESR and Martin. Thanks for your efforts Matteo, but adieu.


His standard is now France u21 captain and potential first-teamer. I think stylistically he could make a good alternative to Xhaka in the Partey double pivot.

Of course his mentality is a problem but I think it’s worth giving him one more chance. A one-year contract extension would be ideal.


His mentality is okay. We need fighters in the team. His discipline is what he needs to work on.

Viv The 🐐

And his defending. If he works on that, then he is ay. Without it, it is a wildfire.

Hank Scorpio

He’s not competing with them, he’s competing for the spot next to Partey. In any case he won’t be given any further opportunities at Arsenal.


Martin is not our player. I don’t think RM will sell for something affordable to us.

Vaibhav Pandey

Everyone needs money in these times and La Liga giants are under piles and piles of debt plus if they want to have galacticos, I would have Martin any day, offer decent deal, RM will take it. It will be down to how much MO11 wants it!!


to do that he’ll need to change his attitude quickly he’s not even 25 and he’s already got a reputation of being a bad boy thats not good these things follow you for a long time for some players they never recover and shake that tag throughout their career. Remember Ben Arfa, Balotteli, Joey barton, Adel Taraabt fantastic players who’s careers never hit the height it could’ve just for being bad boys their reputation followed them coaches didnt want to deal with them. If Guendouzi doesn’t fix his attitude he’ll end up with a mediocre career


He is turning into Balotelli really fast.

Mick Malthouse

May end up a star, but not the type we need during rebuilding.


I think you’ve got the nail on the head.

Guendouzi is a big project with no immediate upside.

His performances were middling when he was here, which for a player at his stage of development were encouraging. I just don’t see us be able to spend the time and patience it would take to tease the best out of him. Especially with a year left on his contract.


Well we definitely can afford future stars at rebuild. Or at least people who we bought x and we sell them x+.
Remember our current options are Xhaka Elneny and Ceballos…which are mediocre and with not a lot of value.


Xhaka is not mediocre.


Yup, he wishes he is. Currently at his best form he resembles a mediocre player but his tendency to do stupid shit is why he is not that even.


Ya. Xhaka is worse than mediocre

SB Still

Xhaka is ill-suited, particularly in the fast paced premier league (speed is one of his limitations) and in this team that wants to play out from the back (he can’t receive the ball on the half turn). He slows the game down and reduces the possibility of quick transitions.

Diaby's Left Peg

One good game and people forgot how many points Xhaka has lost us and all the nonsense that goes on around him.

I see no reason why Guen cannot take Ceballos/Mo’s role in the squad for a season and see if he’s good enough to win the spot by Partey.


Please have a look on our latest seasons with him as an integral part. He is not the ONLY reason of our downwards trajectory but part of it.

And anyhow do you think that we will sell him more than Guendouzi? Rebuild projects are based on clever sells aren’t they?

Viv The 🐐

You mean selling more players than Guendouzi? I see Lacazette, Torreira, AMN, Chambers, Mavropanos leaving next year. At least. It should atleast give us good opportunities for swaps, defending on the intererest. There should be quite some people leaving. Still have to look at Homegrown rule (i.e. AMN) but i expect some decent changes.


I meant that Guendouzi has potential to be sold more than Xhaka. And that’s why we should re build with him rather than with Xhaka.
It’s the same argument as Saliba vs Luiz Willian vs Pepe or Martinelli.
I am thinking that the season is lost and we should play the kids in order to sell them afterwards…


This season is not yet lost, we are a few points off fifth and have a European trophy to play for. Guendouzi is an ineffective player who runs around a lot and has a bad attitude, why the hell would anyone want to rebuild with him?

Ribena goal

Problem is Ceballos isn’t ours to sell. Have to assume Ceballos and Odegard will be back at Madrid next season, we will need some back up in there. I doubt we will sign them both permanently, and a back up LB and a third keeper all in one window, plus the replacements for whoever we sell. So we may have to give guendouzi a chance next season.


Totally agree


Yeah, Xhaka and Willian suffice.


He is the type we should be selling for a lot of money.

Unfortunately, Arteta had seen to it that his price dropped like a rock.


Bentner reborn

Chippy Brady

I’d actually give him another go if he manages to get back in Areta’s good books. Maybe he’s a bit of a maverick or character but he’s young and definitely talented. Who knows, maybe fatherhood will suit him and help him to settle down. Anyways best of luck to him.


Nah I think people overrated him and find him distinctly average with little pace.


Spot on!


Agreed. Also I seem to remember him as the type of player who needs to take 10 touches before playing a 10 yard pass back to his center back, which was incredibly annoying and killed our build-up play.

Lord Bendnter

You always search good in bad
You also search bad in good

You are a very good….bad boy

Lord Bendnter

You are very anger
You knows it’s very danger


Which pub you at?

Bae Parlour

Quality tune

Toure Motors

He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy

Hulahoops Baptista

Whatever else, fatherhood changes you (well it kicked my arse into shape). Hopefully it focuses him. Genuinely would like him to succeed as he supplied some of the too few bright spots during Emery’s insipid reign.


He is a great talent.
I think the blame for arteta not being able to keep him, is more a case of our manager needing to learn how to handle a young, talented firebrand, than that of guendouzi needing to calm down….a bit of both tho….


No manager should adapt the rules for a young player who can’t behave

These are professional athletes earning thousands of pounds a week, the very least they can do is get out of bed on time, and follow club rules

I like Guendouzi as a player, but it sounds like he could start a fight in an empty room


Agreed. He’s not bending the rules for the captain or the most paid player at the club (both times), he’s hardly going to do it for someone as petulant as Guendouzi.

Salibaba and the Forty Thieves

Hmmm, I don’t know… Let’s not forget a lot of us were not happy to find out about Willian’s Dubai trip and he was seemingly unpunished for it when he started the next games after like nothing happened.

Then there was Ceballos’ bust-up with Nketiah and later David Luiz.All three players made amends but of these three, only David Luiz is still getting regular game time.

Now I’m not saying Arteta has to be a disciplinarian but he applied punishment quite randomly. Benching Auba yesterday was a great way to instil discipline, I’ll give him credit for that.

Think Willian probably was disciplined just a different situation. All the chatter is suggesting that Auba had bent or broken the rules too many times. Get the impression this was for lots of offences rather than one.

Hank Scorpio

Disciplined by almost immediately being restored to the starting XI.


Are you really still talking about the ‘bust ups’ between Ceballos etc ? It isn’t & never was anything. If you really think that has led to Ceballos & Eddie getting less game time…….then you must love a conspiracy.

Salibaba and the Forty Thieves

Lol, you’re right. Where did I put my tin-foil hat?

I believe the word you mean is conspiracy theory. A conspiracy requires multiple people and there’s only one Arteta.

I’m simply speculating, like we supporters did when Martinelli wasn’t starting around this time last year (remember that).

Will you label yourself and others conspiracy theorists the next time Willian is in the starting XI of a match we end up losing?

Frank Bascombe

Wow. He’ll be highly delighted to hear that. Real big of you.


“ Then there was Ceballos’ bust-up with Nketiah and later David Luiz.All three players made amends but of these three, only David Luiz is still getting regular game time.”

real galaxy-brain stuff there


…and young, inexperienced Arteta isn’t the only manager/coach who has had enough problems with him to cause them to show him the door. We are rebuilding and desperately need all squad members onside and believing in the process. Much as he may turn into a good or great footballer, I wouldn’t trust Guendouzi to behave constantly at the moment.


You’re right – it’s down to reward vs. risk, isn’t it. He has talent, no doubt about it, but there’s that “baggage” that comes with it. Is the benefit to us of the former going to be worth dealing with the problems of the latter? Given MA will need funds to rebuild come the summer and we’ll have to trim player numbers back (again, if we can), Guendouzi would seem a candidate for potential sale as he’d raise a reasonable fee, even in a depressed market. On the other hand, if MA feels that he will be more mature (with… Read more »


He shouldn’t meet Saliba

Joseph Kawooya

Rowe n Saka or even Odeegard are the one side of the coin while Guen believes he is on the Mbappe, Halland side. Whatever Arsenal chooses, we carry on.


Rabiot 2.0 Quite good but will always be causing a scene and will always be drifting from club to club sadly

A Different George

One of many we were “linked with” in the past. I wish we had gotten him: when I’ve watched Rabiot play for France recently (that bust-up apparently settled), he looks like one of the best midfielders in the world. (Though it doesn’t hurt that he’s playing with Pogba and Kante.)

Laca New Signing

I actually like him as a player. He could be the rebellious type (Anelka, Did Canio, Zidane, Balotelli, Cantona, Ibrahimovic etc) but he has all the attributes of a great midfielder in future. He only needs to develop under a mature and fatherly manager who can nurture his positive traits while counseling him out of the petulant behavior with kindness, which I doubt MA is capable of offering him. That being said the Hertha manager and director of football have been so good to him so far. I’d as far as recommend his handlers to seek a permanent move in… Read more »


Like Nasri and Wenger? Didn’t end well that.


Di Canio is a fascist not a bit of a rebellious type

Keith Marr

He was a real plus in his first season then something seemed to go wrong. Insiders might know more. I thought he was good.


I think all the noise around him as to whether he’s a good boy or bad boy distracts from the more fundamental question of whether he’s a good or bad footballer.

Honestly I’m not convinced he’s as talented as everyone makes out. Happy for him to find a new home.

SLC Gooner

I’m with you. He worked hard, but I wasn’t particularly impressed with his level of control, and he was terrible in the air.

No foot Norbert

Not to mention positioning!

djourou's nutmeg

one of the things i like about our football club is that we’ve always cared about the way our players behave, not only the way they play. not many clubs do that and i don’t know if i’d support arsenal if it was otherwise


Picking up a slight Bendtner self confidence vibe.


He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!


Sounds like he wants to come back and try again?

He’s been a regular for Hertha and I think with the right attitude he can be more then just a decent squad player for us. Lots of potential there!


Playing regularly for a team near bottom of the Bundesliga should not be a passport into our first team.


He cannot come back. Arteta is a disciplinarian if he is going to drop Auba for (apparently) being late what will happen when Guendo throws his toys out of the pram again?
To be honest I have not forgiven him for the shit show against Brighton, where he was winding them up all game and Maupay then did Leno.


I’m not the biggest fan of his, but he speaks well.

If his time at Hertha have allowed him to reflect and become a better player with a better mindset, then who knows whether he will be an Arsenal player beyond 2022.

He’s right though when he talks about mentality, and players not succeeding due to mentality – plenty of examples out there, even at youth level.

I wiah him all the best, and of that is with Arsenal and he can contribute in a meaningful way, then great. If not, best of luck elsewhere.

Public Elneny

He’s honestly just not good enough to be such an irritating little twerp And not creative, goalscorey, or technically adept enough to be so positionally ill-disciplined and to take so bloody long on the ball every damn time If he seemed humble and smart enough to take on board what his coaches are clearly trying to teach him then I’d love him back. But he doesn’t, and his time at Hertha has confirmed that if anything He seems to have a pathological need to be the star man, creative hub, talisman etc, but that’s just not where his talents lie.… Read more »


he has a lot of rough edges to his game but i see so much upside with this guy. especially because of his personality. the main thing that sticks in my mind watching him with arsenal is how riled up he always got the opponents and how he dominated the middle of the park physically. in the bigger games he seemed to get even better. i remember united’s midfield spending the whole game trying to kick lumps out of him when we drew with them last season. if we sell him now we get very little return. if we keep… Read more »


“In puberty sometimes” at 21 and about to become a father. One mass of contradictions? Whether he’ll ever return to us is to be decided I guess. If I had to put money on it, I’d say not. I suspect the bottom line will be selling him for a “reasonable” fee to help raise money for purchases vs. taking him back with the potential problems that may bring us.

The Arsenal

Hes no worse than Ceballos and Elneny….But he is quite annoying almost like Laca and Auba taking him as a kid brother of sorts has brought out the worst in him and made his head even bigger. He acts just like a petulant younger sibling who has the biggest big brothers.

Cranky Colin

If Douzi had just loafed the little shithead muppet Maupay, everything would be just fine….. he’ll learn


I like Guendouzi my fav player under Unai, but I honestly don’t think he has a future at arsenal. Arteta will not offer him a new contract and also won’t let him run down his contract either so I think he’s gone this summer.

Disarmed Gunner

I’m one of the rare few who has never rated him. He doesn’t assist, doesn’t score, weak in a tackle and can’t stay in position. His passing is pretty average. He has a great engine and can run about well but so can a golden retriever. I just don’t get all the hype about him. But then again, maybe I’ve been spoiled by all the amazing midfielders Arsenal have had over the years (last 6 years not withstanding). From the sounds of things he is a bad seed and if there is any risk at all of him contaminating the… Read more »


A large portion of what made him stand out was his determination and winning (sometimes dickhead) attitude.

Other than that he is an all-rounder with good passing, dribbling and pressing.

Those things combined make him a pretty interesting prospect for the double pivot if he gets the bad sides of his personality in check.


I like golden retrievers.


Apparently, the qualities of the golden retriever include: high energy levels, but also calm natures and intelligence. Hmmm.

Hulahoops Baptista

Reminds me of Park Ji Sung in some ways… whilst not setting the world alight these type of players are really useful.


You’re not a good boy either


The problem with Matteo is that he lacks defensive awareness, and doesn’t have any end product in the final 3rd to make up for it. He is a fairly limited player, weak physically. If anything, his winning mentality has been his best feature.


Besides the rest of his baggage and that I don’t personally rate him, his penchant for flopping over the ball to try and win a free kick when under pressure was so damn annoying. Sell him on, good luck to him.


He’s got one year left and we bought him for next to nothing so we can still make a profit. He’s not worth the hassle, get rid.


… Duh!

Ribena goal

I didn’t realise Hertha were sponsored by Lukas Podolski!


Correction your a boy Arsenal doesn’t need you’ll be shipped off in the summer

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