Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has been surprisingly defended for his unpleasant antics in the recent defeat to Brighton.
The Frenchman got into a scrap with Neal Maupay as the Gunners suffered an embarrassing 2-1 defeat, but Jamie Redknapp believes this is far from the first time a player has engaged in this kind of trash talk on the pitch.
Despite reports from L’Equipe and others that put Guendouzi’s future at the Emirates Stadium in some doubt, Redknapp has stuck up for him in his column for the Daily Mail, suggesting this has been blown out of proportion a little.
“Matteo Guendouzi did not make the Arsenal squad again yesterday, but I refuse to hammer the 21-year-old for his trash talking against Brighton,” Redknapp said.
“He apparently brought up money with Neal Maupay. It’s crass, it’s unkind, but it happens. It’s happened since day dot in football and it will always happen.
“I’ve made comments, too. ‘Who are you? Turn around and show me your name because I’ve not got a clue who you are.’
“It’s all said in the heat of the moment. A player says something he later regrets.
“So to slaughter Guendouzi for sledging, to borrow the cricket term, is unfair.
“He is not the first to do it, he won’t be the last. I’d rather focus on his performances. If you want to act like a big player, play like one. Let’s hope being dropped by Mikel Arteta comes as a reality check and he learns from it.”
It will be interesting to see if Arsenal fans can be won back round with Guendouzi, who initially looked a huge prospect when he joined the club.
“Bruno Fernandes told me that, as a kid, he had a poster of me. He said that when he played Football Manager he always signed me. I was like, ‘You had me on a poster? And, seriously, you sign me for FM?’ I mean, how weird is that?” – Who said this? Click here to read more.
Since then, however, the 21-year-old has failed to live up to his potential and one imagines his drop in form won’t have helped him when it comes to incidents like this.
If Guendouzi can soon return and be more of a positive influence on the pitch for Arsenal, this will surely all be forgiven and forgotten.