There has never been any doubt about Matteo Guendouzi’s ability to perform at a high level for Arsenal, but it’s clear that something wasn’t right with his attitude or his application.
It came to a head with Mikel Arteta last season after the loss against Brighton, and the Frenchman hasn’t been anywhere near the first time since that day.
He eventually managed to go out on loan to Hertha Berlin this season so at least he’s getting the chance to play again, but you do wonder if he has any chance of returning to Arsenal and forcing his way into the team.
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A report from Goal looked at some comments from his former Lorient coach Mickael Landreau, and this does give you a clear indication as to why Arteta thought it was best to remove him from the first team picture:
“He annoyed me terribly, he is very complicated to manage. He sometimes has some behaviours within a group that are very, very hard, but somehow, that’s what he is, a big character.
“He doesn’t let go, he is a fighter. He has an oversized ego, but he certainly needs it. I think he needs to be in the spotlight, to be a leader. He needs to be a captain or vice-captain, and he will try to make the most of it.
“That’s the way he is, and that means that his teammates have to accept him the way he is, because he’s a pain on a daily basis. He’s a pain on a daily basis, but on the other hand, he’s talented.”
It’s interesting to think about how this reflects on Mikel Arteta’s ability as a coach, because you can suggest that a truly elite coach finds a way to balance different characters and they learn how to motivate them.
It’s also fair to say that the general squad may be happier to not have someone like that in the dressing room, so it suggests that Guendouzi will need to mature as a character before he gets another chance.