Incredible Guendouzi story shows the attitude that saw Arteta bin him

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner 7 May 2022 14:46 CEST 3 min read
Matteo Guendouzi, Arsenal, 2019/20

Matteo Guendouzi had the potential to make it as a star at Arsenal, yet his attitude led to him being exiled to Marseille on loan by manager Mikel Arteta.

It was his mentality rather than his ability that saw effectively pushed out of the club, like Mesut Ozil before him and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January.

The incident that seemed to make Arteta snap came after a Premier League match with Brighton in the 2019/20 campaign, when he grabbed the neck of compatriot Neal Maupay.

Guendouzi is a player who has long been known for his fiery attitude and apparent lack of respect for authority, and it is something that has long been with him.

'The coach wanted to destroy him'

This is demonstrated by a story his former Lorient team-mate Gael Danic told of him to 90 Football.

“We were going for promotion and we headed to Ajaccio. Matteo was not in the squad,” he said. “The following morning, there was a warm-down training session with the obligation to have breakfast at the training centre.

“We lost the match, and what does Matteo do the following morning? He turns up for breakfast wearing an Ajaccio shirt. He made us laugh, but you have to put yourself in the position of the coach who simply wanted to destroy him.”

Matteo Guendouzi, Marseille, 2021/22

Since moving back to France, Guendouzi has impressed at Marseille, where his competitive spirit has been warmly accepted by the Stade Velodrome crowd. His spell, though, has not been without controversy. Earlier in the season, he had a public spat with fellow midfielder Gerson, who he apparently accused of not trying hard enough.

His performances, though, have sparkled sufficiently to earn him an international debut with Didier Deschamps’ world champions, while Marseille have already confirmed that they will trigger a clause in his loan deal to sign him on a permanent basis from Arsenal.