Project Restart hasn’t gone nearly as well as Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta would have hoped for. The Gunners didn’t really stand a chance against Manchester City but the defeat against Brighton raised a ton of questions.
Arsenal’s midfield on the day was underwhelming to say the least, and despite creating enough chances to put the game to bed, they threw it all away in the last 20 minutes.
The defeat was surrounded by a ton of controversy. Neal Maupay’s tackle on Bernd Leno saw the German on the ground in agony which enraged a number of people but none more so than Matteo Guendouzi.
The Daily Mail claimed recently that the Frenchman bragged about the financial disparity between the two clubs throughout the game, something that shouldn’t be acceptable in the modern game.
The same outlet claimed that Arteta was fed up of Guendouzi’s antics and was willing to sell him this summer.
The Gunners boss was quizzed about the same ahead of his side’s clash against Southampton on Thursday.
He was quoted by Goal saying: “More personal issues or behaviours, I like to deal with them on a personal level, in the dressing room, and don’t make them public.”
“Obviously I don’t like it, but I don’t like either to put words in the newspaper, or use somebody to put words in the newspaper for you to talk about what has been happening on the pitch, because if 22 players do that every three days that will be a circus.”
“We have so many different cultures in our team. They’ve been educated in different ways and I have to understand and accept that as well. But we need to know that we have a route, we have certain ways, we have some values and you have to be within that.”
Huge fame as a teenager has clearly had an impact on Guendouzi’s behavior
Guendouzi is incredibly talented for his age, there is absolutely no doubt about that. The midfielder rose from France’s second division to play almost 50 times for Arsenal in his debut season.
That, predictably, got into his head and his antics, especially against Brighton and Maupay, are probably a result of that.
Arsenal fans love Guendouzi’s aggression and passion for the club. Arteta clearly doesn’t condone his behaviour at the Amex but he admitted that cutting off his aggressive edge will be detrimental to him as a player.
“You can’t cut edges off players. You have to be clear what you expect and publicly as well, what they have to represent. But that drive, that aggression that sometimes a player has to show is part of why they are football players and why they are competing at this level,” Arteta concluded.