Matteo Guendouzi’s Pantomime Villainy better suited to Atletico Madrid than to Arsenal
By Daniel Finton (Deputy Editor)
The Guardian is reporting that Mikel Arteta is refusing to say whether or not Matteo Guendouzi will be at the club next season. This, along with the fact that the Frenchman has been completely frozen out of the side for the past six games is indicative that the mercurial youngster may be on his way out. After a verbal and physical exchange with Neal Maupay after the Brighton defeat, where the former Lorient man insulted Maupay’s wages and also shoved him by his throat, Arteta has seemingly lost love for Guendouzi and decided to tear him out of the side.
With the casting out has come a flurry of rumours linking the potential-filled midfielder with a move away from North London. PSG, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester City and of course, Atletico Madrid, have all been linked with the player. Though I sincerely do not want Guendouzi to leave as of yet, Diego Simeone’s Atletico would be a perfect fit for the feisty French midfielder.
At Arsenal, there are a set of guidelines in place where the gunners are supposed to do things in the “right way”. To be honest, this is why myself and many others started supporting, and still closely follow the club for. Class, tradition, and carrying oneself on the pitch with pride, but also dignity, is what makes Arsenal so great. But in this scenario, it may mean the end of one of our most promising youngsters very abruptly. While we can all say that we admired Guendouzi’s post match antics against Maupay, it is certainly fair to say that it was a pretty “un-Arsenal” thing for him to do.
Unlike the gunners, Atletico are not a club that aspire to be the protagonists, in fact they much prefer being on the opposite side of that coin. Simeone sends his men out to brutally beat the lights out of opponents whilst simultaneously picking teams apart off on the counter attack. Though it hurts to admit it, Guendouzi would be perfectly suited to such a style of play. Not only is the 21-year-old more than capable of leaving something on the opponent when he is defending, but he also has an undeniable ability to ping extraordinary long, lobbed passes onto pacey strikers, single handedly creating an avenue for a counter charge. Joao Felix has struggled since joining Atletico, but maybe the signing of Guendouzi would provide the Portuguese youngster with a chance to display his one-on-one abilities more frequently.
At Arsenal, Guendouzi is the one bad boy in a group of kind hearted good ones, so his shenanigans are all put under a microscope and he consequently gets flack for his off-colour-actions. At Atletico, he would just be another brick in the wall in the dressing room, and also in the low blockade in which Simeone deploys week in and week out. But make no mistake, Simeone does not accept Tom foolery as a sign of weakness, players are petrified of his wrath so will only take things so far. An individual like Diego Costa, who was undeniably a world class player during his time with Chelsea, was a major pain in the current Inter manager, Antonio Conte’s ass. The Italian did everything in his power to sell him eventually, because he just could not handle how difficult the striker was. On the contrary, Simeone can and does handle players with such personalities incredibly well, many would argue that it is his specialty. After selling Costa to the blues, the Argentine manager was the first in line to immediately take him back. Simeone loves players with rotten attitudes because they suit his villainous system perfectly. Guendouzi would fit his criteria for a player’s behavior to a tee.
While I really am hoping that we do not sell Guendouzi yet, the end appears to be near for the fan favorite. Various reports have stated the player is still unwilling to “knuckle down” and that is the sole reason for Arteta’s decision to leave him out of the side.
Honestly, I always held the belief Guendouzi was going to leave at one point or another in the near future, but I just thought it would be several more years down the line when he, like so many before him, became “too good” to keep playing for our unambitious club. I hope his departure comes at a later date because the figure mentioned of around £40 million seems low for a player with his potential and seems to be a Coronavirus figure if you ask me. Though the profit would still be extortionate and greater than four times what the club paid for him, I genuinely believe a few years down the line we can acquire far more than that.
Notwithstanding, it appears as if a decision has been made. Guendouzi looks set to part ways with Arsenal because he seems to be unwilling to abide by Arteta’s behavioural guidelines. While it’s upsetting that such talent seems to be leaving, on the flip side it is also refreshing to see that the new head coach does not have time for any nonsense from his players. The fact that the former head coach, Unai Emery, never had anything to say about Guendouzi’s reportedly perpetually poor attitude, exemplifies just how weak he was in terms of man management. Emery sheepishly let players act however they wanted- Arteta is the exact opposite of that and has been likened to a “professor” by Shkodran Mustafi.
All in all, Guendouzi is a bad guy, and he always will be. If Arteta does not want players like that at the club then he has to go. A club like Atletico would appreciate the wicked delinquency that makes Guendouzi, Guendouzi, more than Arsenal do. Many will sensically argue that the player is still young and can change, but from my view, if you took that vile nature out of him you’d be running the risk of ruining the player completely. When you dullen a knife it can do longer do what it does best.
Guendouzi should keep “Guendouzi-ing”, and if Arsenal do not want such hanky-panky behaviour at the club, it is time to sell. A great deal of clubs in Europe would love an absolute bastard like him in their midfield and furthermore, at their club. Just because we can’t appreciate his on and off the pitch shithousery, does not mean it is wrong. Only time will tell in regards to whether or not Guendouzi will leave, but the fact is, at this moment it seems as though the club view the way he is as an inconvenience and that is never good.
P.S we can also use him to get Partey so, might as well.