Arsenal: Has Arteta found a winning formula for Gunners?
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Matteo Guendouzi has been slammed by Hertha Berlin manager Pal Dardai who has claimed that the Arsenal loanee is ‘rebellious’ and likened his attitude to that of a teenager going through puberty. The 22-year-old was shipped out on a temporary basis at the beginning of the season amid a highly-publicised feud with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta, who shunned the midfielder from first-team affairs after expressing concerns over his discipline.
Guendouzi’s problems in north London started towards the end of last season, when he taunted Brighton and Hove Albion players over their salaries and grabbed striker Neal Maupay by the throat during a 2-1 defeat at the Amex Stadium.
His actions angered Arteta and his coaching staff, with their relationship eventually deteriorating to the point where he was deemed surplus to requirements and sent to Germany on a temporary basis.
Guendouzi initially started well at Hertha, impressing with his quality on the ball and determination to win it back when out of possession, but is beginning to test the patience of Dardai who appears to be harbouring concerns of his own regarding the Frenchman’s attitude.
The 44-year-old has launched a damning attack on his loanee midfielder, suggesting that the player’s mental outlook is closer to that of a moody teenager than a top-level professional footballer.
“It’s like puberty for him, he’s rebellious,” Dardai told Bild.
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Guendouzi came under fire from fans and critics alike during Hertha’s defeat to RB Leipzig on Sunday after a moment to forget during the second half.
He lost possession in a critical position deep inside his own penalty area, before falling to the floor and arguing that he should have been awarded a free-kick for a foul.
Dardai continued, stating that the dirty side of Guendouzi’s game needs to be cut out as soon as possible.
The Hertha manager also explained that he is using educational methods on the training ground in order to get the best out of his man, who needs some tough love to fulfil his potential.
“He has to work and learn like an animal,” added Dardai. “In training, I always stop these kind of duels because you can’t fall to the ground like this. And, afterwards, he’s mad.”
Hertha are enduring a torrid run of eight league matches without a win, with their last victory coming in early January against bottom club Schalke.
The club are firmly embroiled in a Bundesliga relegation scrap, level on points with 16th-placed Arminia Bielefeld and just a single point clear of the drop zone.
It remains unclear whether Guendouzi will have a future at Arsenal upon his return in the summer, with his current contract set to run until the end of next season.
He was signed from Lorient in July 2018 for a reported fee of around £8million and has since played 82 times for the north London club.
The midfielder revealed in November that he struggled to enjoy his football at Arsenal after the deterioration of his relationship with Arteta, claiming that he was ‘hurt’ by the Spaniard’s decision to keep him out of the side.
“I needed to have fun on the pitch, to regain confidence and that’s what Hertha offers me, it really is a choice I made,” Guendouzi told Telefoot.
“In the space of two seasons I have played more than 80 games with Arsenal. When you play less, you start to think and it hurts.”
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