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'I needed to have fun on the pitch': on-loan Matteo Guendouzi criticises Gunners boss Mikel Arteta


‘I needed to have fun on the pitch’: Arsenal outcast Matteo Guendouzi criticises Gunners boss Mikel Arteta for affecting his confidence by not playing him as he tries to resurrect his career on loan at Hertha Berlin

  • Matteo Guendouzi has been on loan at German side Hertha Berlin since October
  • He was excluded from Arsenal training after grabbing Neal Maupay’s throat
  • Despite criticism from boss Mikel Arteta he believes he has a future at the club

Matteo Guendouzi has blamed Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta for his downturn in form before his October loan move to Hertha Berlin.

The French midfielder was a mainstay in his first season under Unai Emery, playing 48 times in all competitions, but fell out of favour during the opening months of Arteta’s tenure.

Gunners boss Arteta excluded the 21-year-old from first-team training after a series of indiscretions, including an ugly spat with fellow countryman Neal Maupay against Brighton at the back end of last season.

Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has spoken out against his manager Mikel Arteta

Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has spoken out against his manager Mikel Arteta

He grabbed the striker’s throat after the match and reportedly mocked Brighton players’ wages in comparison to his own.

But after impressing in the early stages of his temporary switch to the German capital, hothead Guendouzi criticised the Arsenal boss for damaging his confidence.

He told Telefoot: ‘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.

‘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.’

Frenchman Guendouzi (centre) had an argument with Brighton's Neal Maupay after the whistle

Frenchman Guendouzi (centre) had an argument with Brighton’s Neal Maupay after the whistle

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta excluded the midfielder from first-team training after the spat

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta excluded the midfielder from first-team training after the spat

The 21-year-old joined Hertha Berlin on loan but believes his Arsenal career is not yet over

The 21-year-old joined Hertha Berlin on loan but believes his Arsenal career is not yet over

When Arteta was first appointed he asserted anyone who didn’t buy into the club ethos would be not be good enough for the Arsenal environment and culture. 

The Spaniard has also frozen out German outcast Mesut Ozil, who was not named in the Gunners’ Premier League or Europa League squads even though he earns £350,000 a week at the club.

Despite Arteta’s apparent loss of faith and trust in the Frenchman, Guendouzi believes his time at Arsenal is not necessarily at an end.

After captaining France U21s to a 5-0 victory against Liechtenstein, he stated his move to Hertha Berlin was more about playing time and a new challenge. 

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