Tag Archives: Matteo Guendouzi.

Arsenal “anti-fans” praise Guendouzi call-up whilst ignoring Lokonga first cap

Friend of the site Darren Berry introduced us to a new type of fan in his latest book Over Land and Sea (and Lockdown).

He labelled these fans the “Anti-Fan”.

In a nutshell, they are “fans” that only ever talk negative about the club they supposedly support in an attempt to appear “indifferent and cool”.

They hope by taking the negative standpoint they will “stand out from the crowd” and gain more clicks, RTs and followers.

It is reminiscent to a kid who picks on and bullies the girl he likes in the hope she will notice him more.

The fact that many of these anti-fans are in their 40s, and are not teenage boys shows a worrying state of their mind. I have seen others label them as “football incels”.

Their negativity towards the club is not just aimed at the owners and management but also the players.

They rate every player that leaves and think every player that stays is rubbish. We see them criticise Bukayo Saka, labelling him average whilst moaning we sold Joe Willock.

Emiliano Martinez, Willian Saliba and Matteo Guendouzi are the 3 favourites of these fans.

Their refusal to support players at the club leads them to create their own narrative around those that have left.

Suddenly Martinez is a world class keeper, whilst Bernd Leno and Aaron Ramsdale are derided.

It is the same with Saliba and Ben White.

The interesting one this weekend was Guendouzi.

Due to injuries Guendouzi got a call up to the French squad for the latest round of World Cup qualifiers.

“Not good enough for Arsenal but good enough for France” was the narrative they took.

He was an unused substitute for the Ukraine game.

Meanwhile Guendouzi’s replacement at Arsenal – Albert Sambi Lokonga – was also on international duty.

Lokonga had gained his first cap for Belgium – playing 74 minutes in their World Cup qualifier against Estonia.

The same people making a point that Guendouzi had been called up by France failed to mention Lokonga starting a game for Belgium.

France are the World Champions, Belgium are the number one ranked team in the world.

So on one hand, they make a lot of noise about a player currently on loan from Arsenal getting an international call-up; whilst making no noise about a player currently playing for Arsenal getting his first cap.

This situation really sums up these anti-fans.

They support Guendouzi because he is out on loan but do not show the same support to a Lokonga because the manager likes him.

Lokonga is an extremely talented 21-year-old footballer. How about we use our energy backing him? Encouraging him? Rather than crowing for a player that is not currently at the club.

It must be very tiring constantly having to take a negative stand point against a club that consumes so much of your daily thoughts.

Keenos

If Arsenal are underselling Guendouzi for £10m, where is the queue of clubs chasing him?

The value of a player is that which other clubs are willing to pay for him.

So when it looks likes a deal is done for Matteo Guendouzi to Marseille for £10million, that is his value.

It doesn’t matter if some fan boy moans we are underselling. £10million is his value.

If Guendouzi was as good as what some claim, surely teams across Europe would be queuing up to sign him for £10million? But they are not.

And if teams were queuing up for him, that would then naturally push the price up as teams competed for his signature.

But no other team other than Marseille seems to be interested. And they only want to do a deal for £10million. So that is his price.

If you are sitting criticising Arsenal for the deal, just ask yourself why no one else is in for him. And the answer to that is why Arsenal are selling him.

Keenos

Mikel Arteta FA Cup headaches: Mesut Ozil & Matteo Guendouzi

Formation & Selection

Mikel Arteta clearly prefers 433 / 4231, but in recent weeks he has employed 3 (or 5?) at the back.

In 2017, Arsenal beat Chelsea playing 3 at the back, with masterful performances from Nacho Monreal, Per Mertesacker and Rob Holding.

Will we see 3 at the back again? With Rob Holding, David Luiz and either Kieran Tierney or Saed Kolasinac in defence?

Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos will surely continue their fruitful partnership in the middle of the park, but who flanks them?

On the left he has to chose between whichever left back does not play as a left centre back and Bukayo Saka.

The young Englishman has been poor in recent weeks, so might be better being used as an impact substitute if we convert to a back 4. Replacing the Alexandre Lacazette up top allowing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to play down the middle.

Auba will likely start wide left.

On the right hand side, Nicolas Pepe will likely be selected, but who plays behind him is a head ache.

With Cedric cup tied, it is a choice between Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Bellerin is the better defender, but the Englishman gives more going forward and is perhaps better suited with playing wing back.

Arteta has also instructed Maitland-Niles to tuck into midfield from the right hand side at times, which he is more than capable of doing so. But Holding is not as good as covering the right hand side when he does this as Mustafi.

Arteta has quite a bit to think about.

Mesut Ozil

Having not played a minute since football restarted, Mikel Arteta has a dilemma.

Does he put Ozil on the bench, giving him a chance to win his 4th FA Cup medal? Or does he continue to cast him aside.

Something has gone wrong with their relationship.

Ozil played a lot under Arteta prior to the suspension of football, and not played a minute since football restarted.

Is it his refusal to take a pay cut? His attitude? His continual sick days with a “back injury”? Has he just fallen out of love with football? Now happy to go through the motions in training, not play and pick up his huge pay cheque.

Clearly something is not right there.

Whatever the decision, Arteta should announce it today to stop it being a big issue tomorrow.

Matteo Guendouzi

Following the defeat to Brighton, Guendouzi found himself out of the team with the club concerned about his attitude.

Like Ozil, he has not even made the bench since that incident, with the club reprotedly open to offers on him.

His immaturity is clearly a concern for the club – to the point where they had to discuss it with his “representatives” rather than the player himself.

We are a weaker squad with Guendouzi in it. If not playing, he can provide us energy coming off the bench.

Maybe missing out on an FA Cup final is the kick he needs? Arteta perhaps needs to offer the olive branch and at least let him take a place on the bench.

My gut is, following rows with Arteta in Dubai, mocking Freddie Ljungberg and Unai Emery, Guendouzi is done at Arsenal and will not be part of the travelling squad.

It will be a sad end to such a talented players Arsenal career.

Keenos