Sometimes, common sense has to be used in certain situations to bring about a resolution such as the cases of Matteo Guendouzi and Mesut Ozil. In the case of Ozil, it’s generally accepted that the player and club failed miserably to use any form of common sense as the relationship between the two managed to unravel until it was completely toxic. Who knows what happens next in this embarrassing saga but it’s fair to assume that nothing much will change.
This was followed by another storm with the petulant midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, who conflicts with the club and coach following an incident after the away game at Brighton where he placed his hands around Neil Maupay’s throat. It’s said that the player was reprimanded for his behaviour and that he argued with Arteta in an angry exchange.
Guendouzi played no further part in the campaign and was told that he would have to make changes to his temperament and attitude which, apparently, made matter worse. Since then, he has been absent like Ozil, but the players are said to be particularly disappointed with his lack of acknowledgement regarding their FA Cup triumph.
Ozil took to social media in support, but Guendouzi posted holiday pictures of himself and his girlfriend, which is hardly the olive branch that Arteta was looking for. Common sense deficit strikes again! It’s said by a source linked to the club that this calculated act has used up a lot of his teammate’s goodwill and a few ‘don’t want him back’.
Arteta is a believer in the team ethic and these incidents prove two things. Firstly, he isn’t afraid of confrontation if it threatens the collective spirit, and secondly, that if a player can’t adapt or meet his ‘non-negotiables’, they will be frozen out or sold on.
Arteta was fairly elusive about the pair returning to the side and skilfully avoided any additional bad press or the introduction of clumsy revelations, but it all seemed like a thinly veiled publicity exercise. It’s been heavily rumoured that Guendouzi wants to leave and has issued a transfer request and that the club are in favour of a move because they feel there is no alternative.
The club wants to clear the decks this summer of any troublesome or ill-fitting components and Ozil and Guendouzi are top of that list on both counts. The German is known for his stubbornness and is prepared to dig in but Guendouzi is open to a move believing that the club should have supported him and embraced his unquestionable passion.
Arteta can’t afford another distraction or another standoff if his side are to build on what they have achieved this season and he is hoping that one or both will be at other clubs when the transfer window closes.
Who’s likely to take on the challenge presented by an adrenaline-fuelled Guendouzi? Well, the mischievous press has identified Unai Emery as a possible suitor to take the young hothead off Arsenal’s hands, probably on a loan deal initially.
The story which featured in Foot Mercato suggested that the Frenchman’s former manager could be tempted to throw him a lifeline as he revamps the fortunes of Villarreal but if Guendouzi is to move on, Arsenal will want cash immediately or a swap deal that allows Arteta to make firm plans for next season. There are much better options available to Arsenal and ‘Douzi’ and in this case, 1 and 1 don’t always make 2.