Since Premier League football has returned from the pandemic, Arsenal have had their fair share of drama on and off the field – mainly involving players with a penchant for large, frizzy hairstyles.
First of all there was the drama with David Luiz. He hadn’t agreed a contract extension with Arsenal and while that was still up in the air by mid June, we saw Arsenal return to action against Manchester City at the Etihad stadium.
David Luiz started the game on the bench, presumably because he or the club couldn’t agree terms. The whole situation was made more confusing when David Luiz, well, was David Luiz and came on for the injured Pablo Mari after 22 minutes. David Luiz then proceeded to show the world how he was possibly the world’s worst defender by being at fault for Manchester City’s first goal, and then deciding that wasn’t quite enough to ruin Arsenal’s changes so he thought that conceding a penalty and then getting sent off would really put the nail in the coffin.
After the game, Jamie Carragher famously said that would be Luiz’s last game for Arsenal, and at the time I was in complete agreement with him. How many mistakes does he need to make? And it’s obvious that he never seems to learn.
He then came out and gave a bizarre and cryptic interview to Sky Sports, where he publicly apologised and took complete blame for the defeat.
At that point, I thought there was no way back for the Brazilian defender. He once again destroyed an Arsenal match with two huge errors, he showed that his decision making was still horrendous and the weird interview was the icing on the cake. However, I’m not sure if David Luiz is some kind of psychological genius or something because despite seemingly doing everything to completely ruin any changes of staying at Arsenal, he agreed an extension only a week later.
In the next game, we faced Brighton and Hove Albion, another game we ended up losing 2-1 after conceding a last minute goal to Neal Muapay. At the end of the match, Guendouzi proceeded to goad the Brighton players about how much they earned (or didn’t by the sounds of it) which prompted talks with Mikel Arteta and the higher ups to explain himself.
In a strange twist of fate, David Luiz of all people (can you see the irony here?) pleaded with Guendouzi to show more self control and to just concentrate on his football. But the young Frenchman has refused to apologise, and has been left out of the team since.
Although he is a talent, and anyone can see that, he clearly has attitude problems and even previous coaches have come out and said that he needs to change. And while initially I thought we might struggle without him in the side, the fact is Dani Ceballos has really stepped up to the plate and taken his chance – and without Guendouzi in the side we have won 4 games on the bounce, and were unlucky not to beat Leicester this week.
With the young midfielder, we lost 2 games out of 2, but without him we’ve won 4 and drawn 1, losing zero. So for me, we wouldn’t miss him if he were to leave.
For me, he has a high resale value so we should look at selling him this summer before he shows more of his poor attitude and his asking price drops. He’s young, talented and still has lots of potential, but if Mikel Arteta has certain things he is not negotiable on, then I’m more than happy to support the manager and back whatever he decides to do with Guendouzi.