Bundesliga club coach says midfielder still has a lot to learn about professional play
Matteo Guendouzi is going through “puberty” of football, according to Hertha Berlin coach Pal Dardai, who says the loaner from Arsenal has a “rebellious” streak.
Guendouzi is currently taking a one-season loan from Hertha, having been exiled from Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side after the lockdown last season.
The Frenchman has been regularly criticized for his attitude since joining the Gunners in 2018, and Dardai says he is still far from the level of maturity required for a top footballer.
What was said?
Hertha’s head coach said Bild of Guendouzi’s continued development: “It’s like puberty for him, he’s a kind of rebel. He has to work and learn like an animal.”
In Sunday’s 3-0 loss to RB Leipzig, Guendouzi was presented as a substitute in the 68th minute and, three minutes later, lost the ball in his own area, leading to Leipzig’s second goal.
Commenting on this situation, Dardai said: “In training, I always stop this kind of duel because you can’t fall to the ground like that. And, after that, he’s crazy.”
How did Guendouzi play for Hertha?
Guendouzi has been a regular in Hertha’s starting XI this season, with 17 appearances in all competitions so far.
The 21-year-old provided two goals and one assist during that span, and won Special praise from club sporting director Arne Friedrich in December.
“He’s a fantastic player,” Friedrich said. “We’re very, very happy to have him here and he’s worth every penny.”
Despite the fact that Guendouzi’s fate at Hertha has gone relatively well so far, it has been reported that he was involved in a heated exchange with Matheus Cunha as the players retreated for the second half of a loss. 3-0 against Hoffenheim on January 19. .
The France Under-21 international has been subject to similar volatile explosions at Arsenal, most notably during a Premier League clash with Brighton last June.
Guendouzi appeared to grab Neal Maupay by the throat following the Gunners’ 2-1 loss and is said to have bragged to Brighton players about his career wins at Emirates Stadium.
Rumors of breakouts with Sokratis and Edu at a mid-season training camp had surfaced before that, with Arteta ultimately deciding that the midfielder could be on loan for the 2020-2021 campaign.
Guendouzi will be back in contention for a place in Dardai’s squad when Hertha faces Wolfsburg at the Volkswagen Arena on Saturday.