Matteo Guendouzi is “not good enough to go around giving people stick”, says Perry Groves, with the Arsenal midfielder urged to learn some “humility” on the back of his spat with Brighton striker Neal Maupay.
The Gunners saw their French youngster spark an angry on-field exchange following the full-time whistle in their 2-1 defeat at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.
Maupay had netted a dramatic winner for the Seagulls in that contest, but had previously played a part in the unfortunate injury suffered by Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno – as he nudged the Germany international while he was in the air and forced him to land awkwardly.
Guendouzi did not take too kindly to that and was in the ear of his fellow countryman for much of another disappointing outing for Arsenal.
Groves believes the 21-year-old needs to focus more on his football than running battles with opponents, with there still much for him to learn on and off the pitch.
The former Arsenal star told talkSPORT of a player whose attitude has been questioned on a regular basis of late: “Guendouzi is playing in centre midfield, he hasn’t got the awareness to play that role – getting on the ball, getting on the half turn, bringing people into games.
“He’s about energy, he’s a dog chasing a tyre. His enthusiasm, that’s what he’s about.
“But I’ve heard a few things that haven’t been great about Guendouzi’s attitude, about having a bit of humility.
“You want your players to be confident and a little bit arrogant on the pitch, but he’s not good enough to go around giving people stick and giving people verbals. The team isn’t good enough.
“If Maupay has been getting it in his ear all game from Guendouzi and then scores the winner, he’s absolutely within his rights to go ‘really, what have you got to say now?’
“For Guendouzi to then grab him around the throat, someone needs – whether it’s Arteta or a member of the coaching staff or senior players – to tell Guendouzi to wind his neck in and concentrate on playing.”
Ex-Arsenal forward Jeremie Aliadiere told Goal in May: “He’s like my little brother and I always told him that Arsenal would be a very good team for his development as a player and as a human being.
“He took my advice and came to the club, but I just feel Matteo hasn’t grown up as a human being yet. He’s grown up as a player, he’s matured massively as a player and every year he gets better.
"But unfortunately as a man, he hasn’t grown and matured as much as I thought he would by joining Arsenal.
“I think that’s what he’s missing and that’s why he’s not playing as much under Mikel [Arteta] because Mikel is not really up for that.”