Former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva can’t quite work out current Gunners star Matteo Guendouzi, confused about his best position and why the Frenchman shows nerves on the pitch.
Guendouzi has been through a tumultuous few days in his Arsenal career, reportedly taunting Brighton players about their salaries during the 2-1 defeat to the Seagulls, and grabbing Neal Maupay by the throat at the Amex.
The 21-year-old has since been left out of the side by Gunners boss Mikel Arteta, not even on the substitutes’ bench for the Premier League clash with Southampton or Sunday’s FA Cup meeting with Sheffield United, after requesting a transfer.
Gilberto is a fan of the combative midfielder and wants him to stay at the club, but feels he needs to find his best position and be braver on the ball.
‘I like him. He seems a very interesting player. He has ability, he has pace to go forward,’ Gilberto said at the Collision From Home conference.
‘But sometimes I just feel a little bit confused about which position he plays. Does he want to be like a No.6, to protect the back four, or a No.8 to go box to box.
‘If he wants to be a No.6 he has to play simple and he has to mind his temper. Sometimes I see him a little bit nervous, sometimes that’s unnecessary.
‘He needs to just play his game – he has quality. Don’t pay attention to other things. When I see him play he suddenly starts to get nervous in some situations and he loses his focus.’
Gilberto, who was a key part of the Arsenal team that went unbeaten in the 2003-04 Premier League season, feels the current Arsenal team is lacking leadership throughout, leaving them hard to watch.
‘In our time, we had many leaders in the team, on the pitch and off the pitch,’ said the Brazilian. ‘Everyone spoke through their body language out on the field and, honestly, in the last few years this is something I have really missed seeing at Arsenal.
‘It’s hard to say it’s about leadership because from what I understand they do have some guys who are leaders. But it is hard to see exactly how this leadership works out.
‘It’s very hard to see the situation Arsenal are in and you can say that about the last few years. But I hope they can find a way to get back to the glory days.
‘It’s going to be very hard work for everyone at the club – the board, the staff and the players – and they all must work together if they are to change the situation.’
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