‘He needs someone to grab hold of him’: Arsenal legend Lee Dixon insists Matteo Guendouzi needs a Patrick Vieira-type team-mate to address his ‘petulance’ as he slams club’s lack of leaders
- Lee Dixon says Matteo Guendouzi needs a Patrick Vieira to guide him at Arsenal
- The former defender believes that the Gunners dressing room lacks leadership
- Mikel Arteta dropped the youngster after his clash with Brighton’s Neal Maupay
- Dixon said the ‘petulant’ midfielder needs to be guided on and off the pitch
Matteo Guendouzi needs a Patrick Vieira-type leader to guide him both on and off the pitch, says Arsenal legend Lee Dixon.
The midfielder was left out of Mikel Arteta’s squad to face Southampton for ‘squad management’ reasons after he was involved in an altercation with Brighton’s Neal Maupay.
The Frenchman escaped an FA charge after he grabbed his opponent by the throat but also made tasteless insults towards several Brighton players about how much they earn.
Matteo Guendouzi needs a Patrick Vieira-type leader at Arsenal, says ex-player Lee Dixon
The former Gunners defender highlighted the lack of leadership in the club’s dressing room
Former Arsenal defender Dixon said he agreed with the decision to leave the 21-year-old out of the squad and that he needed to be spoken to about his actions.
‘I completely agree with leaving him out. It wouldn’t have happened in my day – well, it might have happened once but it wouldn’t have happened again,’ he told PA Sport.
‘Somebody needs to have a word with him and I’m sure Arteta has done – he wouldn’t have just left him out at Southampton and not said anything.’
Mikel Arteta said he left the midfielder out of his squad for ‘squad management reasons’
The Frenchman clashed with Brighton’s Neal Maupay in his side’s 2-1 defeat at the Amex Arena
Dixon went on to highlight the lack of leadership in the Arsenal dressing room and how the youngster would benefit from a character like Vieira to guide him.
‘It is not the first time we have seen a bit of petulance from him.
‘He is a talented boy but, unfortunately for him, he has got his chance in a team that has not really got a lot of leaders on the pitch.
‘If you picked Guendouzi out of the team now and stuck him next to Patrick Vieira, he would be a totally different player because he would be led around the pitch and told where to go.
‘He almost needs to be coached both tactically and behavioural-wise from within the team group and I don’t know if that is going to happen.
Dixon said a Vieira-type would be able to grab hold of the youngster and analyse his game
‘That is the problem he has got, he needs someone to grab hold of him and give him a little socially-distanced hug – sit down with him and talk to him, analyse his game with him.’
Arteta challenged Guendouzi to get behind his rebuild project amid rumours he was set to leave the club this summer.
‘Whatever internal issues we have, we will deal with them privately and I am never going to make any of that public,’ said the manager.
‘All the players that are here, I am counting on them. If they want to jump on the boat, they are more than welcome and that is always my mindset. I am here to help all of them to improve individually and collectively and that is my job.’