Matteo Guendouzi appears to attract trouble, with reports in France claiming the former Arsenal man has already been involved in a bust-up with his new manager at Marseille.
Ex-Juventus assistant Igor Tudor was only appointed as head coach of Marseille in July, but is apparently already at odds with his squad.
The Croatian is renowned as a stickler for discipline. An authoritarian coach who demands absolute obedience from his players – so there is every reason to question his suitability to the Marseille job.
Marseille hugely impressed last season to finish Ligue 1 as runners-up behind Paris Saint-Germain, but the team has a reputation of their own as a group of mavericks… which is captained by ex-West Ham hero-turned-villain Dimitri Payet.
Former boss Jorge Sampaoli – who sensationally quit at the end of the season – was perhaps the perfect boss for such a group of rogues. A father figure to his players, he embraced their character and they paid him back by giving their all on the pitch.
It’s clear to see why the Marseille hierarchy chose Tudor as Sampaoli’s replacement, surely hoping he would drill into the squad a new sense of discipline.
But such a change of culture can often go only two ways, and it appears his relationship with the players has quickly taken the wrong turn – and it’ll be no surprise to Arsenal fans that Guendouzi is involved.
Reports in the French media have claimed Gerson and Jordan Amavi confronted the Croatian coach in pre-season, and now Guendouzi – who fell out with Mikel Arteta at the Emirates Stadium – seems to have entered the fray.
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L’Equipe claim the France international had a ‘lively altercation’ with the boss at half-time of last week’s friendly defeat to AC Milan.
Clarification over what the bust-up was about hasn’t been given, but it’s said it ended with Guendouzi hitting the showers, packing up his things and apparently leaving the stadium, as he didn’t appear again for the second-half.
It’s said club president Pablo Longoria has since stepped in to remind the players that poor attitudes towards the new manager, and ‘nostalgia’ for Sampaoli will not be accepted.
It’s even claimed the Marseille chief reminded the players that Tudor was his personal choice for the job, and that any player unhappy with the appointment or displeased with the new manager’s regime should ‘come to his office and ask for a transfer’.
It appears the crux of the pre-season unrest at the club could be over Tudor’s gruelling training methods, which included double sessions which went on into the evening.
The Croatian clearly isn’t bothered about making any friends, having already sent Amavi to train separately from the first-team with another banished player Kevin Strootman, after his clash with Tudor earlier in pre-season.
L’Equipe also claim the boss was planning to start Guendouzi on the bench for OM’s opening game of the campaign against Reims on Sunday night – no doubt laying down the law as an example to the rest of the team.
However, with midfielder Pape Gueye suspended it appears the ex-Gunners may get to start after all.
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