Matteo Guendouzi and Willian share a different view about Arsenal’s progress under Mikel Arteta.
Despite winning the FA Cup less than a year after being appointed, the Spaniard has overseen back-to-back eighth-placed finishes in the Premier League during his brief tenure at the Emirates Stadium.
As a result, for the first time in over two decades, Arsenal won’t be in Europe during the 2021/22 season.
However, Willian – speaking in an interview a couple of months before last season finished – insists the club are on the right track under Arteta as he went as far as to say the club is in good hands with the Spanish tactician.
“I think it has the potential to be a great project, it’s a great club, it’s in the hands of a good manager, he has everything to become one of the best managers in the world,” Willian said to FirstSportz in March. “Arsenal has everything to become a powerhouse again, to fight for titles, to play in the Champions League again, that’s what we players want.
“He [Arteta] always tries to talk to the players individually, even on the pitch, when he finishes training he calls the player, explains what he wants from the player, where the player should be, receive the ball.
“In other words, he is always trying to help the players to be better.
“There is no complaint about this, he is doing a great job, he is always looking for the players in the best possible way, giving them ideas, guiding them, showing them what he wants.
“Arsenal is in good hands.”
But while Willian has an optimistic view of where the Gunners are under Arteta, it’s clear that Matteo Guendouzi disagrees.
Ahead of sealing his move to Marseille, the Frenchman penned an emotional goodbye to Arsenal fans where he expressed concern about where the club currently stand.
“As a kid, I always dreamed of playing for Arsenal and I was incredibly lucky to get there early in my career,” Guendouzi told Sport Bild. “In my eyes, this club is a myth and I always have the great times of the era Arsene Wenger in my head, I’m still a fan of all the extraordinary players, especially the French.
“To see that the club failed to qualify for a European competition for the first time in 25 years hurts deeply.
“That takes a lot of emotions to me. Arsenal are a big club in Europe that deserve to be in the Champions League every year. That’s normal for me, an institution like this deserves only the best.
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“Arsenal must return to where it belongs.
“I don’t know the reasons for the failure because I wasn’t there last season. But I’m concerned about the club’s situation because Arsenal deserve great things.
“I am a Gunner from the bottom of my heart and will remain so, no matter what.”