Guendouzi defends behaviour in incident which saw him banished from Arsenal

Matteo Guendouzi has defended his taunting of Neal Maupay which led to him being frozen out at Arsenal.

Guendouzi is currently on loan at Hertha Berlin after Gunners boss Mikel Arteta axed him following his actions in a Premier League defeat to Brighton last summer.

The midfielder grabbed Maupay around the throat during the 2-1 reverse in June, and was said to have made jibes at Brighton players over their wages.

Guendouzi has now spoken out about the incident, saying it was “not malicious” but was merely down to his obsession with winning.

And he cited an outburst against Gunners skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as another example of his fiery nature.

Matteo Guendouzi clashed with Brighton’s Neal Maupay during Arsenal’s defeat in June

Guendouzi told  France Football: “It was a gesture that I should have maybe not done.

“It might have shocked a few people, yes, but you know, in the Champions League or in a local match, during the games, there is always a lot of frustration.

“We always want to win. And, during bad results, or injustices or things said on the pitch that you sometimes don’t like, you can, sometimes, have bad reactions.

“There are things like that, five or six times per match. It is not malicious. There was not a problem with the FA, I was never suspended. It is always in the obsession around winning, to help your team.

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“I give you an example: during a match against Chelsea, Aubameyang missed a chance after a magnificent pass that I did. I got annoyed. I slapped my hands on the turf.

“He saw the video, he laughed. I am 100%, in football, in life, I often say things, I show myself a lot. That is part of who I am.”

Guendouzi is on loan at Hertha for the remainder of the season, but it remains to be seen whether he will join the Bundesliga club on a permanent basis.

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