Arsenal’s Matteo Guendouzi has become one of football’s biggest wind-up merchants – and we love him for it.
The midfielder has made a promising start to his Arsenal career since signing for the club in 2018, but it’s his personality which has made him so popular at the Emirates.
Guendouzi is never one to shy away from controversy, and we’ve taken a look at six times he was happy to be a bit of a sh*thouse.
Guendouzi’s attempt to take a free-kick quickly during Arsenal’s FA Cup tie against Portsmouth was stopped by the referee, who told him to move the ball back.
The frustrated midfielder sarcastically lifted the ball above his head before placing it down in a dramatic fashion.
We loved the theatrics but Mike Dean was having none of it. Oh, the irony.
A yellow card for sarcasm? 🤔
Mike Dean appears to caution Matteo Guendouzi for placing the ball down in an exaggerated way. pic.twitter.com/Xf3NFHUmsS
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 2, 2020
With Arsenal drawing 2-2 against Crystal Palace, the visitors threatened to counter-attack through Wilfried Zaha in the dying minutes.
But Guendouzi literally took matters into his own hands and stopped the winger in his tracks by hauling him to the ground at the expense of a yellow card.
“I had to foul Zaha at the end, otherwise he is through on goal on his own,” Guendouzi said. “I’m the last defender but I’m far from our goal as well. I had to do it.”
Remarkable tackle from Guendouzi on Zaha in the closing seconds of the Rugby World Cup pic.twitter.com/lIPOh9tmwQ
— Miriti Murungi (@NutmegRadio) October 27, 2019
Guendouzi is one of those players that can be quite hard to like if you’re an opposition fan, and he received a hostile reception during Arsenal’s game against Watford.
After leaving the pitch to a chorus of boos, the 20-year-old cheekily responded by reminding the home fans of the scoreline.
However, that came back to haunt Guendouzi as Watford bagged an equaliser through Roberto Pereyra while he was on the bench.
Matteo Guendouzi reminding Watford fans of the afternoon’s score – turning into a fantastic character. pic.twitter.com/OB8W5fXDXz
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) September 15, 2019
Guendouzi has displayed his huge competitive streak at Arsenal, and he isn’t afraid to play dirty if it will give his team an advantage.
Even in training the midfielder rolls around on the floor to try and get players booked.
Guendouzi diving is the best thing you'll see today.😂😂 pic.twitter.com/Wc4d6M32jb
— – (@ArtetaTactic) July 31, 2018
Not content with winding up other players, Guendouzi has also been bickering with opposition coaches from the pitch.
During Arsenal’s game against Aston Villa this season, the Gunners star reportedly exchanged words with Villa coach and former Chelsea captain John Terry.
After Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a late winner, Guendouzi apparently gestured that he was inside John Terry’s head. It’s not hard to see why Arsenal fans love him.
I was sat directly behind the Aston Villa dugout. Guendouzi and John Terry exchanged words throughout. After the third goal, Guendouzi went straight to JT, gesturing "I'm in your head". So, so good.
— SG (@seangooner) September 22, 2019
Goading the fans of your arch-rivals is the best way for a new signing to endear himself to his new supporters and Guendouzi didn’t waste much time.
After Aaron Ramsey opened the scoring against Tottenham in March 2019, Guendouzi made an ear-cupping gesture in front of the surrounding Spurs fans.
He just gets it, doesn’t he?