Matteo Guendouzi has gushed about the atmosphere generated at Marseille, insisting the mood is “totally different” to the one at Arsenal.
Guendouzi, 22, is currently on loan at the Stade Velodrome for the season, his second temporary stint away from the Emirates after spending the 2020/21 campaign at Hertha Berlin, for whom he made 24 appearances in the Bundesliga, netting twice.
However, it has been back in his homeland where the general mood on the terraces has struck a chord with Guendouzi, who has labelled Marseille’s atmosphere “the best” in football, before aiming a thinly-veiled swipe at his parent club Arsenal.
The Frenchman, who was frozen out by Mikel Arteta after an incident at Brighton which involved a post-match altercation with Neal Maupay, has described his new set of supporters as “incomparable” to anything he has experienced.
“The Marseille fans are incomparable. At Arsenal, there’s a big stadium, but it’s totally different,” he said.
“The best atmosphere is here. It’s incredible to play in front of a crowd like this… it really lifts the players.”
Guendouzi was involved in a heavily-controversial incident during the Ligue 1 meeting between Nice and Marseille at the weekend, in which fans stormed the pitch in retaliation to Dimitri Payet throwing a bottle back into the crowd after it was initially aimed at him.
A scuffle broke out and the match at the Allianz Riviera was ultimately suspended after referee Benoit Bastien ordered players and staff off the pitch. Images emerged after the contest of red marks on Guendouzi’s neck consistent with being held at the throat.
However, Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere accused the Arsenal loanee of fabricating the injury. “Apart from the photo that is everywhere, there has been no violence against OM players,” he told L’Equipe. “By the way, Guendouzi, with pictures to prove it, has no marks on his neck when he is on the pitch.”
Marseille’s director of communications, Jacques Cardoze, responded by saying Guendouzi’s injuries were examined by an independent doctor. “There are cuts, we had an independent doctor in Marseille. There will be medical certificates,” he said. “These are elements that will allow the investigation of the League and the disciplinary committee to be carried out.”