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Jose Mourinho criticises Arsenal star for ‘sideways’ passes

Unai EmeryUnai Emery

Unai Emery (Photo: Screengrab)

Jose Mourinho was critical of Matteo Guendouzi’s “sideways” passes in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur in Sunday’s north London derby.

Unai Emery entrusted the French youngster with a starting spot in the Arsenal team for the visit of their bitter rivals at The Emirates.

Arsenal found themselves 2-0 down inside the opening 40 minutes following goals from Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane.

However, Alexandre Lacazette scored in added time at the end of the first half before Guendouzi teed up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the equaliser in the 70th minute.

The 20-year-old was praised for his teasing cross that left the Tottenham defence in disarray to present Aubameyang with the opportunity to level the derby.

Guendouzi completed 83 per cent of his 53 attempted passes during the north London derby.

However, former Chelsea FC and Manchester United manager Mourinho felt that Guendouzi was guilty of playing it safe in the middle of the park for the hosts.

“Sometimes when I watch matches I am a bit critical – in a good sense, on the coaching side of it – because sometimes I think Guendouzi plays too easy and too many square passes when he can look forward,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.

“His first control normally is immediately for a sideways pass. He played a good game today and this is a great example of what he can do, because he’s a kid with talent.

“But he needs that kind movement and Aubameyang made a fantastic run for him.”

Guendouzi picked up nine yellow cards in 33 appearances in the Premier League last term following his move to Arsenal from Lorient in the 2018 summer transfer window.

Arsenal will make the trip to Watford in their next Premier League fixture on Sunday 15 September.

The Gunners haven’t won the Premier League title since 2003-04.

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