Arteta backs Arsenal against ‘best coach in the world’ Guardiola

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Pocket
WhatsApp

Mikel Arteta has hailed Pep Guardiola as “the best coach in the world by a mile” but believes Arsenal are capable of delivering a statement win at Manchester City to shake up the Premier League title race.

Arsenal have not won in eight visits to Etihad Stadium dating back to January 2015 — losing seven times — and were soundly beaten 4-1 last April as City overhauled them to retain the league.

Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

Arteta’s longstanding friendship with Guardiola includes three years working in his coaching staff at City before taking the helm at Arsenal in December 2019.

“My admiration and what I feel for him certainly hasn’t changed,”Arteta said. “In my opinion he’s the best coach in the world by a mile and he’s one of the nicest people that I’ve met in football.

“Certainly he’s one of the ones that I’ve had the most fun and laughter working with. That’s going to stay there forever.

“[At Arsenal], I was just watching everybody walking in the building and I loved the energy, I loved their smiles and they were glad to be back.

“They wanted to train yesterday and the way they communicate and relate with each other every day is phenomenal.

“We have done a lot to be in the position that we are, but we need to go day by day, train well, prepare every match. We’ve done a lot to be where we are now we have to embrace that position and go for it.

“You have to make strong steps to be there and I think we’ve done big ones in recent seasons. We’re getting much closer and now it’s how we close that gap and try to be better than them.”

Arsenal held an eight-point advantage over City at the beginning of April last season only to win just two of their final nine games, including damaging draws against Liverpool, West Ham and Southampton as Guardiola’s side claimed their fifth title in six seasons.

Reflecting on how to avoid a similar fate this time around with his team leading Liverpool at the top of the table via goal difference, Arteta said: “There are moments. When you’re at Anfield and you’re 2-0 up and you end up drawing

“The same position at West Ham, and even when you can still win it you miss the penalty. Then there’s the game with Southampton where clearly we should have won the game but there were many factors that didn’t allow us.

“We got the injuries, there was the Sporting game [exiting the Europa League at the round-of-16 stage] and there were lots of factors. Then the momentum shifted to a negative one and we struggled to keep up because they kept winning. They won 14 or 15 in a row!

“[Sunday] is a massive game for both teams. It will give us a huge boost again if we go there and win it. Still there is a long, long, long way after to make the ground to win it.”

Arteta confirmed Bukayo Saka (hamstring), Gabriel Martinelli (foot) and Gabriel Magalhaes (Achilles) could all feature at City if they come through Saturday’s training session without any issues.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Pocket
WhatsApp

Never miss any important news. Subscribe to our newsletter.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top