Saturday, July 13, 2024

Guardiola and Arteta say nice things about each other

It’s not unusual for Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola to exchange pleasantries via the media in the build-up to clashes between their respective sides.

Ever since Arteta left City to take up the head coach role at the Emirates in December 2019, praise has bounced back and forth like Newton’s Cradle.

Now that the Gunners are actually threatening to knock Pep’s perennial title challengers off their perch, it feels like the pair have gone into overdrive.

Ahead of tonight’s FA Cup fourth round tie, the first showdown between the pair in over a year, Arteta labelled City “the best team in the world” and claimed that Guardiola’s name will go down in football history alongside the great innovators of the game, including hero Johan Cruyff.

“I think the influence that Pep had in football in the last 20 years is just incredibly powerful,” he said.

“He changed the game like Johan did in the past, he did it like other managers have that will go [down] in history.

“So we have learned a lot from him, we have been inspired by a lot of things he’s done and then everyone has to build his own career and his own pathway.”

Reflecting on their relationship, which dates back to Arteta’s time at Barcelona’s La Masia Academy in the nineties, he continued: “I was looking at him and just wanted to achieve what he was doing.

“I loved the way he played and the way he was transmitting on the pitch and understanding what was happening. He was an inspiration since I was 18 years old.

“It’s his way of thinking, his way of transmitting, the way he understood the game, the passion he had about the game and football.

“It’s a lot of things and then, when you have a personal relationship with somebody – you have that chemistry – that takes that to a different level and that’s what happened in my case, especially when we worked together.”

For his part, it’s pretty obvious that Guardiola is chuffed that things are coming together for Arteta in London.

Emphasising that Arsenal have always been in his compatriot’s heart by highlighting that Arteta never celebrated City goals against the Gunners during their three years working together, he praised his friend for striking out on his own and creating a team in his own image.

“What I see in Arsenal belongs to Mikel and his people,” said Guardiola.

“If you say having full-backs inside with Oleks [Zinchenko], that we started to do it together here, then yes.

“They play with wingers higher than the midfield players like us, yeah. But all the methodology, the process, the character, mentality, set pieces, a thousand million things, that belongs to them and not to me.”

“I know him and how he works, how he is able to seduce the board, the hierarchy, the players,” he said.

“It is the biggest compliment for Arsenal as well, for the hierarchy, the sporting director, the club, backing him in the bad moments and trusting him and keeping him and relying on him.”

The mutual back-slapping will pause for 90 minutes at 8pm this evening.

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Well, you gotta shake hands before the fistfight.

I hope we start our strongest team because I know Pep will.

Boy Bastin

It’s an odd match in that City at home are probably the toughest draw but it’s Arsenal who have a good cup record. Not a game for too many squad players (from Arsenal anyway). It will be interesting to see if Pep uses “the monster” Haaland. If so, it will give us a taste of what to expect in the PL games.


I’d prefer giving a rest to the regular guys and giving others an opportunity, but it will be perfectly understandable if Arteta starts all or most of the regulars. There’s no other match happening soon and if we can eliminate City, it’d be a huge boost to go on in the competition and for the Premier League matches coming up.

Boy Bastin

Overall, I think City have the greater experience and strength in depth across their squad so I’d be surprised if Arteta rested too many of ours. While there’s no direct link through to the two PL games to come, if we could get the win it would be a boost as you say.


Literally my first thought was ‘hmm wich one of his strongest teams?!’🤔


Weird that pep repeated himself like that


Well he is so so soo good you know. So good


Weird that pep repeated himself like that


You can say that again



Weird that pep repeated himself like that


Mourinho, Pardew, and Ferguson will be sneering at these soft roses being sprayed on a good Arsenal coach challenging for the title.
Whatever happened to the right hooks and uppercuts with the odd insults thrown in for good measure.


I am not sure if this game is better for city… They have a chance to see how we might set up against them in the league. Maybe Arteta will have some mind games going on but not sure. Maybe he will just do it our way. Interested to see


I had this exact thought too! We’d be showing our hand and if we win, then it would give them a chance to rectify any unforeseen problems before the league meetings…and if we lose…will it halt momentum and belief etc. You just know the media are itching to say the wheels have come off…You can definitely overthink these things. Glad it’s not me having to make the decision!


I don’t want to disrespect Guardiola but I think one area where he struggles is adjustment. I feel like every time he tried a “trick” designed for a particular opponent in the Champion’s league, it failed and it was a bit of an overthinking.

Guns Up

Agreed. If anything, they’re the ones who should be worried about how Arteta might learn from this one and adapt for the league matches. I’m now wholly convinced that City’s latest period of success and dominance was down to Arteta and not Pep (or billions of dollars spent on players) ;).

Santi’s Thigh Grab

Trust me, Pep knows how we play, he doesn’t need to see it in person. He’s been studying film on us for awhile now.


We don’t have enough bodies esp Midfielders to last for all 3 competition. If anyone of Partey or Xhaka is injured we will be in deep shit. Fa Cup is the least important so I hope we will lose narrowly and Man City go all the way (so more games to tire them out haha) and focus more on EPL instead. League title is what most Gunners want this season .


I can’t watch tonight’s game live as I’m at an evening with the invincibles (Romford Pele, Gilberto and Lauren). Somehow I don’t think I’ll be able to avoid the result!
Love the mutual respect between these guys. Let’s hope we leave that respect to one side when the game starts and take it to Man City later! COYG

Teryima Adi

It’s war at the Etihad. 2-0 to the Arsenal. COYG!!!


bro-manC v arsenal will be great game!


If we can keep cabbage patch doll face quiet we have got a good chance of winning this.
C O Y G.

Brady’s bunch

I will fooking keel you if you beet me

Boy Bastin

The best of friends now, in the nicest way, the best of enemies. Arteta has certainly learned a lot from Pep and why not? He (Pep) is a rare example of a fine and very successful player who became a great manager – winning everything at club level.

Although Arteta wasn’t anywhere near as successful a player, let’s hope he can get a little closer anyway to Pep’s superb record as a manager over the coming years.


I feel like players who fell a bit short tend to make for the best managers. Even Pep who was an insanely good player probably underachieved a bit for his talent, the second half of his career wasn’t that good and I seem to remember injuries stunted him quite a bit. That forces you to start thinking the game instead of just dribbling or passing intuitively, and I think you can safely say he’s been an even better manager than he was a player. So hopefully that means Arteta’s frustrating playing days will push him to be even better than… Read more »

Boy Bastin

Yes, that’s right. The fact that there are so few who combined a fine playing career with being an equally fine manager are few and far between. Ancelotti is another one, but there aren’t a lot more.


Zidane, Cruyff… that’s pretty much it


Love the bromance. I remember even back when Pep was kicking our arses in those CL ties with Barca (with what I still think was the best team I’ve ever seen play football) even then he always said nice things about Wenger and Arsenal and what he’s done for English football. So it’s only fitting that another generation later that energy and progression of footballing lineage came back to us in the form of Mikel Arteta, who’s pretty much what you’d think of if someone asked you to imagine if Wenger and Pep ever had a lovechild together, in terms… Read more »


“only 3 center backs so far”

I guess Rob and Ben are no longer center backs…

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