Pep Guardiola heaps praise on Mikel Arteta after Gunners' superb start

‘Maybe I learned more off him than he did off me’: Pep Guardiola insists there is NO Man City influence on Arsenal’s surge to the top of the table and heaps praise on Mikel Arteta… as the Spaniard insists the Gunners have just been ‘better’ this season

  • Manchester City are second in the Premier League, two points behind Arsenal 
  • Gunners boss Mikel Arteta was Guardiola’s assistant at the Etihad for three years
  • City’s manager was full of praise for the work his former No 2 had achieved
  • He also admitted that Arsenal had performed better than his side this season 

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has lauded Mikel Arteta and Arsenal after their superb start to the season.

The Gunners have enjoyed a brilliant campaign so far and currently sit top of the table, two points clear of City with 34 points from just 13 games.

Arteta previously worked with Guardiola as assistant coach at the Etihad for three years from 2016-2019 until he moved to the Emirates.

Man City boss Pep Guardiola has lauded Mikel Arteta after Arsenal’s superb start to the season

The Gunners boss has overseen gradual progress in north London, guiding them to successive eighth placed finishes, before ending in fifth place last year.

Arsenal’s squad also includes former City stars Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko who joined in the summer for a combined £77m.

They have helped take the club to the next level so far this season, and coupled with Arteta, there have been claims that there is a strong City influence at the club, with tactics preferred by the Spaniard often similar to those of Guardiola.

However, the City boss hit back at these claims and insisted that Arteta deserved all the credit himself. 

The pair worked together at the Etihad for three years when Arteta was Guardiola’s assistant

He said: ‘I’d like to say a lot (of City influence at the Emirates) but I’d lie to you. Mikel and I worked together for 3 years. 

‘He was taught since he was born. Maybe I learned more off him than he did off me when we worked together. 

‘Arsenal have the work ethic, the talent, the support. In the bad moment in the beginning, Mikel had the support in the decisions unconditionally. 

‘People see how he works every day, the commitment. He’s patient, all the managers want time to build something. Arsenal gave it to him, and the rest is the position they have. 

‘We have made an incredible season, they have been better. We want to be there as close as possible to them, the season is so long. Many things will happen, many tough games. 

‘For sure they are contenders (for the title) compared to previous seasons.  They are not the only ones who last season were not a contender to win the Premier League that this season will be.’

The Gunners signed both Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus from City in the summer

Arsenal have surged to the top of the table but Guardiola insisted there was no City influence 

Guardiola also commented on the news that his side have been drawn with Liverpool in the Carabao Cup fourth round. 

These games are set to played on the week of December 19, meaning they will take place just days after the World Cup final on December 18.

And Guardiola insisted that he didn’t know who and how many players he would have available for the blockbuster clash.

He said: ‘It depends how and when they finish the World Cup. He’s going to play at left back, I’m going to play holding midfielder.

‘I don’t know how many players we have. Riyadh (Mahrez) unfortunately doesn’t go, Erling (Haaland), Sergio (Gomez), Rico (Lewis) don’t either. The rest go to the World Cup. 

‘If they go through the group stage, last 16, quarter finals then they will have days off. Players who don’t go to the tournament, they will be able to play against Liverpool. 

‘After the World Cup we’re here to train and we’ll see how many players we have for the Liverpool game. When we take breakfast together, we see who we have.

‘Players will come back day-by-day. I don’t know what condition or how many players. But most teams have lots of players in the national teams.’

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