Mikel Arteta spent three years with Pep as a coach at Manchester City and during this period his coaching methods caught the eye of Arsenal with him ultimately signing as Arsenal manager on the 20th December 2019. From the three years spent with Pep Guardiola, they formed a personal bond together that hasn’t been broken since. Now Arsenal sit top of the Premier League table, Guardiola has nothing but praise for his former Man City companion.
In a recent pre-match press conference broadcasted by HaytersTV, Pep Guardiola expressed the possibilities of Arsenal’s current displays: “They have an average – they are going to do 100 or more than 100 points, Arsenal, if they continue in that way, we will not catch them. You have to be almost perfect.”
Pep Guardiola thinks Arsenal will get over 100 points in the Premier League this season 😳 pic.twitter.com/fGRAm9zETE
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) January 4, 2023
Huge praise from one of the top football managers in the world, despite people arguing it’s all mind games and is a part of Guardiola’s tactics.
Speaking with Manchester Evening News he also stated: “The advantage of Arsenal is he [Arteta] has not to won the Premier League from 20 points in front in November. The way they played against Newcastle again impressed me a lot. They dropped two points but they didn’t drop the quality [with which] they played.”
The praise hasn’t only been recent from Pep Guardiola though, speaking back two seasons ago after winning 1-0 at the emirates he mentioned: “He knows everything [Arteta], he’s so good… I’m not saying it because he’s my friend because today I beat him. I know how he plans, I know how he works, his so clever… I learn a lot watching his team and today I learned something that I can use in the future. It’s not because we worked together, he knows everything about football.”
Pep Guardiola has now cut Arsenal’s lead from seven to five points after a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea thanks to a tap-in from Riyad Mahrez. During a post-match interview with Sky Sports on Football Daily, the Spaniard jokingly said: “We would prefer to be eight points in front. We have won four Premier Leagues in the last five years. It’s not normal to be eight points clear.”
Arsenal look to battle with the Citizens until the very end and with two Premier League fixtures still to play against each other, there’s a guarantee to still have a lot of surprises a long the way. Pep Guardiola’s pleasant words may be the well-needed ego boost to strive Mikel Arteta towards his second lot of silverware.