- Arteta was previously assistant to Guardiola
- Worked under him at Man City
- Going through a purple patch with Arsenal
WHAT HAPPENED? The Arsenal manager honed his skills under Guardiola as his assistant at Manchester City after hanging up his boots. In 2019, he moved to Arsenal to become head coach and has witnessed a meteoric rise in his stock in 2022-23 with the Gunners firmly placed on top of the Premier League table with 50 points at the halfway stage. Before the master and apprentice renew their rivalry on Friday in an FA Cup encounter at the Etihad, Guardiola has dismissed any credit for Arteta's success at Arsenal.
WHAT THEY SAID: “What I see in Arsenal belongs to Mikel and his people,” said Guardiola. “I would like to say ‘Yeah, what they do is because I teach him’. Bullsh*t. I am 52 years old. I’ve been in Arsenal for one day, when they allowed us to train to win the Champions League against [Manchester] United [in 2011]. That’s the only time I’ve been in the Arsenal training centre. Sorry United," he told reporters before the match,
“They play with wingers higher than the midfielders like us - yeah. But all the methodology, the process, with the character, the mentality, the set pieces, a thousand million things - that belongs to them," he added.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Many considered Arteta as the successor of Guardiola at Man City before he set off on his own to north London. The former Barcelona manager has now insisted that he has no doubts that Arteta would have done a great job if he was in charge at the Etihad. "I am pretty sure if I would have left before, he would be here and he would be the best. But I extended the contract, I am sorry, and he didn’t wait, so it could not happen," he said.
IN TWO PHOTOS:Getty ImagesGetty
WHAT NEXT? Both Arsenal and Man City will give their all on Friday to not only progress in the FA Cup but also gain a psychological advantage before they lock horns again on February 15 in an epic Premier League clash.