Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta share glowing praise ahead of Man City vs Arsenal FA Cup clash
As Manchester City and Arsenal gear up for a highly-anticipated FA Cup fourth round match on Friday night, Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta have shared their mutual admiration for one another.
The two worked together from 2016 to 2019, when Arteta was part of Guardiola‘s coaching staff at City following his retirement as a player. During that time, they won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, and two Carabao Cups together. Arteta eventually left City to become the manager of Arsenal, the club where he spent the final years of his playing career.
Now, with Arteta’s Arsenal leading the Premier League, the two managers will face off in the FA Cup this week. In his pre-match press conference, Arteta praised Guardiola for his impact on his career and coaching style, noting the mixed emotions of challenging his mentor and the man who has dominated English football since 2016. “It’s a strange feeling,” Arteta said. “I want the best for him, genuinely, and when you are challenging with someone like this, something comes in between that.”
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Guardiola also reflected on his decision to invite Arteta to join him at City, saying, “I knew him a little bit but not much. We made conversations and he said ‘I would like to work together and I can help you because I know the Premier League perfectly, I know all the managers.'” He added, “I don’t know what my part on him was but his influence on me was great, was massive, was so important to become a better, better manager.”
Despite the competition between their respective teams, Guardiola expressed no hard feelings about Arteta’s decision to take the manager’s role at Arsenal. “I have said many times because I had many, many assistant coaches since I arrived, that I don’t want anyone who doesn’t want to be with me,” Guardiola said. “I know he went to the team he dreams of, he’s a supporter of Arsenal for the fact he played there, he was the captain there and he loves the club.”
As the two managers prepare to face off in the FA Cup, it’s clear that their bond and respect for one another will remain strong, regardless of the outcome of Friday night’s match