Guardiola admits he is ‘not like’ Arteta as Man City boss calls excuse b*t


Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has outlined the main difference between himself and Mikel Arteta ahead of Arsenal’s visit to the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening. The Sky Blues boss also dismissed notions that a lack of physicality could be a viable excuse for defeat against the Gunners as his side’s gruelling end to the season continues.

Arteta spent three years as Guardiola’s assistant at City before leaving to take Arsenal’s top job in 2019. After a slow start, the Spaniard has built a devastating side in north London that has proven capable of going toe-to-toe with his former employers.

The Gunners are five points clear heading into Wednesday’s Premier League showdown, although City are in better form and have two games in hand. Leading up to the meeting with his former protege, Guardiola has described himself as a ‘trainer’ and Arteta as a ‘manager’.

“The development of the club since Mikel took over, it’s obvious,” the City boss told reporters on Tuesday. “When you talk about a manager… I’m a trainer, not a manager. I had a feeling that Mikel would change the structure of the club.

“[He has made] a lot of decisions, changed a lot of players. That’s why the success is there. Arsenal, in the last few years, were far away. They have been near the top all season so I’ve been really impressed.”

Guardiola went on to dismiss those that use poor physicality as an excuse for defeats at this late stage of the season, with City still in contention to clinch the Champions League and the FA Cup. Arsenal only have six matches remaining in 2022/23, while Wednesday’s hosts could have as many as 12.

“People say when we lose that it’s down to physicality but that’s just bt,” he added. “When we started the season, the first few games after winning back-to-back titles, they were not finals. But now at this stage of the season, every game is a final. If we win against Arsenal then the destiny will be in our hands.”

After looking as though a fifth Premier League title in six years was slipping out of reach earlier in the campaign, Guardiola’s side have strung together a 16-match unbeaten run across all competitions, which includes a 3-1 win over Arsenal at the Emirates.

City’s red-hot streak hammers home the extent of the task facing Arsenal on Wednesday. To make matters worse for Arteta, his side have drawn their last three matches in concerning fashion.

In successive games against West Ham and Liverpool, the Gunners went 2-0 up before blowing their lead. Meanwhile, last time out they left it late to salvage a 3-3 draw against bottom-of-the-table Southampton.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here