Pep Guardiola reveals what Arsenal duo Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli taught him this season

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has admitted that Arsenal wingers Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli have helped him evolve as a coach this season

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has admitted that the likes of Arsenal wingers Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli have taught him a lot during the 2022/23 campaign.

City were locked in an intense battle with the Gunners to win the Premier League title before Mikel Arteta’s side significantly dropped in form over the last eight weeks, with Guardiola and Co capitalising to be crowned champions over the weekend. But the former Barcelona head coach made it no secret of his admiration for the north Londoners, claiming that their wingers, amongst others, helped him change his philosophy when it comes to fullbacks.

“He [Ake] has been fundamental,” Guardiola told Sky Sports when asked about the Dutch international’s impact this term. “I learned this season when you play against [Bukayo] Saka, Vinicius [Junior], [Gabriel] Martinelli and [Mohamed] Salah or [Sadio] Mane in the past, you need a proper defender to win duels one v one.

“Or, in the Champions League, at that level, they need one action to beat you and Nathan gave us that boost that I didn’t have in the past. The biggest boost was having a proper defender and in the past we didn’t have it and Nathan, [Manuel] Akanji and [Kyle] Walker did it.”

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