Pep Guardiola said he did not inspire Mikel Arteta and praised the former Manchester City No. 2 for the job he was doing as Arsenal manager, feeling that Arsenal will compete for the Premier League title under his leadership in the “early future” .
Arsenal have not won the league since 2004, while City have won three of the last seven, and appear poised to win the 2021 title after opening a 10-point lead over the top of the Premier League with a win. 3-1 over Everton. Wednesday.
It was the 17th consecutive win in all competitions, while the 10th-ranked Arsenal, who won the FA Cup last season with Arteta, have only managed one win in their last five games after their 1-1 draw with Benfica. in the European League.
Talk before City’s trip to the UAE on Sunday – live Sky Sports Premier League Guardiola praised his former assistant and felt that Arsenal could once again start challenging titles in the “early future” with Arteta.
“I did not inspire it [Mikel Arteta]. “What he knows, he knows about himself. I have no influence. What he does, all the credit to him and his staff is in the back room, “Guardiola said Friday.
“All I can say is that the last few months have shown me that all coaches need time and he is no exception. What I see in the last two months is that every Arsenal game has played better than the rival.
“Tomorrow we will have an amazing performance. They have an exceptional construction, they have quality and energy. They have it”. [Bukayo] Dice , [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang and all the players have midfield quality.
“In the early future, they will be real contenders to fight for the titles. Most of the time [when Arteta and I worked together] We made decisions together and the decisions were made under Mikel’s direction.
“I don’t know if I influenced him, I should answer this.”
The two teams met in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals earlier this season, with City winning 4-1 in December and also defeating Arsenal in the Premier League 1-0 in October. Arsenal beat City 2-0 in the FA Cup semi-final last season.
Arsenal finished eighth in the first division in 2019/20 after Arteta replaced Unai Emery in December 2019. He led them to the 2019/20 FA Cup title and raised the 2020/21 Community Shield by beating Liverpool in August .
Man City will make a late call with Ilkai Gundogan
Guardiola confirmed that City would call Ilkay Gundogan late on a trip to Arsenal after he suffered a thigh injury that led to him being excluded from Wednesday’s win over Everton. Defender Nathan Ack is back in training too.
“Nathan has returned to training, on the field, still alone,” Guardiola said. “Gondo participated in a training session today and we will see how he feels tomorrow. The rest are in good shape ”.
Gundogan’s negligence at Goodison Park paved the way for Kevin De Bruyne’s return from a hamstring injury that led to his absence from the bench last month in the final 10 minutes when City won 3-1 .
The German plays a similar role to De Bruyne and has starred in the Belgian’s absence, scoring six goals and assisting in his last five Premier League games, including doubles in big wins over Liverpool and Tottenham.
Guardiola previously argued that there would be no problem playing both players on the same system, and with De Bruyne in good shape, they would likely line up together on Sunday.
Phil Foden could be ten times more exceptional.
One of the players who has already distinguished himself with Manchester City this season is the young Englishman Phil Foden, who has scored 11 goals and six assists in 31 games this season in all competitions.
When asked if the 20-year-old would use himself more in the third attack or in a central midfield position, Guardiola said: “He can play both. I have said many times that he is too young. Phil just needs time to improve the game indoors.
“When you play as a winger, you have to play at one pace and when you play indoors you have to play with another.
“When he achieves that balance, he will be ten times more exceptional as a player. It’s just a matter of time”.
Pep tells the Manchester City players: Don’t look at the calendar!
Guardiola asked his players not to look at the upcoming City schedule, but to accept a “beautiful challenge” after seeing his team lead 10 points ahead of the Premier League.
City won their first 10 first division games in 2021, the longest run by a team since the start of a calendar year in league history.
Man City seeks to lower Arsenal’s record
Manchester City are not a minute behind in any of their last 16 Premier League games since their 2-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur. The only team to have played long games without lagging behind in Premier League history is Arsenal between December 1998 and May 1999, which City will later face.
Guardiola has ensured that he will need to summon all his players during a busy schedule to be able to fight on multiple fronts.
“If we want to win titles, we will need the whole team,” Guardiola said. “What made me happy [against Everton] Solidaridad was even one of the players who had not played.
From Benjamin [Mendy] In John’s bleachers [Stones] And alex [Oleksandr Zinchenko]. We are all part of this. We have a great schedule ahead of us and we look forward to a long week.
“We didn’t have a full week of training almost from the beginning of the season, so we will need everyone. We go into each game trying to score points and do it well. That is what makes me grateful to have these players. “
“Winning ten games in a row at the beginning of the calendar year is nice, but next is Arsenal. Tonight we are celebrating, but tomorrow afternoon we will start thinking about Arsenal.
“You better not watch the schedule or you will get depressed. But at the same time, it is a beautiful challenge.
“We will be back here in a few weeks to try to reach the FA Cup semi-finals and we have seen how difficult it can be. It is not worth looking at the calendar. Only the next one, which is Arsenal. “
Manchester City deny that Lionel Messi is approaching
Manchester City have yet to make any offers for Lionel Messi, with the Barcelona star deciding his future in the summer.
The spokesmen of the leaders of the Premier League and Messi confirmed it Sky Sports News There have been no offers made by City for the player, neither last summer nor since then, contrary to what the British newspaper reported on Friday.
Messi’s spokesman also confirmed that the Argentine forward would either leave or stay at the end of the season, after announcing his intention to do so in an interview in December.
Messi has relocated to the Camp Nou this season since demanding the termination of his contract last summer, when Guardiola and City were considered the best candidates to sign him.
Far from getting into a legal dispute over a contractual clause that would have allowed him a free play, Messi has stayed but is now free to negotiate with other clubs outside of Spain, with Paris Saint-Germain also interested, having entered the latter six months of your current deal.
The 33-year-old said publicly that he wanted to play in Major League Soccer before his retirement.
The current contract for the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, which was signed in 2017, was leaked last month by a Spanish newspaper. the world, Claiming that its total value is 492 million pounds (555 million euros).
He went on to claim that it was the most expensive award ever awarded to an athlete, describing it as “ruining” Barcelona by causing its current financial crisis. Since then, Barcelona has denied that the leak came from the club’s board of directors and threatened to take legal action against the newspaper.
In December, interim president Carlos Tusquets claimed that the club should have sold Messi last summer when he wanted to leave. “Whether it’s in terms of what you save on the salary bill as well as the money you make, it was desirable,” he said.