Pep Guardiola praises Mikel Arteta for overhauling Arsenal and moulding misfiring Gunners into Man City's main title rivals
- Guardiola says Arteta has transformed Arsenal
- 'The development is obvious'
- Arsenal visit Man City in crunch match on Wednesday
WHAT HAPPENED? Guardiola said his former assistant coach Arteta has turned Arsenal into Premier League title contenders by changing the club's culture and doing more than just devising tactics and game plans. Arsenal will go eight points above City in the Premier League title race if they win at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
🏆 TOP STORY: James & Mount injury updates suggest season could be over
📣 HAVE YOUR SAY: Is Pochettino the right man for Chelsea?
🚨 MUST READ: Are Barca really Messi's only European option?
WHAT THEY SAID: "I think the development of the club since he took over is obvious, it is the reality. I don’t have to change what I think. When you talk about the work of a football manager, I am a trainer, not a manager. I have the feeling Mikel changed the structure of the club. He changed a lot of players. He has been supported by the hierarchy of the club and that is why the success is there," Guardiola said at a pre-match press conference. "Arsenal in the last years never was there and this season make another step because all season has been there. I have been impressed, they have been really good."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Arteta left Man City's coaching staff to become head coach at Arsenal in December 2019, when the team were 10th in the Premier League table after Unai Emery was sacked. He delivered an unlikely FA Cup triumph by the end of the campaign but could not guide Arsenal into the top four and also failed to do so in his first two full campaigns at the helm. However, he oversaw a squad overhaul, forcing high-profile players like Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil and Nicolas Pepe out of the club while promoting young players such as Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli. He is now witnessing the benefits of his decisions, having secured Champions League football for Arsenal for the first time in seven years, while they are still challenging for a first league title since 2004.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? After Wednesday's blockbuster game at City, Arsenal will host London rivals Chelsea next Tuesday.