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Arteta: “I would prefer not to have Guardiola as my direct rival...”

Speaking ahead of Friday’s FA Cup duel against Manchester City, Arsenal boss Arteta stated that “there is still a lot of football to be played”.

Londres (Inglaterra)Update:
Mikel Arteta, entrenador del Arsenal, da indicaciones durante un partido.
PETER CZIBORRAAction Images via Reuters

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta addressed the media ahead of Friday’s FA Cup Fourth round clash in North London and was asked about new signings (Leandro Trossard and Jakub Kiwior), Eddie Nketiah, as well as the injury status relating to Gabriel Jesus.

FA clash against Manchester City: “If we can win on Friday, we’ll go through to the next round, and they won’t. If they beat us, it will be the other way around. It is a very important competition for us, closely linked to our club and our history, and it will define a moment of the season, that’s for sure”.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta
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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta Stuart MacFarlaneGetty

Relationship with Pep Guardiola: “We are both out to win and defend our clubs no matter what, and it has always been that way since day one. To be fair, I’d rather play someone else (in the Premier League title fight). I want the best for him, so it’s a strange feeling, it is what it is, and that’s our challenge.”

Josep 'Pep' Guardiola
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Josep 'Pep' GuardiolaJames Gill - DanehouseGetty

Situation of the team in the league: “We know the reality and there is still half a season to play. In the Premier League there are still many chapters to write and we have to take things on a day by day basis. Are we favorites? Maybe we accept that this may be the case.”

Team mindset: “I think the key word would be believe. Not only our faith, but that of the fans, that of the players. The atmosphere we create with our people in the stadium. You could feel that if we were down, we could go ahead and win. We are now managing the game emotionally much better than before”.

Leandro Trossard: “I see a player who is willing to make things happen and who has a lot of presence, especially in the final third. It’s something we needed in the team, and right away he’s had a good impact on the team to help us win.”

 Leandro Trossard of Arsenal
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Leandro Trossard of Arsenal Stuart MacFarlaneGetty

Jakub Kiwior: “Jakub can play different roles, he is a versatile player and he will strengthen the team”.

Eddie Nketiah: “Eddie has responded very well to the enormous challenge and demands since Gabi (Jesus) got injured. We are sure that it can still improve a lot, evolve and continue to develop.”

Gabriel Jesus: “He wants to be back next week, but it’s not realistic. He’s pushing and pushing everyone to the limit. I can’t give you an answer. I hope it will be weeks and not months, but it has been a serious injury and we have to respect that process as well. He has been incredible with his colleagues, with the staff, with everyone. His energy is incredible, how positive he is with the boys, he is always giving them advice”.