Los 40 USA
Sign in to commentAPP
spainSPAINchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA
Man City vs Arsenal: Head-to-head
As Manchester City and Arsenal get ready to face each other tomorrow, managers Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta reflect on their relationship.PETER POWELLDiarioAS


Guardiola vs Arteta: teacher vs pupil

As Manchester City and Arsenal get ready to face each other tomorrow, managers Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta reflect on their relationship.

The apprentice hosts his former master at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday as Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta welcomes Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola in a Premier League title clash.

What is the relationship between Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta?

Before Arteta was the Arsenal coach, he spent three years as Guardiola’s assistant with Manchester City. Even before that, Arteta looked up to Guardiola as an idol. The two have been friends for years, Arteta coming through Barcelona’s La Masia academy 10 years after Guardiola.

When Arteta joined Guardiola in the Premier League in 2016, it was just after he retired as a professional player, but after years of planning for it. Guardiola wanted Arteta there to help him change English soccer. They were successful, with City winning back-to-back league titles in their second and third year working together, plus an FA Cup and two League Cups.

“We had a dream to do something in England with Pep that people said, ‘You cannot do it, it’s impossible! The Premier League, you will get bullied!’” said Arteta. “We did it in the way we believed we could do it, and that’s so fulfilling. We share that feeling for the rest of our lives.”

Arteta left City in 2019, taking an offer to become the coach at Arsenal.

“I felt that as soon as one team could offer him to be a manager, he would leave,” said Guardiola of Arteta. “I remember when we were together here, when we scored a lot of goals against our opponents, he always jumped and celebrated…except one team.”

“One team, every time we score a goal, I jump, come back, he was sitting there,” said Guardiola, folding his arms and putting on a serious face to imitate Arteta’s reaction. “It was Arsenal. So in that moment, I said, ‘that guy likes Arsenal’.

Now, the two coaches will be battling it out for the top spot in the Premier League, which Arsenal currently holds over City by five points. Arsenal has not won a game against City in a league match since 2015, but City has not been great on the road this season so far. They have only won six of their 14 away games in all tournaments, most recently losing their last two to Manchester United and Spurs.

Arteta’s and Guardiola’s tactics have been different this season, with Arteta making very few changes to his starting XI, while Guardiola has been non-stop tweaking to try to find a formula that works.

No matter what happens, the two have and will still have great respect for each other.

I would prefer to do it with someone else, to be fair, because I want the best for him, so it’s a strange feeling,” said Arteta. “I always hoped [challenging for titles] was going to be the case one day and it’s happening this season. That’s not going to change any friendship, the moments that we have, how important he is in my life, how important he is in my profession.