Pep Guardiola believes his former assistant Mikel Arteta is popping Arsenal into Premier League title contenders.
Guardiola has Manchester City heading to Arsenal on Sunday after securing a seventeenth consecutive victory in all competitions at Everton on Wednesday and opening up a 10-point lead on the top of the Premier League.
Two months in the past City had gained the Carabao Cup 4-1 draw at Emirates Stadium, and the inquest after the match centered on whether or not Arteta would retain his job as Arsenal manager with the struggling Gunners fifteenth within the Premier League.
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However Arsenal gained their subsequent league recreation, against Chelsea on Boxing Day, and climbed into the top 10 on the back last weekend’s 4-2 victory over Leeds.
“What the 2 months present is that every one managers want time,” said metropolis manager Guardiola.
“He (Arteta) is not any exception, however once I see the last two months each recreation that Arsenal performs they’re higher than the opponent.
“Typically you lose video games, you possibly can’t management it. However they’ve been higher than the opponent, by way of controlling the sport and creating extra probabilities and yielding much less.
“We’d like unimaginable performance to play with the ball and run loads in the appropriate tempo to get the ball as a result of they’ve distinctive focus within the final third.
“They’ve high quality and unimaginable vitality in (Emile) Smith Rowe, (Bukayo) Saka, (Pierre-Emerick) Aubameyang with the runs behind, and they’ve the players with the standard within the center to do the method fairly well. Early within the future they are going to be an actual contender to struggle for the title. ”
Arteta spent three years coaching at City from 2016 to 2019 earlier than leaving for north London.
However Guardiola played down the affect he has had on the career of his fellow Spaniard.
“I wasn’t impressed,” said Guardiola. “What he is aware of he is aware of for himself.
“On this case I’ve no affect in any way. What he does is the credit score to him and his workers.
“He does not need assistance. It is extra about making ready well than getting assist from me.
“However in fact he was an essential individual in my life, all the pieces he did for me in Manchester made me happy.”
City – who’ve distanced themselves from claims they’re negotiating with Lionel Messi over a summer time move to the Etihad – are awaiting the fitness of Ilkay Gundogan.
Gundogan, who has scored 10 goals since Christmas, missed the 3-1 win at Everton with a hamstring injury however joined in a part of Friday’s coaching session.
Guardiola confirmed City will continue to seize the knee earlier than video games after Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha labeled the gesture “degrading”.
“We’re not going to unravel the problem just by taking a knee earlier than the sport begins,” Guardiola said of the struggle against racism.
“Nevertheless it’s a gesture and we’ve got to do extra of that. Every thing we are able to do higher and higher – extra gestures, extra actions, extra punishments – that is the one option to get rid of it.
“It is a gesture for the new generations within the equality colleges, that everybody is identical.”