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Guardiola praises Arteta ahead of Arsenal ‘cup final’

Pep Guardiola has praised Mikel Arteta ahead of Manchester City’s FA Cup fourth round clash with Arsenal on Friday evening.

City take on Arsenal tonight in a huge cup clash at the Etihad, as the Premier League’s top two sides go head-to-head for a place in the next round.


It will be the first meeting between the teams this season and Guardiola is expecting a tough challenge against a side who have enjoyed their best ever start to a league season under his former assistant.

Arteta has done a fine job since leaving Guardiola’s coaching staff to take up his first senior role in north London and the Spaniard praised the Arsenal board for their patience with the ex-City coach.

“I knew it when he was here, his ability. The biggest compliment for Arsenal as well, for in the bad moments they trust him and keep him,” Guardiola told his pre-match press conference.

“All the decisions internally I guess was not easy. To do this had to support him, that’s why you need time, investment. The results are there. It’s a challenge for us to challenge them. This is the deal for this season.”

Guardiola was asked whether he feared for Arteta’s position after his compatriot came under pressure last season. Arsenal began the 2021/22 season with three consecutive league losses to sit in the relegation places, including a 5-0 defeat at Manchester City.

“No, I know how he works, how he seduces the board, hierarchy, players. It’s tough, sporting directors see the dressing room, how they solve problems and behave in bad moments. It’s not easy. In big clubs you need results immediately.

“To be success with Arsenal, to come back from the position in the past, 90’s, it’s not winning one title, it’s to come back for the way they want to behave. It needs time. They are active again. It doesn’t come from one day, sometimes you need more time than you expect.

“He relies on the club, they rely on him. That’s the result they have. We as a club need this type of challenge. We have to adjust some things, this is the challenge. It was Liverpool, now is Arsenal, welcome Newcastle. There are a lot of clubs to fight for titles and qualify for Champions League.”

Guardiola was asked on the importance of tonight’s clash given the performances of both sides in the Premier League this season and admits the fixture has an added edge.

“It’s a different competition, it’s a final,” he said. “It’s more than Arsenal. To prove ourselves to how is our level against a team with 50 points. We have to prove how far away or how close we are. The best way is to perform our best level, otherwise it will be difficult.”

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