Pep Guardiola launches a passionate defence of Mikel Arteta despite Arsenal being thrashed by Man City… as he insists the Spaniard is ‘above and beyond a good manager’ and blames injuries for their dismal start this season
Pep Guardiola launched a passionate defence of Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta after his Manchester City team thrashed the Gunners 5-0 at the Etihad.
Arsenal have now made their worse start to a season for 67 years with three defeats from their opening three games and Arteta’s men are yet to find the back of the net.
Goals from Ilkay Gundogan and Ferran Torres put City 2-0 ahead inside 12 minutes before Granit Xhaka was sent off, leaving the Gunners with an uphill task. Gabriel Jesus made it 3-0 before half-time and strikes Rodri and another from Torres compounded Arsenal’s misery.
Man City manager Pep Guardiola launched a passionate defence of Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta
Arteta’s Arsenal side were thrashed 5-0 by City at the Etihad as the pressure continues to grow
Arteta has come under increasing pressure following his side’s dreadful start but Guardiola, who worked with the Spaniard at City from 2016-2019, insisted he needs to be given time.
‘I work two or three years together, I learned many things from him,’ he told BT Sport after the game.
‘He is above and beyond a good manager. The correct personality, leading, he is incredibly loved by all of us. We were sad when he left.
‘Sometimes people expect and want results immediately. The team he played today is not the team he dreamed because they have six, seven, eight injuries – really important players.
Guardiola insisted Arteta needs to be given time and blamed injuries for their poor start
‘Ben White, Thomas Partey, he cannot use the players that he needs to.All the managers need the squad. All our players except Kevin and Phil, the other ones are completely fit.
‘I am a big fan of him and I’m pretty sure, if they trust him, he will do a good job at Arsenal.’
But ex-Chelsea star Joe Cole described Arsenal’s performance as ‘shambolic’ and said Arteta has a huge job on his hands to turn things around.
‘They do look broken. The club is in disarray. Shambolic performance,’ Cole told BT Sport.
‘You feel for them in a sense but we’re not surprised, we expected Arsenal to get taken to the cleaners before the game. In the manner of how they did it, it showed up all the frailties, a lack of discipline, a lack of togetherness.
Two goals from Ferran Torres and strikes from Ilkay Gundogan, Gabriel Jesus and Rodri gave City a comfortable victory
‘They need to get together the players and regroup and find some way to get back to winning games of football.
‘When clubs turn things around, it doesn’t happen quickly. When things go really badly for Arsenal, not just this group of players, this is two years ago players, four years ago players, this is something that’s been on the cards.
‘They’ve never dealt with getting the right types of characters in the dressing room. When it goes wrong, it tends to fall away quickly. Arteta has a hell of a job on his hands.’