Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex are exceptions, says Guardiola ahead of Arsenal tie

Pep Guardiola thinks that it is unreal that someone can stay at the same club for 20 long years.


Arsenal and Manchester City are getting all geared up for their scintillating fixture on Premier League Super Sunday, and the visiting boss Pep Guardiola has shared his opinions on the Arsenal boss a few hours before the tie.

The former Bayern Munich and Barcelona manager has high regard for his opponent on Sunday. Although this would be the first time the two tactical masters will be facing each other in the Premier League, they are not entirely unknown to each other. Pep Guardiola and Arsene Wenger have met eight times in the Champions League. The latter won only twice while Guardiola managed four victories out of those eight.

The Manchester City boss talked about his counterpart during a news conference on Saturday. He said that it is fascinating that Wenger has remained at the same club for 20 long years, something he would never do in his life.

“I think what happened with Arsenal and Sir Alex Ferguson are exceptions in world football. You have to be clear, you have to be happy where you are. The chairman has to trust a lot in you, your idea and know exactly what you have to do,” Guardiola told.

But, he could never see himself in that position, “In my case, I like to move, I like to live, to see new things. But 20 years? No way.”

The Spaniard also acknowledged the greatness of Arsene Wenger and Arsenal, “In terms of results, Arsene won titles — we cannot forget that. They create something special at that club so that when he arrives it was in a special team. Now, after 20 years, we know exactly the identity of the club and sometimes that is more important than winning titles.”

He further told that, interestingly, he has been seeking help from a former Arsenal player in his new stint at the British top tier. Mikel Arteta, who played for the London side for six years, is now retired and is co-assistant head coach for City. Pep Guardiola said that the former Gunner has been really helpful so far, “It’s the first time in my life, so I try to ask for example Mikel [Arteta] and people who have been working here for a long time about ‘what is this kind of situation to handle?'”

“Maybe next season I will know better what I have to do. But in my thought now is next game, it’s Arsenal, Hull, Liverpool and game by game,” he added.

Finally, the boss commented on the recent worries the two times Premier League champions are suffering from. They will be without their talisman Sergio Aguero and reliable midfielder Fernandinho, both serving suspensions from the red card they saw against Chelsea. To add more woes, new signing Ilkay Gundogan has got a serious ACL injury and will be out for the rest of the season. In addition, Vincent Kompany and Fabian Delph will also be out.

But, Guardiola does not want to think too much about the unavailability of his players, “We are not in a situation to speculate too much in a sense for many reasons — the banned people, the injured people.

“It is game by game, analyse the opponent, try to win that game and with the result and a little bit of confidence, you are going to improve.”

Photo by Thomas Rodenbücher