Pep Guardiola reveals what he told Mikel Arteta about becoming Arsenal manager

Pep Guardiola says Mikel Arteta was right to take his opportunity at Arsenal
Pep Guardiola says Mikel Arteta was right to take his opportunity at Arsenal (Reuters)

Pep Guardiola insists he did not attempt to force Mikel Arteta to stay at Manchester City but asked his former assistant whether he had good vibes about becoming Arsenal’s manager.

Arteta left City in December to become Unai Emery’s permanent replacement at Arsenal.

And Guardiola believes Arteta was right to take the opportunity.

‘It happened in the past with my colleagues and my assistants,’ said Guardiola.

‘I never said, say or will say what they have to do.

Mikel Arteta was due to return to Manchester City with Arsenal on Wednesday evening before the match was postponed
Mikel Arteta was due to return to Manchester City with Arsenal on Wednesday evening (Getty Images)

‘They have ambition, professional ways, families and everything. So what I said to Mikel is: ‘Do you want to do it, do you feel it? Then you have to do it.’

‘He loves Arsenal, he was there many years. It was a dream from day one to come back there, this challenge came and he had to take it.

‘I would not be the guy to say ‘no, no you have to stay’. I don’t believe that, I don’t like that. The opportunity came and he took it.’

Arteta was due to return to City on Wednesday evening but Arsenal’s Premier League fixture was postponed due to coronavirus.

And Guardiola admits Arteta already has a good understanding of City’s weaknesses.

‘He has more information about us than I have about the Arsenal team, but that’s normal,’ said Guardiola

‘It was a huge amount of hours working together, on thoughts and ideas, solving problems, before the game and during and after the game.

‘Especially identifying the quality of the players. He knows exactly the way we love this game and the quality of the players. I can imagine a little bit what he thinks, but I’ve not been in his locker room since he’s been manager and I don’t know his players.

‘He knows perfectly the way we feel, the way we want to play. The fact he knows every single player – the strong points and the weak points.

‘I can imagine the way he is going to press high on our weak player in those terms. The situation we can produce, he’s going to do it. For both of us we are lucky that the players play and we cannot.’

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