December 6, 2021

Arteta is the best manager to lead Arsenal – Guardiola

Spread the love

Pep Guardiola does not doubt Mikel Arteta has the “quality and capacity to put Arsenal in the place that Arsenal deserves to be”.

Pep Guardiola believes Mikel Arteta is the right man to lead Arsenal despite their awful start to the 2020-21 Premier League season.

Arsenal lost 1-0 to Burnley at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, their fourth straight home league defeat, which represents their worst such run since 1959.

The Gunners are 15th in the table, 10 points off the top four and only five points clear of the relegation zone.

The decline under Arteta, Guardiola’s former Manchester City assistant, has been swift as Arsenal ended the previous campaign on a high with FA Cup success.

Pressure is building on the manager, who has failed to get the best out of his key men – most notably, captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The striker, who signed a lucrative new contract ahead of the campaign, has netted just twice in the league this term, while his first career club own goal unfortunately proved decisive against Burnley.

As Aubameyang has struggled, Arsenal have scored just 10 league goals through 12 games, their lowest figure at this stage of a top-flight season in 39 years.

Only Newcastle United, Burnley, Sheffield United and West Brom have had fewer shots (124) and shots on target (40) than Arsenal, but Guardiola would continue to back Arteta.

“Arsenal doesn’t have a manager to lead this club in the next years better than him,” the City boss told reporters.

“I don’t have to give my support, because he has it and knows that he has it.

“He is one of the best managers I ever worked with, of course, and seen directly – for his personality, his commitment, his love for his club. Without his love for his club, he still would be here.

“I’m pretty sure he will turn it over and do it like everyone expects.

“Sometimes when a club comes from not a good period, it needs time. I know in this world, [people think] it doesn’t need time.

“If I was part of the board at Arsenal, I would not have any doubts about his quality and capacity to put Arsenal in the place that Arsenal deserves to be.”

City have had their own problems this season, sitting ninth after an underwhelming goalless draw at rivals Manchester United on Saturday.

With Tottenham and Liverpool also drawing and Chelsea beaten, none of the perceived “top six” won – evidence of the strength of the Premier League, according to Guardiola.

“Always I had that feeling – even the years we won and won and won a lot of games – how difficult it is,” he said.

“That makes me think that it doesn’t matter what happens, if you beat Fulham or draw against Man United or draw against Leeds, it is always difficult.

“Sometimes I want to give credit to what we have done. We know we have to make a step forward but I am pretty sure we will do.”

The nature of the stalemate at Old Trafford drew criticism, with City mustering just nine shots – two on target – and failing to score in a second consecutive away league game for the first time since January 2017.

“Apparently I have a completely different opinion about the approach that we wanted to do, that we want to do all the time,” Guardiola said.

“But I know the standards that this club and this team has from the last years. I know handling this is more difficult, but we accept it.

“We are just in early December and have many months ahead and know exactly what we have to do to get better.”