March 22, 2024

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta put under the cosh by Pep Guardiola comments before Man City tie | Football | Sport

manager has piled the pressure on his former protege, , by suggesting that are his team’s main threat to the crown. The two bosses will go head to head immediately after the international break in a high-stakes clash which could have a huge impact on the title race.

Speaking earlier this month, Guardiola suggested that the Gunners are the finished article and their ability to wrap games up quickly makes them more dangerous than Liverpool. “Arsenal is already there, last season they were our biggest rivals,” he said.

“Look how they play. Liverpool need more than 90 minutes to win the game, sometimes more. Arsenal sometimes need just 25 minutes to win the games. That’s why they are [top of the league].”

While the comments are overwhelmingly positive on the face of it, Arteta is unlikely to welcome the idea of greater expectations being placed on his players’ shoulders.

It was theirs to lose in 2022/23, when they enjoyed a healthy lead over City for the majority of the campaign before crumbling in the closing weeks. The pressure facing Arteta this term is even greater, with the Sky Blues and Liverpool both breathing down his neck.

The Gunners are currently at the Premier League summit, but Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds are level on points and Guardiola is only one behind. The City boss’ comments have had a chance to seep in during the international break, with Arsenal set to arrive at the Etihad Stadium next weekend.

The next few weeks will be a rigorous test of nerve for Arteta and his Arsenal players, with the club winning the last of their 13 top-flight league titles exactly 20 years ago.

Klopp and Guardiola have both been there and done it, with the Liverpool boss ending his side’s Premier League duck in 2020, and his City counterpart picking up five of the last six titles on offer.


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