Mikel Arteta would be Man City boss if I left… now he’s a rival and it could be FIERY against Arsenal, says Pep Guardiola
PEP GUARDIOLA says Mikel Arteta would be City’s boss if he quit.
But he didn’t rule out fireworks when their sides meet in the FA Cup on Friday.
Arteta was Guardiola’s No2 from 2016-19 but Pep’s decision to stay at Manchester City after winning a domestic treble saw his pal move to Arsenal.
Guardiola said: “I’m pretty sure if I had gone he would be here and he would be the best.
“But I renewed the contract – I’m sorry – and he didn’t wait.
“I’m not the type to say, ‘No, you have to stay with me.’ Everyone has dreams.
“I know he went to ‘his’ club, the team he dreams of. He loves the club.”
And Pep, who faces his old pal at the Etihad in the fourth round of the Cup, said: “Anything can happen on the sidelines.
“He’s a rival. I want to hit him and he wants to hit me – I know that.
“I know how we both feel after losing – we’re not the best of friends in the world – but I have a lot of respect for him as a person and as a coach.”
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When asked if there might be a bust, Pep said: “I think sooner or later something will happen, but if it does it won’t change the respect I have for him.”
Arteta has come under fire for his technical antics.
But when asked if he thinks part of the flak stems from jealousy, Guardiola said: “Absolutely. If you’re on top, they need to undermine you for another reason, and they’re doing that now.
Anything can happen on the sidelines. He’s a rival. I want to hit him and he wants to hit me – I know that.
Pep Guardiola on Mikel Arteta
“I taught him a few things, but that passion comes from his character.
“I know him and during the time we worked together I felt like what he’s doing isn’t fake, he is.
“In a training session and in a game he always complained about referees and that was as an assistant coach!
“It is what it is. After that, I’m not a judge. Sometimes I act like it.”
England star Phil Foden is recovering from a foot injury but is close to returning to training.
And Pep said, “It gets better.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/7237130/arsenal-man-city-mikel-arteta-pep-guardiola-rivalry/ Mikel Arteta would be Man City boss if I left… now he’s a rival and it could be FIERY against Arsenal, says Pep Guardiola