Man City boss Pep Guardiola was full of praise for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta ahead of the meeting of the two sides in their FA Cup semi-final clash.
The Gunners appointed Arteta as Unai Emery’s long-term successor in December, and although they’ve slipped up along the way, they have certainly made progress under his stewardship thus far both in terms of performances and results.
While Champions League qualification has eluded them again this season, they’ll hope to end the campaign on a high note by winning silverware in the form of the FA Cup and finishing as high as possible in the Premier League table, but their path to a trophy is currently blocked by Guardiola and City.
Speaking ahead of their tie this weekend, the Man City boss lauded his former assistant Arteta for the job that he has done at the Emirates thus far, and believes that if he is backed by the hierarchy, he will deliver results for the north London giants.
“I expect a tough, tough game. They [Arsenal] have something special already, they have a team spirit Mikel has created,” he said, as quoted by Sky Sports.
“I see from the side how they celebrate goals, how they fight for every ball. They have begun to create something special for the club. We approach Arsenal like we do the other ones.
“Arsenal were one of the elite clubs in English football for the last 20, 30 years. I am pretty sure the right person to take them back to the position they were. When the club supports him there is no better person to do the job than Mikel.
“I have the feeling he is creating something unique. If he can be supported by the club with investment, get the players they need, they can be contenders for the next years.”
Time will tell if his prediction becomes reality, but ultimately for now, there is still a long way to go for Arsenal if they wish to get to the top level and compete with the likes of City and Liverpool.
Nevertheless, if Arteta is able to strengthen his squad this summer and stamp his mark on it with players who better suit his ideas and philosophies, then it will surely give him a significant boost in trying to build on the progress that they’ve made to this point.
Guardiola is absolutely convinced by his ability and talent as a coach, and that in itself will surely delight Arsenal fans and give them confidence that they have the right man at the helm to take them forward next season.