premier-league

How do Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta compare ahead of Man City v Arsenal clash?

Pep Guardiola will meet his former assistant Mikel Arteta for the first time this season when Manchester City host Arsenal in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday.

With the Gunners leading the champions in the title race, the hotly anticipated contest at the Etihad Stadium is sure to whet the appetite for their two Premier League meetings still to come this season.

Here the PA news agency looks at the two leaders:

Experience

Guardiola’s managerial career has been a glittering one (Martin Rickett/PA)

Having managed three of Europe’s most powerful clubs in Barcelona, ​​Bayern Munich and City and collected 32 trophies over the past 15 years, Guardiola’s experience is obviously superfluous to the relative novice Arteta.

Still, the former apprentice was a key part of City’s backroom staff for three years and appears to have learned his lesson well.

He is just over three years into his managerial career, but despite a rocky start and losing six of his seven games against Guardiola, he has a strong record and an FA Cup triumph under his belt. This season’s title challenge has marked a further step up.

Big decisions

Mikel Arteta (right) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Arteta (right) watched Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s (left) departure (Shaun Botterill/NMC Pool)

Guardiola has never shied away from the big decisions, as he has previously cut loose players such as Ronaldinho, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Toni Kroos. This continued at City as it became clear soon after his arrival that his vision did not include club stalwarts Joe Hart and Yaya Toure.

These were controversial calls, but time has proven him right. Similarly, Arteta took the bold decision to ax club captain and key striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last season.

It could be argued that this cost the club a place in the Champions League, but the Londoners now look a stronger and more united team without the divisive presence of the Gabon international.

Other similarities

  • Played: 7

  • Guardiola wins: 6

  • Arteta wins: 1

  • Ties: 0

Comparisons between Guardiola and Arteta are common and obvious. The two Spaniards were grounded in Barcelona and have clear ideas about how they want their team to play, both based on possession, playing from the back and pressing when they are not on the ball.

They are strong leaders, clear thinkers and very energetic characters who get emotionally involved in games from the sidelines. Both have proven to be effective communicators to their players.

Differences

Rodri

Rodri’s role in the City midfield is as much about what he does with the ball as winning back possession (Martin Rickett/PA)

Despite common ground, they have their differences. Having spent most of his career in the Premier League with Everton and then Arsenal, Arteta has a stronger belief in the need for defensive midfielders.

Where previously Fernandinho and now Rodri have been good anchors for City, Guardiola’s emphasis remains on what these players can do in possession. With Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka in midfield, Arsenal are more physical.

This season

Guardiola and Arteta face different challenges to motivate their players this season. After all their recent successes – notably four Premier League titles in five years – City’s levels have dipped slightly this term.

This prompted Guardiola to launch a remarkable broadside at his players last week, accusing them of lacking hunger and intensity.

That has not been the case at Arsenal. The arrivals of two former City players in Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko injected energy into Arteta’s side in the summer and momentum has been building ever since. Arteta’s task has been to ensure that standards do not drop.

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