Pep Guardiola gives verdict on Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta amid Richard Keys criticism

  • Pep Guardiola casts verdict on Arsenal manager in the wake of Richard Keys’ comments.

Pep Guardiola gives verdict on Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta amid Richard Keys criticism
Pep Guardiola gives verdict on Arsenal boss amid Richard Keys criticism

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has refused to rule out the chance of a touchline clash with when Arsenal visit the Etihad Stadium on Friday night for an FA Cup match.

For the seventh time, Arteta will face his managerial mentor in this match as the defending Premier League champions take on the league leaders for a spot in the tournament’s fifth round.

Due to his recent touchline antics, Arteta has come under fire from certain spectators. Former Sky Sports broadcaster Richard Keys has been one of Arteta’s harshest detractors in recent months.

Guardiola has since weighed in on the topic by insisting that he will not be shying from any possible touchline confrontations with the 40-year-old if they arise on Friday.


“Anything can happen on the touchline in the moments of the game,” said the City boss. “I taught a few things, but this, it comes from himself, his mum and dad, his character and that was already there.

“I know Mikel and I had the feeling, during the time we worked together, that what he’s doing, it’s not fake, it’s him. When we were in a training session and a game, he was always complaining about referees and that was as an assistant coach. It is what it is.

“So after that, I’ not a judge, everyone is everyone and sometimes I behave as well in this way. If we’re going to fight on the touchline, it’s going to happen sooner or later I guess, but it won’t change the respect.”

Guardiola continued by saying that despite their long-standing friendship, which dates back to when Arteta was at City before becoming Arsenal’s manager in 2019, he now views Arteta as a significant rival.

“He’s a rival, of course he is,” added Guardiola. “Tomorrow he wants to beat me and I want to beat him. I know how we both are and in defeat we are not the best in the world.

“I have a huge respect for as a person, as a manager. That’s not going to change if we’re going to fight on the touchline. Sooner or later it’s going to happen, I guess, but when that is going to happen, it’s not going to change the respect I have or anything.”


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