Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he has not had any kind of influence on former assistant Mikel Arteta and that his Arsenal compatriot must be given all the credit for his achievements with the north London club.
Arteta was named Arsenal manager in December 2019 after winning two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups under fellow Spaniard Guardiola at City.
Arteta guided Arsenal to a record 14th FA Cup title last season but finds himself under pressure with the club 10th in the league after 24 games.
“I don’t know if I influenced him,” Guardiola told reporters ahead of Sunday’s Premier League trip to Arsenal. “He doesn’t need help. What he knows he knows for himself.
“I am not any influence. What he is doing, all credit to him. All I can say is the last months show me that all managers need time and he is not an exception.”
Arsenal have managed just one victory in their last five games but Guardiola said recent results did not tell the full story of the club’s performances.
“In the last two months every game Arsenal played was better than the opponent. We play for results and sometimes you lose, you cannot control it,” he said. “In the early future they will be real contenders for titles.
Phil Foden has been one of City’s standout players this season and Guardiola said there was a lot more to come from the versatile 20-year-old.
“He needs time. He is so young,” Guardiola said. “When you play as a winger you have to play at one tempo and when you play inside you have to play at another. When he gets this balance, he will be 10 times more extraordinary.”
Guardiola said Ilkay Gundogan had returned to training with the league leaders but would face a late fitness test.