Mikel Arteta makes admission about Pep Guardiola relationship ahead of Man City vs Arsenal

Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola are tussling for the Premier League title - and go head-to-head at the Etihad this weekend
Pep Guardiola (left) and Arsenal manager Mikel ArtetaPep Guardiola (left) and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta
Pep Guardiola (left) and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta has revealed his close relationship with Pep Guardiola “had to change” once he became Arsenal manager.

The Spanish duo worked together for three years between 2016 and 2019. Together, they won two Premier League titles before Arteta left to forge his own path at the Emirates.

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The former colleagues are now battling against each other for the title and this weekend could prove pivotal in the run-in. Arsenal travel to the Etihad aiming to complete a league double over City - and open up a cushion at the top of the table.

As it stands, the Gunners are level on points with Liverpool, who face Brighton, and one above City. Many predict Guardiola’s men will pick up the pace in the final 10 games of the season - starting against Arsenal on home soil.

Football fans across the country are anticipating drama when the two compatriots go head-to-head on Easter Sunday. Ahead of the clash, Gunners boss Arteta admitted his friendship with Guardiola is now distant.

“It (their relationship) had to change,” Arteta told reporters. “My admiration and what I feel for him certainly hasn’t. In my opinion, he’s the best coach in the world by a mile and he’s one of the nicest people that I’ve met in football.

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“Certainly he’s one of the ones that I’ve had the most fun and laughter working with. That’s going to stay there forever. At the moment, the rules are what they are and you’re going to have to adapt to it.

“Probably I would prefer to do it against someone who I don’t have those feelings for but that’s not a choice. It’s what it is. We both want to win. We’ll prepare for the game very well. You cannot feel different about the person, but professionally you have to act differently.”

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