Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has backed Arsenal to compete for Premier League glory in the near future under the guidance of his former assistant, Mikel Arteta.
The Gunners have just passed the one-year mark with their former midfielder, with the first part of Arteta‘s reign at the club being a rollercoaster ride – with the highs including FA Cup glory and the lows of an apparent relegation fight earlier this season.
There is no doubt that Arteta has plenty of work to do at the Emirates Stadium, having inherited a disjointed, overperforming and high-earning Arsenal squad, but significant progress has been made on and off the field.
Still, despite the positives, Arsenal are 22 points behind league-leaders City and eight points off the top-four, showing the gulf that needs to be reduced.
However, Guardiola has heaped praise upon the Gunners and has predicted they will become contenders for the league title in the near future.
“I did not inspire him. What he knows he knows for himself. I am not any influence. What he is doing, all credit to him and his backroom staff,” he told the press.
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“All I can say is the last months show me that all managers need time and he is not an exception. What I see in the last two months every game Arsenal played is better than the opponent.
“Tomorrow we will have an incredible performance. They have an exceptional build-up, they have quality and they have energy. They have [Bukayo] Saka, [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang and all the players with the quality in the middle.
“In the early future, they will be real contenders to fight for the titles. Most of the time [when Arteta and I worked together] we took decisions together and I took decisions with the influence of Mikel. I don’t know if I influenced him – he has to answer this.”