Pep Guardiola has backed his former student to turn things around in a press conference answer that is a little bit ridiculous and a lot over the top.
Look, nobody is saying that Mikel Arteta is not a good coach, There is no doubt that he helped out loads when at City and came up with some stuff that saw them win what they did during his time there (I can’t be arsed Googling their trophies right now, or ever tbf).
But that doesn’t mean he’s cut out to be a manager at a big club without first going somewhere else to earn his stripes.
Still, Guardiola thinks Arteta is the second coming of, well, probably Guardiola.
“We know a job especially in the big clubs when you don’t win there are rumours,” Guardiola said. “I’m not talking as a friend I’m talking as a professional. Working alongside him I learned a lot.
“He taught me many things. The team we are now is because of what he’s done. We can’t forget he’s playing without many players injured. I don’t have any doubts. He can have a good results, bad results, my opinion about Mikel is beyond what people can imagine. I’m pretty sure he’ll be back on track.”
It has been two years and there has always been an excuse. Injured players, sick players, no pre-season with the players. These are things every manager has to contend with and things have not got remotely better.
In fact, they’ve got worse.
Many Arsenal fans admit they could see what Arteta was trying to do when he first arrived but are now at a loss.
That seems evident in the players as well.
Arteta, meanwhile, told reporters, “To the fans I can only say: thank you so much. That’s why you saw the reaction of the players and myself after the game. We have to value what they’ve done today.
“I don’t think today is the day to talk about any process. Today we have to talk about the result and what happened on the pitch. And that’s it.
“We have some players here, hopefully we can get some players back [after the international break]. It’s time to reflect and look in the mirror at each of us. We need to change the dynamic straight away.”
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also spoke about needing to look in the mirror. He told the media, “You have to take risks and you have to be brave on the ball, and we didn’t today.
“After that and the red card, it was a completely different game, but as I said, this is not enough and everyone needs to raise the level, look at ourselves in the mirror and work this out as a team and stick together. This is the only way to go forward.
“We have to play with courage and in this type of game, you have to play with everything. You have to take risks and we just didn’t do enough today, and that’s it.
“I think we need to talk between us players. I think this is now important because we are Arsenal and we need pride. That’s it. We have to talk and say the truth between each other, be honest and as I said, raise the level.
“For sure [the re-building process] is going to be difficult, but we are a team. We have to stick together in this moment. As the senior players, we have to show the way as well to the young players. I know that won’t be easy but we will try to do our best.”