Pep Guardiola spoke on the challenge of Arsenal and Newcastle, what he saw in Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, the important of the FA Cup, and provided an update on Phil Foden ahead of the FA Cup fourth round tie at home against Arsenal on Friday night.
It's the FA Cup:
"It's a different competition, it's a final. It's more than Arsenal: [it's a chance] to prove to ourselves how is our level against a team with 50 points in half of the season - is the best. We have to prove how far away or how close we are. The best way is to perform our best level, otherwise it will be difficult..."
Phil Foden fitness update:
"He's getting better. We train this afternoon. Everyone else is good."
"I'm not suspicious, all my comments about Mikel, when he was here [were genuine]. Even when he didn't win titles. The expectation Arsenal demand. I know my opinion then, not now with 50 points. I knew it when he was here, his ability. The biggest compliment for Arsenal as well, for in the bad moments they trust him and keep him. All the decisions internally I guess was not easy. To do this they had to support him, that's why you need time, investment. The results are there. It's a challenge for us to challenge them. This is the deal for this season."
"We were in touch before. I knew Lorenzo, he knew Mikel. I knew him a little bit. We make conversations. He said he'd like to work together, he can help because he knows the Premier League and the managers. The first game against David Moyes, he said I know him well from Everton. After fifteen minutes, half an hour, I said this is the guy to anticipate. You know sooner or later, but to anticipate the knowledge to go to Stoke away, or every stadium. A guy many years here. I don't know my part on him but his influence on me was so important to become a better manager."
"I said many time to my players and staff. We felt if one team could offer him as manager he would leave. I am not a guy to say [he has to] stay with me. Everyone has dreams. I know he went to his club, a supporter, he was a captain there. He loves the club. I remember here when we score goals he jumps a lot except one team. He was sitting there. It was Arsenal. I said that guy likes Arsenal. Like here if I'm training as assistant and Barcelona call me, I go. People have to fly when he believes is the best. To players if they are not happy they have to leave, life is too short."
"I'm pretty sure if I left [Manchester City] before [Mikel Arteta left] he would be here [as the manager], he'd be the best absolutely. I extend the contract, I'm sorry, and he went."
Regret letting Zinchenko and Jesus leave?
"Why? Because they are winning. Ah! Aleks and Gabriel have been amazing with us, incredible respect as persons and players. Of course we want to beat them. I'm more than delighted [for them], it's because the players, both clubs agree with that. Many times Aleks maybe could leave and said he wanted to stay. Gabriel the same, we agreed. Arsenal wanted him, it happens. It's going well for them, congratulations. We have to try and be close to them."
"No [didn't fear for Arteta in the bad moment], I know how he works, how he seduces the board, hierarchy, players. It's tough, sporting directors see the dressing room, how they solve problems and behave in bad moments. It's not easy. In big clubs you need results immediately. To be success[ful] with Arsenal, to come back from the position in the past, 90's, it's not winning one title, it's to come back for the way they want to behave. It needs time. Think how big the squad, players come in. They are active again. It doesn't come from one day, sometimes you need more time than you expect. He relies on the club, they rely on him. That's the result they have. We as a club need this type of challenge. We have to adjust some things, this is the challenge. It was Liverpool, now is Arsenal, welcome Newcastle. There are a lot of clubs to fight for titles and qualify for Champions League."
"My duty is to get results, get the players to perform as best as possible to win games. I don't feel that if they don't run, to point at someone [to blame]. If I don't want excuses from my players I cannot have excuses myself. I look at myself. If we lost it's a benefit for us. I encourage them to look at themselves. When they are happy for many reasons the only way is to perform better. The past is the past. We don't get a salary for the past, we get a salary for the future."
"You have to take decisions, the players are there. I prefer to take responsibility in the bad moments. They are the artists, the good ones and bad ones, that is part of the business."
Written by: @coIgcra
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