The big match between Man City and Arsenal is looming, and it stands to be a very important match in the title race as both teams desperately need to make up some ground on the leaders Chelsea. But it is not just about the players, it is also the first meeting between Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola, both of whom have a very distinct style of management.
Guardiola has grabbed the City team by the scruff of the neck and is trying to get the players to adapt to his system, which has worked to some extent but seems to have come apart lately in the defeats to Chelsea and Leicester. Arsene Wenger thinks perhaps Pep should not be rushing to change everything so fast. Le Prof said: “[He is] similar [to me] – he tries to play. Every manager has a personality and can only act with his own personality.
“You cannot copy a manager , you can only be who you are, and he has been influenced at Barcelona by the Cruyff period when he was a player. I think he has strong beliefs and that for me is the most important thing for a manager.
“Our job is to always accept that you want your own philosophy but at the right pace. When you go somewhere, sometimes you have to analyse what is going on and to bring in your own philosophy at a pace where you think they can cope with it.”
Well Pep can’t be doing too bad, considering they have only lost 3 out of their 16 League games, and are just one point behind Arsenal. But the main thing for Guardiola is that the players understand the way he wants them to play. Kevin De Bruyne admits that Pep’s style is unique and very attacking. “I think he’s a very good coach.” De Bruyne said. “Obviously he has a different view than a lot of people, especially in England.
“His way of playing is very different than a lot of teams in England, and I think English media and other people are trying to get into him or change his way of playing, but he’s never going to do it anyway.
“So they ask him the question of whether he’s going to change his playing style, but he does what he does, and I think he always sticks with it.
“I think you have to do that as a coach, you have your style of playing and I think the way he wants to play is very positive. So in that way it is very good.”
So one thing for sure is that tomorrow’s game will be full of energy from both sides, as both Wenger and Guardiola try to get the upperhand in the first EPL meeting. I’m guessing that there will be lots of goals too, unless Wenger decides to confound the Spaniard by parking the bus to start with, but I doubt that will work against City. I imagine Pep would say that attack is the best form of defence!
It is definitely a game to look forward to, and I really hope Wenger comes out on top!