Maybe it is just me but I always start to worry when I hear Arsenal or Arsene Wenger receiving positive and encouraging comments and praise coming from one of our big rivals. To be perfectly honest I would rather have a Jose Mourinho being negative and disrespectful because at least you know where he is coming from and that he really does not want us to do well.
When another managerial rival talks nicely about Wenger I am always looking for an ulterior motive and the comments often appear to me to be a bit patronising. You know, like he deserves a lot of respect and has been in the game and at our club for so long, blah blah blah…
Do you really think that Pep Guardiola is looking at anything other than a win for Man City at home against the Gunners today? When you compare the way the two teams have played so far it is easy to see why the home side are big favourites, as they have been playing great football, sweeping aside all comers and are unbeaten as yet, while Arsenal have lost at Stoke and Watford and were hammered at Anfield by Liverpool.
So when I read the report in the Daily Mail in which Guardiola talks up Arsenal’s credentials as Premier League title contenders and suggests that Man City have a very tough test ahead of them, my concern is that he really does not mean it and is confident of a win at the Etihad this weekend.
The Spaniard said, ‘We are in November. They won the FA Cup last season. The prestige of the club, the Emirates Stadium – of course they are a contender. It is nine points. The difference is nothing, believe me.
‘People consider we are going to play like the last two months all season. When that has happens I can say, ‘OK we have a big chance to be champions’ but nobody can assure you that. We have to fight.’
Of course Pep is sending a message to his own players about staying focused and working hard but in my opinion he is also saying to the Arsenal players that they should not worry and are not about to face a firestorm. Don’t believe him Gunners, because if you are going to challenge for that EPL trophy then you need to be bang at it today.