Pep Guardiola has won things ‘the right way’ like Arsene Wenger and Arteta is doing the same

If Pep Guardiola is impressed with Arsenal, that’s good enough for me  by Dan Smith

Arsene Wenger had a dream.

It wasn’t just to win major honours.

It wasn’t just to coach a team to play the ‘right way’.

He believed you could do both. That it was possible to be successful while playing beautiful football.

He did that with the Invincibles, and so nearly finished the story by being 12 minutes away from lifting the Champions League.

You could even argue that the Frenchman prioritised his ethos over silverware.

If he cared about purely being judged by medals, he could have accepted numerous jobs offers from the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and PSG.

It’s no wonder the 73-year-old didn’t get along with Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese has contrasting principles. He will do whatever it takes to win. No matter the style of play, no matter what his owner has to spend, no matter what he has to say, even if he has to hide in laundry basket, Jose believes nothing is more important than winning.

That’s why it’s hard to not like Pep Guardiola.

There’s a lot to dislike about Man City, who might yet be found guilty of breaking serious rules to obtain the squad they have.

But when you compare them to Man United’s treble winners that’s where the *asterisk* comes into play.

You can’t ignore the only reason there is success at the Etihad is because they were brought essentially by a country.

Yet you can’t pretend their manager hasn’t changed English Football, from winning one title without a recognised striker, to winning another without a natural left back.

His attention to detail is obsessive. That’s why he left Barcelona. He emotionally gave so much until he couldn’t give any more.

In three different countries now, Pep has consistently proven that beauty can overcome the beast.

He does it with class, the only pressure he lets impact on him is the pressure he puts on himself.

He doesn’t go overboard in victory or in defeat, and doesn’t feel the need to play mind games to hurt others mentally.

Moments after lifting his fifth Prem he took time to praise Arsenal’s season.

He didn’t need to do that and others in his position wouldn’t have.

He said, ‘There’s a tendency to underestimate. They are winners.”

“We pushed Arsenal but they are exceptional. They should be proud of where they have come from.

“They made me think a lot what I had to do to beat them, and they did it to us.

“Congratulations for what they have done. He’s (Arteta) brought them back to what Arsenal was in the past.’

Cynics might say he’s trying to give his friend positive words at a time where Arteta looks broken.

It’s natural the teacher wants his apprentice to succeed.

Yet Pep is a student of the sport. As a player he would have known how big the Gunners were, is educated enough to know this has been a poor period in our history.

If it’s true that we worried him and tactically made him think of new ideas, that’s the biggest compliment we get out of this campaign.

We live in a world where people can share their opinion around the universe within seconds.

There are some YouTubers, who get money out of talking about football, who want Arteta sacked for finishing runners up.

These are the same people who if we had finished 4th last year would have called that progress.

I’d rather listen to Pep.

Something tells me he knows what he’s talking about?

So, if he says we have progressed I believe him.

If he’s impressed, that’s good enough for me.


Tags Arteta Guardiola Wenger


  1. Pep seems a decent enough fella who will give credit where it’s due, and he knows that Arsenal gave them a good ride this season.
    I see that he’s now saying that he’d like to see this 115 charges business cleared up ASAP, so that he can decide on his future, which suggests that he’ll leave City if (and when) they’re found guilty of the charges.
    Looking forward to that.😉

    1. Pep Guardiola surely knows that Manchester City has employed and will continue to employ the best lawyers to drag the FFP litigation out foreever and a day. Pep will be retired or have had moved on to a new challenge, before Manchester City faces any consequences of its flagrant violations of FIFA’s rules. They are serial offenders and last time shrugged off a £60 million fine. Does anyone expect a different outcome this time under those highly respected organizations FIFA and the English FA.

  2. Yes. In my opinion, Guardiola’s football style is one of the most attractive styles in the world

    His team is dominant in the games, most of their goals were beautifully crafted through open-play and they have been using an unorthodox formation, unlike Conte’s smash-and-grab tactics and Allegri’s/ Simeone’s park-the-bus tactics

    I think Man City will still dominate EPL next season and they will do it without fullback again. It’d be interesting to see whether Arteta will copy his mentor’s tactics or not

  3. There’s no right way or wrong way. The only way is winning. Personally I love to see possession based attacking football. But we also have to acknowledge that there are also teams who will not be able to play this way. So how then do you expect them to compete with teams who are great at playing this way? Weren’t we criticizing Arteta for trying to go toe to toe with Man City’s style of play instead of being defensive? In as much as I love possession based attacking football, you also have to love defensive based counter attacking football; it’s a pure beauty in itself to watch. At the end of the day the goal is to win.

    1. I agree – Italy were famous for their defensive style, it was a great tradition for them. We were also famous for our ‘1 nil to the arsenal’ defensive style before wenger, and there was nothing wrong with it. I also found atletico’s first title win under simeone to be extremely compelling because they were up against two unbelievable sides in la liga.
      That kind of football emphasises different aspects to football which, to me, can also be fascinating (beautiful) to watch.

      1. Totally right. Especially the examples you used. Italy and Simeone’s title winning side. Without that brand of ultra defensive football there was no way Athletico could win the title against those Barca and Madrid teams.

  4. I love one of your constant sayings Dan, that we can disagree but still remain friends. In my case, no matter how much I push myself I cant like Guardiola. He seems to me one of those Football elitists or of the burgeoise, who only ever has to do little in order to win titles. Obviously this seeming effortlessness is due to immense effort he puts in coaching and the constant innovations he brings about to the sport for which he has my absolute respect. But that is not the reason I dislike him. Its the somewhat passive aggressive defense to criticism that goes his way sometimes (something I hope MA doesnt catch), even if majority of the press love him. The guy knows that he goes to big clubs with big budgets, and before this year, has been an utter failure in the UCL since he built the best team to ever play football. I get that the guy has a legitimate claim to be one of the best coaches ever, but when some people claim that he is the greatest manager in the EPL, then it gets a bit over the top. He still has to win atleast 2 CLs and get atleast 7 8 more PLs before he can beat SAF. My overall point is, the guy is really great, just that he seems or seemed too petulant before this season.
    Regarding Jose, he is my second favorite manager after AW. I enjoy counter attacking football as much as I enjoy pretty tippytappy football. An excess of any one style is obviously detrimental, but the beauty about Jose is he was obviously willing to play and coach pretty football. Its just that the rejection from Barca made him develop his now trademark counter attacking style with which he has even outplayed Pep. Whatever anyone says, the guy knew the value of winning and I always wondered what if we got Jose before he deteriorated, maybe sometime around 2015-2017? The style shift would have been enormous but maybe we could have been more successful?
    Lastly, I feel Pep does play mind games. This season itself he has tried to put pressure on Arsenal, and after he confirmed the title he gave a little pat on the back of his friend. In this way, he did show through his actions that we belong below him and City, no matter how competitive we become. And he played a somewhat subtle game of reducing pressure or impetus on Arsenal and Arteta to improve next season. Very subtle use of media indirectly.
    Anyways nice read. Glad you liked the season as did I. Cheers!

  5. Football is beautiful
    Play it anyway you like, possession,pressing,counter press,counter attack at the end winner takes all, every pattern is unique on it’s own when executed perfectly, wenger played possession based football but never perfected it like tge way gadiolla is doing
    Liverpool are not possession based but I have enjoyed their play as well as I have enjoyed city if not more, sometimes they are electrifying and robost, Infact any style that wins you multiple titles is Worthy to be applauded, gadiolla would have won the league if managing our squad he is that good… No full back yet he won with almost 10point magin this is crazy(walker isn’t even a fullback more like a right sided CB)

    1. Guardiola is a great manager. However, we do not know whether he could have been successful with a team like Arsenal’s. He has never had to manage a team in a similar situation.

  6. Guardiola is a good coach but he’s never won against the odds, like Klopp did when Dortmund beat Bayern to the title two seasons running. Still less what Ranieri did in that one memorable season at Leicester. Guardiola has always had the money and he’s made it pretty clear he doesn’t care how many rules City break as long as it keeps coming.

      1. You and Reggie are beating around the facts. Tackle the points he has raised. Your reply is a plain get out of debate card.

  7. For Dan Smith
    Great article.
    It is so great to see more Arsene Wengers in the EPL. Pep has again re-invented the game with their high press and added the beauty & artistry brought into the game by AW so many years ago. Also a bit more humble than JM, SAF and AW.

    On a personal level I would be happy for Man City to win the treble but I hope they do not do an invincible season and I hope we are the ones that stop him from doing so this time instead of Liverpool.

  8. Pep is a great coach. And he is even better with Man City’s billions. I wonder whether he can coach clubs not as rich as Man City.

      1. You are right of course, Reggie, but Bayern Munich and Barcelona were hugely successful and only a handful of oil rich clubs are richer than City.

        1. 👍 SueP, Bayern Munchen and Barcelona were and are ultra competitive and successful clubs with more resources than most of their competitors before and after Pep Guardiola. Not discounting his obvious ability, which allows him to pick and choose the clubs he goes to to manage.

  9. He is one of the best but can never give him full credit because he hasn’t done anything with a club with limited resources.

    A lot of managers will one treble with that Man City team.

    If we judge it fairly, we are the real Champions this season, denied what is our right by endless supply of money to the rival.

    I am not that old yet but I have seen Man City fighting for relegation and relegated more than once.

    How can they boast now the best squad in the world? It doesn’t need any effort to get the answer.

    1. Wow!!!!!! The reason he hasnt had to deal with limited resources is because he is SO GOOD. And no not everybody could have dont what he has done withis city team because its his team and nobody elses. When he first joined Barca, they were in a right state. He turned then round in one season and had won the CL in his first attempt. Thats why he hasn’t had to struggle, he is the best at what he does. He has had success throughout Europe and is just better than anyone else out there because he is so committed and hard working. The bloje is a phenomenon.

    2. Much of what you have stated is quite true.
      MCs current dominance is related to the money they have been able to pour into the club.
      Guardiola is a great manager but he has always been in an advantageous position versus almost every other manager in every league he has been.

  10. Though I loathe the folk who OWN CIty, I find it impossible not to admire and like Pep in equal measure.

    He is a football genius and imo the best, by far, manager I have ever come across. I also admire almost all of their current squad. They have raised the bar SO HIGH, it is difficult to imagine any other team reaching that height. Though, naturally, we will try our best.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors