Pep Guardiola has defended Mikel Arteta after his Manchester City beat Arsenal 5-0 in the Premier League this afternoon.
Arteta worked with Guardiola at City as his assistant before Arsenal poached him in 2019.
The Spaniard won the FA Cup and Community Shield in his first year in charge but the last year has been a tough one for him as Arsenal’s manager.
The Gunners have been faltering relentlessly and their loss to City means they have made their worst start to a season in decades.
They are yet to keep a clean sheet, win a match or score a goal in the league this season.
That is not the start of a club that wants to return to the top four and there have been calls for Arteta to be sacked.
However, his mentor, Guardiola, claims the absence of the likes of Thomas Partey and Ben White means Arteta has been unable to field a team with players that he knows can deliver.
“All I can say is that we worked for two or three years together. What I learned from him… I could learn many, many things,” Guardiola told BT Sport as quoted by Express Sport.
“He’s a young good manager. He has the correct personality and he is the leadership qualities.
“He’s incredibly loved by all of us [at Man City]. We were sad when he left.
“Sometimes people expect the results immediately. The squad today that he played is not the squad that he dreamed.”
“He has so many players injured. Six, seven or eight injuries,” the Spaniard continued.
“Really important players missing. Ben White and examples like that. Thomas Partey isn’t here.
“He cannot use the players that he needs to do [his system]. All the managers need their squads. The depth of their squad.
“All our players except Kevin [de Bruyne] and Phil [Foden] are fit. I can handle that and I can make a better manager of myself.
“Absolutely, I am a big fan of him and I am sure that if they trust him, they are going to do a job.”