Is Pep Helping Or Manipulating His Friend? By Dan Smith
They say that only a true friend will tell you the truth. Where an acquaintance might tell you what you want to hear, someone who really cares will be brutally honest ,even if it hurts your feelings. It’s because they believe that long term their advice will help you.
Logically, when asked, Pep Guardiola isn’t going to publicly question any person’s credentials to be a manager, certainly not a friend.
Yet the Man City boss equally doesn’t have to volunteer plaudits.
This is what Pep said about our boss last week: “What I see in last two months is every time Arsenal play, they are better than their opponents.
“In the early future they will challenge for titles ‘
Pep is famous for his attention to detail bordering on obsessive!
It’s hard to believe that one of the best coaches in the world observes Arsenal and thinks we are even close to being title contenders, or could genuinely watch our games over two months and think we have been unlucky.
This is a man who when learning the ropes admired Arsene Wenger’s ethos, so he knows full well what is expected from the Gunners.
Of course, It could just be one man trying to help out a mate. Pep is smart enough to know that his voice influences others, and that owners like the Kroenke Family have so little knowledge of the sport they might listen to the opinion of one of the biggest names in Football.
Remember Arteta got the Arsenal job based on a reputation he had built up within the game. That reputation is endorsed by being Pep’s assistant more than say a David Moyes.
If an employer is looking at the style of football being played at the Etihad and their manager insists ‘I couldn’t do it without Mikel’, then you might listen.
Of course, it could just be Pep being humble. The current evidence appears to be that yes, in fact, Pep can do it without Arteta.
If our American owners were considering sacking our manager before Christmas (no indication they were) who better for Arteta to have endorsing him then Mr Guardiola who made it clear it would be Arsenal’s ‘mistake’.
Of course if I could help my buddy from being fired I would do it. I would also look back at winning trophies with my friend as a fun time in my life, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t have won silverware without him.
You could even question is Pep killing two birds with one stone? Not just keeping someone he cares about in work but keeping Arsenal at arm’s length as well.
It’s been years since we were a threat to the title, but as a student of the game, Pep knows Arsenal have all the resources to do what Liverpool did. That’s what is so frustrating. If Arsenal had the ambition, they could have attracted a big name to replace Mr Wenger. We are owned by a billionaire, who at any point could have ordered an increase in transfer funds.
Arsenal finished above City the season before Pep moved to England, in his first campaign in the country only 3 points separated the two clubs. So while certainly not a priority in his thoughts, we have become one less headache.
The Guardiola and Arteta families are close. I picture a family barbecue where everyone is so thankful for the reference Pep continues to give to Mikel. In reality, while happy to help, his aim is to hurt Arsenal by giving us a rookie boss!
They say you have to be ruthless to be successful. Having beat his apprentice for the 4th time out of 5, this was Pep’s assessment’, “we didn’t have the players to play and create our game because Mikel is so clever, and they make man to man in the build-up. I know Mikel, how good he is and well his team plays.”
Think of any fan, pundit, journalist, etc, you have heard describe our performance on Sunday – few said it was clever! It’s not clever not to have just one shot in a second half when you are losing 1-0.
As for Pep knowing how well we play. We are 10th, have lost 11 out of a possible 25. That doesn’t happen to a team who plays well.
So there are lots of reasons not to listen to Pep’s opinions about our manager.
Unfortunately, I think those in power at the Emirates do….