Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola said Mikel Arteta was a good manager who would turn things around at Arsenal with a bit of patience despite his team being thrashed 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Ten-man Arsenal tamely slipped to their third Premier League defeat – the first time they have lost their opening three fixtures of a campaign in 67 years – against City to sit at the bottom of the table with no points and no goals.
But Guardiola, who had Arteta as one of his assistants at City between 2016 and 2019, called on Arsenal fans to keep the faith.
“I work two, three years together with him, and I learned many things,” Guardiola said. “He’s above and beyond a good manager. The character, personality, the leading. He’s incredibly beloved from all of us, we were sad when he left.
“Sometimes people expect results immediately. The squad he played today isn’t the team he dreamed because they had seven or eight injuries. Really important players – Ben White, Thomas Partey.
“He can’t use the players he needs to do it. All the managers need the deep squad. All our players except Kevin (De Bruyne) and Phil (Foden) are fit. I am a big fan of him and if they trust him he will do a good job at Arsenal.”
A despondent Arteta pointed to his lack of options but called for a quick turnaround in fortunes given the club finished eighth last season and out of European qualification places.
“We have some players here, hopefully we can get some players back,” Arteta said. “It’s time to reflect and look in the mirror at each of us. We need to change the dynamic straight away.
“I don’t think today is the day to talk about any problems with the process. Today we have to talk about the result and what happened on the pitch. And that’s it.”