Pep Guardiola still happy to offer Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta advice as he gets to grips with management

James Robson
AFP via Getty Images

Mikel Arteta retains a hotline to Pep Guardiola — even after leaving Manchester City for Arsenal.

It means the Spaniard has, arguably, the best sounding board in world football as he gets to grips with his first job in management.

Guardiola has revealed his former assistant’s “struggles” since taking over at the Emirates before Christmas, but insists Arteta has been outstanding in just a matter of weeks in the role.

Arsenal have won only one Premier League game under their former captain — the New Year’s Day victory against Manchester United. His only other win in six games in charge came against Championship side Leeds in the FA Cup.

Guardiola confirmed he and Arteta are still in regular contact and City’s boss remains happy to lend an ear to his former right-hand man. “It was an incredible relationship,” he said. “We are in touch quite often by phone.

“He’s so excited, so happy, struggling because it is always not easy to take a team in the beginning. But he is doing incredibly well, off and on the pitch. He decided to move. For people I love, I always want the best and he decided that. I wish him all the best. He knows that.”

Guardiola has also warned that England’s chances of success at Euro 2020 is being threatened by demands on players. Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford already face extended injury lay-offs and Guardiola fears they won’t be the last members of Gareth Southgate’s squad to break down.

“There are still many months ahead before the Euros,” he said. “With that number of games, players break down. I’m so sorry for them.”

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