Press conference

'When opportunities arise, we have to take them'

Mikel Arteta is under no illusions at the size of the task facing his squad on Saturday.

The boss worked alongside Pep Guardiola at Manchester City between 2016 and 2019 - and knows we’ll need to be at our very best to secure all three points at the Etihad. 

Here's what he had to say:

on what it takes to compete against Manchester City…
It’s the level that they read the game and the level that you have to be mentally ready for, to run for long periods of the game without touching the ball to sacrifice and being prepared to suffer in the right moments. But as well, having the conviction that we’re going to have moments in the game and when those opportunities arise, we will have to take them and that’s how I want to see the team. They are fully committed, fully prepared, and they believe that we can go to Manchester and get the result that we want.

on how much progress Manchester City have made since his departure...
I think they've maintained a big part of their squad. They still maintain a lot of things that were happening before and they have certainly maintained success because they have kept winning.

on if Pep Guardiola ranks alongside Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson as a Premier League great...
I don't know, obviously the longevity of Sir Alex and Arsene is incredible what they've done. I think Pep has brought a lot of new things, a lot of different ways of playing and I think what he's added to this country is exceptional and he's going to go into the history of the Premier League for sure.

on the possibility of Pep Guardiola leaving Manchester City at the end of his contract...
I don't know. It's his fifth season. Obviously, he's there at the club that he's been at the longest. I think he's loving it there. I think he's got the right support. He's winning trophies. He's building what he wants. He wanted to have experience in this league and I think he's extremely happy right now.

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