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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta names Pep Guardiola the best in the business ahead of title six-pointer

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta views his former mentor Pep Guardiola as ‘the best coach in the world’ as the Gunners prepare to take on Manchester City in a crucial Premier League fixture on Sunday.

Before assuming the managerial reins in London, the 42-year-old was Guardiola’s assistant at the Etihad Stadium, learning his trade from one of the most decorated tacticians in world football.

Despite having an insight into Guardiola’s playbook, Arteta has notoriously struggled against his old associate, especially in the Premier League, where he has only won once in their eight meetings.

The ex-Barcelona manager emerged victorious from all seven remaining clashes. But the Arsenal chief of staff claimed bragging rights in the reverse fixture as the Gunners eked out a 1-0 win in the capital.

Arteta and Guardiola will put their friendship aside again this weekend as the former labels Man City’s all-conquering tactical genius the best in the world.

Asked whether their relationship is different now, Arteta replied (via the club’s official website): “It had to change, but my admiration and what I feel for him, certainly not.

“In my opinion, he is the best coach in the world by a mile and is one of the nicest people that I have met in football, certainly one of the ones that I have had more fun and a laugh working with, and that’s going to stay there forever.”

With only a point separating the two teams ahead of the kick-off, Arteta is desperate to become the first Arsenal coach since Arsene Wenger in 2007/08 to pull off a season double against Man City.

Achieving that feat would not only reaffirm the Gunners’ title credentials but potentially set the tone for their first Premier League triumph in two decades.

However, Arteta must beat the best in the business in his own backyard, where he is unbeaten in 38 consecutive matches across all competitions, highlighting the size of the task awaiting him on Sunday.

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