Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has heaped praise on his Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger saying that the Frenchman has brought an identity to the Gunners as a club. Guardiola also felt that he did not help Alexis Sanchez at Barcelona and said that he is perfect as a central striker.
“In terms of results, Arsene won titles in the past but we cannot forget that, and he has created something special at this club,” Pep Guardiola told the reporters, ahead of City's clash with Arsenal on Sunday.
Guardiola pointed out that it is not the trophies that define Wenger's time as a manager at the North London club.
“When he arrived at the Gunners it wasn’t a special team but now after 20 years you know exactly the identity of this club. And sometimes, that is much, much more important than winning titles,” the Catalan added.
“Is that disrespectful in world football? No. It’s respectful. The people say sweet things about the managers,” said a sarcastic Guardiola.
Guardiola also cited the example of the City fans who would sing songs about him whenever their team wins.
“It is what it is, it is football. If we don’t win the fans can express what he wants so now I have a song here in Manchester City but if you don’t win, no song anymore. It is what it is. In football, you have to win. You have to make a good result,” he said.
“The fans can express what they think. The fans pay for their ticket, go to a show and if they don’t like the performance or they are not happy with what happens, they can express their feelings so you have to accept that. If you cannot accept that, you move on, step back and go somewhere else,” the ex-Bayern Munich boss opined.
Guardiola also spoke about Arsenal's star forward and ex-Barcelona player Alexis Sanchez saying that as a coach, he did not help the Chilean at the Spanish club.
“He played really well in Barcelona. But it is normal when you play with Messi that people think that he is not at his level, as the highlight is always Leo. In Barcelona maybe I didn’t help him too much as I like the wingers wide, and he can do that but he plays more between the lines closer to the goal now. But Alexis helped us a lot and played well,” the 44-year said.
Sanchez is in red-hot form for Arsenal scoring 12 goals in 16 league games this season and Guardiola felt that the 27-year old is perfect as a central striker.
“The position that he is in now, as a striker, is perfect for him, it suits him perfectly. He is a player that can play in several positions – left, right, central. He is a fighter with character and spirit, and he is a winner. He is a class, class player but now he is playing really well. With Chile he has won two South American cups, that shows what a good player he is,” Guardiola said.