Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says he does not have much respect for Arsenal off the pitch.
Guardiola watched Mikel Arteta’s side ruin his hopes of a domestic cup double on Saturday. City were also looking to defend the FA Cup glory from 2018-19, but lost 2-0 at The Emirates to two Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goals.
Guardiola was impressed by Arteta’s side, who are starting to show the Spaniard’s methods, although Guardiola made a distinction in his thoughts about the club on and off the field.
Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was a well-documented critic of City and their past spending in relation to Financial Fair Play regulations.
Guardiola said: “The opponents always deserve my respect and credit, and Arsenal, they have it.
“I have all the respect for what Arsenal are on the pitch – not much off the pitch, but on the pitch a lot. So I congratulate them and good luck against Chelsea in the final.”
Next season will be Guardiola’s fifth at City, meaning he will have stayed at the club longer than his previous managerial jobs at Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
He said: “It’s a challenge for me, I’ve never been five years in one club, to see if we will be able to maintain the levels that we have in the previous seasons.
“In one world where everyone sacks everyone, for managers to keep doing the same job for a long time is so difficult. To be in a fifth season makes me so proud.”
‘Nobody can imitate him and that makes him special’
Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola has revealed his admiration for Marcelo Bielsa, who has led Leeds to promotion to the Premier League this season.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side were promoted on Friday after West Brom’s defeat at Huddersfield and won the title on Saturday after Brentford lost at Stoke.
The Whites celebrated their Sky Bet Championship title success by beating Derby at Pride Park on Sunday and Guardiola is looking forward to facing them.
Guardiola said: “I was lucky to have the opportunity to talk with him (Bielsa). For world football his ethics, his behaviour, the way his team plays – he is an authentic manager, his product is always incredible. Nobody can imitate him and that makes him special.
“Congratulations, not just to Marcelo Bielsa, but all Leeds. It is an historic team, after 16 years they are coming back and it will be good to go to play in that stadium against them.”