Pep Guardiola was reportedly reluctant to let go of Mikel Arteta after the Arsenal board decided to sack Unai Emery. Emery's tumultuous time with the Gunners was brought to an end late in November last year. While a number of names were mooted as potential managers to take over the hot seat at the Emirates, Mikel Arteta emerged as the frontrunner after impressing the Arsenal board with a detailed presentation of his blueprint for the Gunners. Pep Guardiola was later asked about his relationship with Mikel Arteta.
Pep Guardiola about keeping in contact with Mikel Arteta...— Football Daily (@footballdaily) January 21, 2020
🗣️"He decided to move but I want the best for the people I love" pic.twitter.com/V0dlYgWT1a
Pep Guardiola's first season in the Premier League grabbed headlines all over the world. The Champions League-winning Spaniard was expected to instantly work wonders with an expensively assembled Manchester City side. In December that year, City lost to both Chelsea and Leicester. Manchester City were then slated to play Arsenal that month, just six months after Mikel Arteta left the Gunners to join Pep Guardiola's backroom staff. That was when, according to The Athletic, Guardiola decided to leave Mikel Arteta in charge of the game against Arsenal.
Thus began a chapter in Pep Guardiola's 'incredible' relationship with Mikel Arteta. With the now-Arsenal manager in tow, Pep Guardiola would guide Manchester City to 100 points in 2017-18. This was then followed by a 98-point campaign the following season with Liverpool pushing Manchester City all the way to Matchday 38 for the title. Pep Guardiola has now revealed that he maintains contact with Mikel Arteta after his appointment at Arsenal.
“It was an incredible relationship. 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.” - Pep Guardiola to the media
Speaking in a pre-match press conference earlier this month, the Manchester City manager said that the pair are "in touch quite often by phone." Both Arsenal and Manchester City featured in Premier League action this week on Matchday 24. While Arsenal managed to effect a comeback and salvage a draw at Stamford Bridge, Manchester City got over the 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace with a 1-0 win over Chris Wilder's impressive Sheffield United side.