Football

Pep Guardiola and Edu back under-fire Mikel Arteta

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has backed former assistant Mikel Arteta to turn Arsenal's fortunes around, despite the club's dismal start to the season.

With 13 points from 12 English Premier League games, Arsenal are off to their worst start to a campaign in over 40 years and the pressure is building on Arteta, who was given the manager's job last December after winning two EPL titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups under Guardiola at City.

"Arsenal don't have a better manager that can lead this club in this year and the next," said Guardiola, ahead of City's game against West Bromwich Albion this morning (Singapore time).

"He's one of the best managers I've ever worked with and seen. I'm pretty sure he will turn things around and perform like everyone expects."

Arsenal technical director Edu said Arteta is on the right track and predicted a bright future for the club.

Ahead of his side's clash with Southampton tomorrow morning (Singapore time), Arteta said he is prepared to take the bullets.

"We have to face it being brave, fighting and no one giving up. It's not time to hide. It's time to put your face and your body on the line.

"At the moment, I'm sorry but we have to take the bullets. We are not winning football matches and you have to put your chest there and (say) 'hit me' because you have the right."

The Saints match will be behind closed doors, after London was placed in the toughest tier of Covid-19 restrictions following a sharp rise in coronavirus infections. - REUTERS

Football