Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola insists Arsenal will be making a “big mistake” if they sack his former assistant coach Mikel Arteta.
Pressure is growing on Arsenal head coach Arteta after Guardiola’s City thumped the Gunners 4-1 in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.
Arteta left City, where he was Guardiola’s assistant, 12 months ago to take charge at Emirates Stadium.
“I’m pretty sure they are going to trust him,” said Guardiola when asked if Arsenal need to stick with Arteta. They will do a big mistake if they are thinking of dismissing him.”
Arteta said on the eve of the last-eight tie with City that he has no plans to walk away from his job and feels he has the support of the club.
The former Arsenal captain won the FA Cup in his first season in charge and his side then beat Premier League champions Liverpool in the Community Shield at the end of August.
But they have been poor in 2020-21 and languish in 15th spot in the top flight, four points above the relegation zone and without a win in seven league games.
They have qualified for the last 32 of the Europa League but they were comfortably beaten by City on Tuesday.
Guardiola, who has won two Premier League titles, three EFL Cups and one FA Cup after failing to secure a trophy in his first season at City in 2016-17, said Arteta needs time.
“They will do a huge, big mistake if they [sack Arteta]. I’m pretty sure they are going to trust him,” Guardiola told BBC Radio 5 Live after Tuesday’s game.
“I understand that the analysts analyse the results. But I was with him many years and I know his incredible quality as a human being and especially as a manager, how he is involved in everything. It’s just a question of time and he will do well. I’m not on the board. For me they will do a big mistake if they are thinking [to sack him].
“They give him the confidence, they won two titles when for a long time ago it didn’t happen at this club. In this pandemic situation, with injury problems they have and the games, they played they always played good.
“But unfortunately these games are our job and it depends on the results. But football changes in one week so quick.
“I can speak about my experience alongside him, one of the most incredible successful teams in English history we had and he was part of this success and it would not be possible without him, and to create something like this you need time like I had in my first season.”
Arteta said he and his team were “going to keep fighting”.
The Arsenal boss added: “There isn’t any other way. It’s a really hard result to take, but we have to look at things that can help us for the future.”
The fixture list doesn’t get any easier for Arsenal, with the Londoners to host Chelsea in the Premier League on Boxing Day before back-to-back away trips to Brighton and West Brom either side of the New Year.
Manchester City welcome Newcastle United to the Etihad on December 26 before they also hit the road twice for matches against Everton and Chelsea.