Mikel Arteta has revealed that he reached out to former colleague Pep Guardiola to extend his congratulations after Manchester City won this season’s Premier League title.
Man City won a third successive title after Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest last Saturday, bringing an end to an enthralling race.
Arteta, who had previously served as assistant coach under Guardiola at Man City before becoming Arsenal boss, expressed his admiration for his former mentor and acknowledged the hard work and dedication it took to achieve such success.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Arteta said: “I called him to congratulate him and the staff because people may think things that happen are granted for them.
“They have to work so hard and all the hours they put in, how much they suffer and how much they have to think and think… and try to always promote that winning mentality that they are doing.
“Then at the end, you have to say congratulations, this is sport. He’s a really good friend of mine. I not only respect him but I admire him as a person, as a professional.
“So when you are in reach, you have to take all of the positive things that we’ve done in the season and how far we’ve come, and some [lessons] for sure to be better.”
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Arsenal had led the title race for a total of 248 days – a record without going on to win the Premier League – but their form waned towards the end of the season. They were notably dealt a a significant 4-1 loss to Guardiola’s Man City at the Etihad Stadium in April.
While the Gunners responded with back-to-back victories over Chelsea and Newcastle, they still relied on Man City slipping up, which did not occur.
Despite Arsenal’s disappointment in not winning the title, Arteta emphasised the importance of recognising the positive aspects of their season and learning from their experiences.
Reflecting on City’s triumph, he added: “They deserve it, as simple as that. 38 games – it doesn’t lie. We have some regrets against Liverpool, 2-0 up, West Ham and the penalty, against Southampton, the mistakes that we made and it was 3-3.
“Even if we had won all those games, it wasn’t enough. And this is the level. Everything has to be perfect, there are no margins for error.
“Everything has to go your way for 10-and-a-half months and we had some bumps in the road for the last final part and made some mistakes that were critical not to reach that level.”
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