Pep Guardiola backs Arsene Wenger to regain support of Arsenal fans

James Ducker

Pep Guardiola has told Arsene Wenger all is not lost at Arsenal and that he is convinced the embattled manager will win back the support of fans with a sustained upturn in results.

The Manchester City manager has also warned his players that Arsenal will never be more dangerous than at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday after a run of six defeats in their past nine matches.

In a poll by the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust conducted last week, 78 per cent of fans said they do not want Wenger to remain as manager after this season but Guardiola believes the revolt will subside if the Frenchman finishes the campaign with a flourish.

“We [managers] are strong when we win, we are weak when we don’t win,” Guardiola said. "When he goes back to winning, the fans will be happy again. I promise you, 100 per cent.

Run-in

“The Premier League is not easy to win but I’m pretty sure the fans respect a lot what Arsene Wenger has done and is doing.

“People should understand how difficult football is today, all the teams are more prepared. When the bosses decide, or Arsene decides, to stay and keep going, he believes it is the best solution and the best for Arsenal.

“I’m not here to judge what they have to do and what is going to happen. The players judge what they see every day in the training sessions and how we are. Some of them are happy, some of them are unhappy, especially the players who don’t play. But for the fans it depends on results, not something else.

Guardiola says Arteta only has good words to say about Wenger Credit: Getty Images

“I think a manger like Arsene, who has had  a lot of years in one team, is so important. You cannot stay [20] years without ability. I have here a friend of mine, Mikel Arteta, who was with Arsene for a lot of years and he only has good words about Arsene. I believe more in that. Managers lose games. He’s there a long time because he’s good. If not, it cannot happen.”

Victory for City would strengthen their top four hopes and deal another blow to Wenger but Guardiola expects Arsenal to be a wounded animal after a poor run of form.

“When you lose a lot of games it is a dangerous moment - I would prefer to take Arsenal after a lot of wins,” the City manager said.

Guardiola is also hopeful Gabriel Jesus, the Brazil striker currently sidelined with a broken metatarsal, will play again this season. “Hopefully he can help us in the last games of the season and come back for us in the pre-season,” he said.

 

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