Ahead of Saturday’s early Premier League kickoff between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium, the Citizens manager, Pep Guardiola has appealed to Gunners fans to rally around Mikel Arteta amid reports he could be sacked after the game.
Arsenal’s goalless, pointless start to the top-flight season has increased the pressure on the 39-year-old.
The 6-0 Carabao Cup win away to West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday served as a distraction but means nothing in the larger scheme.
A good performance and result against the champions would begin that process but there is a disturbing feeling around north London that the game against City is less a barometer of the side’s health than the home fixture against Norwich City immediately after the international break.
However, Guardiola is adamant it is too early to judge Arteta and insists his former assistant needs time to build a team at the Emirates Stadium.
“Two games. We have played two games, not 20 or 50,” added the City boss.
“Sometimes I think managers are crazy to do the job. They trust Mikel a lot because they spend money to reinforce the team.
“It’s just two games. Give more time to build what they want to build. People want success immediately, you need time.
“It doesn’t matter what happens – it is an opinion we have here and everyone knows what we think about him.”