Pep Guardiola has taken aim at rival Arsene Wenger by claiming if Arsenal had performed better throughout the season and secured their top-four status by now, then the Frenchman would have no need to complain about a perceived lack of effort by other teams.
This follows Wenger’s disgruntled reaction to West Ham’s recent 4-0 defeat by Liverpool, a result which severely dented Arsenal’s hopes of a top-four finish.
Wenger accused those mid-table sides safe from relegation as “being on holiday” and fears West Brom, currently eighth and with nothing left to play for this season, will play out a similar role at Manchester City tonight.
Arsenal have the same season every year
Guardiola has hit out against the Arsenal manager’s words, arguing that he does not “understand” how the 67-year-old can speak for other teams.
He also suggested that Wenger would not be preoccupied with such matters were Arsenal not so dependent on the results of others as they continue to chase a place in the Champions League.
“I don’t understand how the managers speak for the other clubs and the other teams,” he said.
“Ask to Arsene not to me. The people who are hired are focused in their teams, they do what they have to do.
“I never saw one player in my life go to the pitch and don’t try to win the game and when the target is done, it’s done, but so if you don’t want that, win more games yourself, or qualify before or win the champions league, and after we don’t have the problems for the other ones.”
When asked whether he felt Wenger’s comments sought to provoke West Brom and Watford, City’s remaining opponents, into raising their game, Guardiola dismissed his rival’s logic.
“Yeah, but he [Wenger] plays against Everton and Sunderland, no? Both teams are done, no? One is relegated and one is in the Europa League, so it’s the same situation, so you don’t want to complain, do it better during in the season and you will not have this problem.
“I would like to be Chelsea right now. If I were Chelsea, they don’t have to qualify for the champions league, so it’s for our fault or it could be better, not because of the opponents.”
Guardiola added: “West Brom are professionals, they’re going to play to win the game.
“They play the way they want to play, so if teams of Tony Pulis want to play that way, perfect. We have to adapt to that, so every manager and every team makes whatever he wants.”
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Source URL: The Independent