The Arsenal boss has revealed the Manchester City boss once visited him because he wanted to represent Arsenal.

Wenger did not take up Guardiola’s offer and the Spaniard went on to represent Brescia, Roma, Al-Ahli, and Mexican side Dorados before he hung his boots in 2006.

Pep Guardiola represented the Barcelona senior team for 11 years – appearing in 263 games for the Blaugrana, and Wenger who praised the former Spanish international for his understanding of the game said Guardiola once visited him in order to play for the North London side.

Praising Guardiola’s philosophy in an interview with Beinsports, Wenger said: “I have spoken with him on various occasions, one time he came to my house because he wanted to play for Arsenal.

“He has had some exceptional teams and trained them very well.

“I respect what he does because he has a clear vision of the game and positive attitude and philosophy.”

The Frenchman concluded: “Even if he doesn’t win because of it, I respect him for the influence that he has on the game”

In his first season as a manager, Guardiola guided Barcelona to a treble, winning the La Liga, Copa Del Rey and the UEFA Champions League – in winning the latter, he became the youngest coach to win the competition.

Having departed Barcelona in the summer of 2012, he signed for Bundesliga giant Bayern Munich in 2013 – where he won the Bundesliga in all of the three seasons he spent at the club.

And having putting pen to a three-year deal with Man City in 2016, the Spaniard witnessed his first season without a trophy same season.

Guardiola’s Man City stand a chance to win a quadruple this season - as they are 16 points ahead second-place Man u in the league.

The Citizens will also lock horns with Arsenal in the final of the Capital One Cup next week at the Wembley Stadium and are also in contention to win the Emirates FA Cup the UEFA Champions League.

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With City having over seven first team players ruled out for the 1-1 draw against Burnley last Saturday, Guardiola named only six players on the substitute bench for the game - and that made Garry Neville to refer to the City boss as a ‘joke.’

Though the City U-23 team had a match on Friday night, the former United defender argued that Guardiola should have featured a youth team player on the bench on Saturday.

Neville claimed the academy manager would have felt he was wasting his time at the club.

And at his pre-match conference for the tie against Leicester City, Guardiola said he chose not to name an academy player as his seventh substitute at the Turf Moor because City Under-23 had a game the previous night and he never wanted to upset their plans.

Guardiola said Neville should know about his decision because he was a manager for “a short time”, a reference to Neville’s four months spell at Valencia.

Guardiola said: “This guy {Neville}, the pundit, he has to know my job is serious, it’s not a joke, never is it a joke.

“It’s so serious, and he should know that because he was a manager for a short time.”

Neville has been at the centre of some funny commentaries recently – the 42-year-old last week also said that Karius was at fault as the Liverpool keeper should have done more to save the Wanyama’s strike in Liverpool 2-2 draw at Anfield last Sunday

But what a clap back from Pep! How that lasts is left to be seen.

Published in International Watch

Joey Barton has criticised Pep Guardiola over pleas that players needed to be more protected by the referees.

The Manchester City’s boss comments came aftermath the injury Leroy Sane suffered in the game against Cardiff City on Sunday as a result of bad tackling from Bennett, who only saw yellow card although he was later sent off after getting another booking.

Guardiola after the game was quoted by BBC sports to have said, “For football in general players are the artists. The only thing they can do is protect them.

“Referees have to protect – not just mine, all players.”

But Barton has disproved Guardiola’s pleas – saying fans like a contact sport.

According to the outspoken former Burnley midfielder, the physicality nature of the English League was one of the reasons why the league was amassing a large number of followership.

 Barton, as quoted by Marca, “What does he want, a sport without any contact like in Spain or Italy?”

“If you look at Serie A or the French League, they are horrible to watch, there are a lot of stoppages and our league is better because it flows.

“Pep needs to understand that this is English football. Football has moved on, we protect our players a lot more than we used to do,” he concluded.

Guardiola, whose side are topping the league – 12 points ahead of second place Manchester United will have to do without the services of Sane in their next game against West Brom on Wednesday night.

Sane was said to have suffered ankle ligament damage as a result of the tackle from Bennett and some dailies have reported that the German midfielder could be out for up to 3-4 months.

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‘There’s an element of being very satisfied with the performance because we didn’t lose as many predicted we would…’. An element? These days, teams consider narrowly losing to Manchester City a plus, not to talk of holding to a draw, and stopping from them scoring in the league for the first time since the end of April.

But you could understand Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson saying the satisfaction was only to an extent, and the ‘element of frustration’ following their goalless draw at home to the log leaders, as in stoppage time, they were awarded a penalty, but Luka Milivojevic’s attempt was foiled by City goalkeeper Ederson. That moment would have turned a memorable result into a delirious outcome, as the Eagles became the first team to stop City from winning in the league in 132 days.

‘I was proud of the performance and I thought it was excellent in terms of tactical discipline, commitment and their focus, determination and concentration’ said Hodgson. ‘Because you only need to fall asleep for a brief moment against teams of this quality and they’ll punish you’. And to their credit, Palace never fell asleep, never let their guard down, never let themselves get carried away, and even had 10 shots and seven corners, the highest for an opposition side against Man City this season.

City’s frustration was palpable, not least when Leroy Sane kicked the ball away following a mis-timed pass, and saw yellow, and the result means the Mancunians fall one short of Bayern Munich’s domestic record, set by current manager Pep Guardiola in 2013/14. That the stalemate means they’re still 14 points clear at the top means their biggest worry would be injuries to Gabriel Jesus, and most especially Kevin de Bruyne, subject of a cynical (to say the very least) foul by Palace’s Jason Puncheon in stoppage time, although the Belgian said he was okay and was seen walking eventually, Guardiola admitting he didn’t know what the future would be on that, but said Jesus would be out for about a month.

But City’s frustration on the pitch wasn’t just from Palace sitting back, Guardiola had spoken out after the Newcastle win on Wednesday that it’s difficult when ‘opponents don’t want to play’, but Palace did more than a fair bit of playing. ‘ I thought before the game that our best chance to get something from the game would be to score goals because I know how they good they are offensively.’ Hodgson added.

Nevertheless, the South Londoners are only a point and a place outside the relegation, despite this game making it eight games in nine without losing, and they have Southampton in two days, as Hodgson himself noted. ‘The last moment is being aware that this is a nice moment that we can savour for a brief period because we have to go to Southampton with one day’s rest with a lot of injuries’. ‘You’ll have to allow me a few minutes of enjoyment before midnight in sending the crowd, and ourselves, home happy tonight because we played a good game’.

The fans will certainly go home happy, although they’ll know they were only a few yards away from going home ecstatic.


  • As for City, Kyle Walker said it’s probably good in a way to drop points, ‘to get us down to earth and get that motivation’. With all eyes bound to be watching on how they will cope with the potential absence of De Bruyne soon against Watford, that motivation will come in handy.
  • Game 811 for Arsene Wenger, and for 83 minutes his side were stuck, until Alexis Sanchez’s free-kick, thanks to a shabby wall, for the Chilean’s fourth goal in three games. That seemed like being enough for three points, until Calum Chambers was deemed to have handled in the area, a rather contentious decision. Not that Jay Rodriguez minded, the Baggies forward burying the penalty with a minute of normal time left, to salvage a point. Cue an incandescent Wenger afterwards. The Gunners host Chelsea on Wednesday.
  • Speaking of Chelsea, they barely had to leave first gear, and didn’t even need Eden Hazard to hit five past Stoke at Stamford Bridge, Danny Drinkwater with the pick of the goals, his first for the Blues. How often is this said now, it was a sorry afternoon for the Potters. They lie 15th, and host 16th placed Newcastle at the start of the New Year.
  • For the third game in a row, it was a draw for Manchester United, but this was probably the worst performance of them all, perhaps of the season, as it ended goalless against Southampton. Trust Jose Mourinho to seek out the penalty claims waved away, although he might have a valid point. These days, it’s all his side has been getting.
  • It’s all rather tight at the bottom, only six points separate 11th from 18th, while bottom placed Swansea hauled themselves into life by scoring two late goals at Watford, the new manager bounce seeing them bag their first away win since August. A welcome start for Carlos Carvalhal.
  • For Swansea’s fellow relegation battlers Bournemouth, it was also late drama, as they left it late to clinch all three points against Everton at the South Coast, thanks to Ryan Fraser’s double. It’s a first loss for Sam Allardyce, and it had been coming in truth. They welcome Manchester United to Goodison by, ahem, next year.
  • For the third game in a row, Leicester scored first but went on to concede two, and for the second game on the bounce, it was a defeat, this time at Anfield. And it’s rather easy to know what that implies, Mohammed Salah found the net. The Egyptian’s double sees his tally for the club at 22 in only five months.
  • Tottenham had the weekend off, but with their game against West Ham pushed to Thursday, it means in the first seven days of 2018, they and the Hammers will play three times. First up, Swansea on Tuesday.
  • Back to the City game, it was quite a sad moment to see Gaby Jesus go off injured, as the Brazilian went off in tears, although it did make for a nice festive reference.
  • Oh. Right. Happy New Year!


Manchester United 0-0 Southampton

Crystal Palace 0-0 Manchester United

Chelsea 5-0 Stoke

Watford 1-2 Swansea

Bournemouth 2-1 Everton

Newcastle 0-0 Brighton

Huddersfield 0-0 Burnley

West Brom 1-1 Arsenal

Liverpool 2-1 Leicester



Everton v Manchester United

Burnley v Liverpool

Manchester City v Watford

Swansea v Tottenham

West Ham v West Brom

Southampton v Crystal Palace

Arsenal v Chelsea

Stoke v Newcastle

Leicester v Huddersfield

Brighton v Bournemouth

January 4: Tottenham v West Ham



Published in International Watch

The Frenchman explains the difference between the Arsenal invincible squad and Present City's squad 

The former Arsenal and France midfielder believes the Arsenal squad that went a whole season without losing a league game in the 2003/2004 season is better than that of the present Man City.

Pires appeared in 40 of Arsenal's unbeaten 49 games finding the back of the net 23 times.

While Man City have better the invincibles’ record set in 2003/2004 of 14 consecutive wins by three – winning 17 games in a row, Piresargued that if the two sides were to lock horns, the invicible squad would come out the better over the present high flying Man City squad.

According to him, the team he starred in in 2003 possessed more qualities than the Pep Guardiola’s team.

The invincible squad of 2003/2004 season

“I think my team had more quality," Pires told CNN Sport.

“Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry had more quality than Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus.”

"Patrick Vieira is better than Fernandinho. Pires is better than ... De Bruyne..”


Carzola is in a difficult situation - Pires

Mbappe right to have snubbed Madrid

Pires tips Barca to qualify over Chelsea

Meanwhile Man City manager Pep Guardiola has insisted that he was not after going the whole season without losing a game but for his team to play a good footballer.

Re-echoing his manager’s stand, City star man earlier this month told Sky it would be impossible for his team to go the season unbeaten.

"The power of the Premier League means every team has a lot of money and every team has a lot of quality players,” De Bruyne said.

“So I think one day or another you will face a team who finds a system to beat you, or they have a better day."

With the win against Newcastle on Wednesday, Man City have made it 17 wins on the bounce – with only Everton the only side to pick a point from them this season.



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The working one" Fidelis Ilechukwu has revealed that he took a leaf each from the books of Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte as he helped steer the performance of MFM FC from relegation strugglers to title challengers in their second NPFL season. 

MFM FC struggled in the regressive water of relegation in their debut NPFL season, barely escaping the drop only for Heartland's indiscipline away at Wikki Tourists on the final game of the season. But the following season, fortunes turned for the 'Olukoya Boys' as they rose from the humbling grass of relegation battle to the grace of title challenge, although they eventually lost the title to Plateau United, Ilechukwu's tweak on this team was mind-blowing. 

Also Read: I want to be the next George Weah: Stephen Odey

In an Interview with, the tactician highlighted the influence of big three of EPL had on his title challenge campaign. 

"I also adopted Guardiola's style of keeping the possession no matter the pressure during the match - the ball must be on the ground and the team must dominate.

"While Conte's philosophy of having fewer defenders and more players in the midfield and the attack was another tactic I used. So when things change, I can change to any of them.

"When I started early last season taking the risk and implementing those philosophies I adopted in our away games, we concede up to four goals. That's one result is different from the other, especially when we play away from home.

"For example in one of our home game against Gombe United, if not for the adoption of Mourinho's style of packing the box, we won't have survived the match because they gave us problems as they were fighting against relegation." He revealed. 





Published in Awa Football

I tried to hit him in the chest with my arm and he just went underneath me and I thought to myself, this guy is a magician.

Rio Ferdinand has described Lionel Messi as a magician and believes Manchester United might have won the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals if not for the five time Balon D’or winner.

Read Also: There's no Point Joining PSG at 25 - Cantona Blasts Neymar

Messi, who was the shortest man in the Rome final against Manchester United in 2009 scored a looping header past Van Der Sar – with Barcelona winning 2-0.  Two years later in Wembley, the Argentine skipper was also on target as his ‘magic’ according to Ferdinand, saw The Red Devils losing two Champions League finals to Barcelona in the space of three years.

Ferdinand faced Messi in the two finals and has identified him as the best players he has played against.

“He’s the best player I’ve ever played against,” Ferdinand, as quoted by Marca.

 “I tried to hit him in the chest with my arm and he just went underneath me and I thought to myself, this guy is a magician.

“In our dressing room, we all thought that without Messi, we would probably have won those games against Barcelona.”

The 455-capped Manchester United player on the debate on the Manchester United managers said he’d love to play under Jose Mourinho for protection but would go with Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola to enjoy football.

He added: As a defender, it would be Jose to protect me well. But to enjoy it, then it would be Pep.

Read Also: Pogba Return Proves Catalyst for United Sparkle: Premier League; The Weekend That Was


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