Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has admitted that he does not respect Arsenal for how they conduct themselves away from the football pitch.
After City's two-year Champions League ban was overturned, Guardiola urged rival clubs to 'stop whispering' after it emerged that several of their top-flight rivals had written to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to try and ensure City stayed banned if their appeal could not be heard in time for next season.
"Opponents always deserve my respect and credit," he said. "I have all the respect for what Arsenal are on the pitch, not much off the pitch - but on the pitch, a lot."
City's frustration towards Arsenal is said to have begun back in December 2019, when the Gunners started pursuing then-City assistant Mikel Arteta in their search for a new manager to replace Unai Emery.
Nobody from Arsenal informed City that they planned to hold talks with Arteta shortly after the two sides met on the pitch, and even though City would not have stopped the negotiations, they feel as though Arsenal disrespected them by not giving them the courtesy of a heads-up.
On the pitch, Guardiola has made no secret of his admiration for Arsenal as a team. There were rumours he could have been Arsène Wenger's replacement because of his longstanding respect for the Gunners, and he has rarely shied away from praising what they do on the pitch.
"[Arsenal are] one of the elite clubs in English football, especially in the last 20-30 years," Guardiola said (via Metro) ahead of the recent FA Cup semi-final clash.
"And I’m pretty sure they have brought the right person to come back and the position before when the club supports him, there are no better people to do the job than Mikel. I have the feeling he’s creating something unique and if he is supported by the club in terms of investment and given the players that they need, they will be another contender for the next few years."