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Let me say first of all that I am a big fan of Guardiola, not just as a manager but as a player. I even like his dress sense. When I play football, I play in a similar position to where he did, so I appreciate just how he played—although let me assure you, I am a million times worse than him.
But no Arsenal fan who has supported the club for any great length of time would choose him over Wenger.
Despite what Guardiola has achieved, and the football his team plays, you can’t not give the nod to Arsene Wenger. The reasons being: I think Barcelona could continue without Guardiola, he hasn’t built a legacy just yet, he hasn’t personally signed every player playing for Barcelona right now.
In fact, he's done what I would consider to be some awful business. I do appreciate it's not all him. Part of this is that he hasn't been the manager long enough to do so. But credit where it is due, Guardiola is a great manager.
Wenger will go down as the greatest foreign manager to ever command a Premier League club. His DNA is all over Arsenal; it is because of his success that Arsenal aren’t still playing at Highbury. Some of the business he has done in the transfer market is outrageous, almost inhumanly good, like he's playing a computer game and knows the potential of some players.
And all of this in a league where there is more than one club to compete with. Despite some of the frustrating things he does, Arsene Wenger is a legend.
Both managers have a similar approach to the game; both want their teams to play attractive attacking football for the full 90 minutes. Granted, Pep Guardiola’s was handed a much more talented squad, containing a once-in-a-generation player like Messi and world-class players at every position.
Still, his success is undeniable.
Never had anyone won six trophies in a single season, and Pep did it in only one year. Not content with that, in his second season he beat the European point record, winning the league with 99 points. He did all this while implementing a brand of football that has made fans and media alike fall in love with Barcelona.
You could say that it is thanks to Pep that Barcelona had all three Ballon d’Or finalists. It’d be hard to better start a career.
Still, Arsène Wenger has had a brilliant career at Arsenal. He’s responsible for three of Arsenal’s 13 Premier League titles and it was under him that Arsenal established themselves as a regular in European football’s landscape.
Also, Wenger has been turning youngsters into established players ever since he took over at Arsenal. The Champions League trophy, the most prestigious honour in European football, is the only thing missing for Wenger to cement his status as one of the great managers in the history of the game.
Hopefully, that will not happen this year.