The master and the apprentice are set to face off once again this evening, with Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal facing Manchester City away in the Premier League.
After the Gunners parted company with Unai Emery in November, they brought Arteta in a month later as their new permanent head coach, snapping him up from the Etihad.
At the time of his arrival, Arsenal were stuck in a rut, in the bottom half of the Premier League table with just 23 points from 18 games, amid some bad results and poor football.
Ten months on, the Gunners are a completely different proposition, having won two trophies over the summer and looking stronger in terms of mentality, tactics and personnel.
Although Pep Guardiola’s charges ran out 3-0 winners in the league after resuming in June, Arteta and co overcame City in the FA Cup semi-finals, en route to lifting the trophy.
“We should clarify who is the master and who is the apprentice,” Guardiola is quoted by the Manchester Evening News as saying at his press conference.
“None of the people who know him had any doubts about what he is doing in a short period of time.
“He settled really well and especially the way his team is playing right now is perfect for the quality they have.
“He was able to get Arsenal back to the position they were in a long, long time ago.
“He’s doing really well in all competitions. Mikel is a competitor and a fighter and has a clear idea of what to do on and off the pitch.
“All the people who love him are more than happy with what he is doing in London.”
Arsenal could hardly have picked a better head coach than Arteta – a club icon who learned the ropes under Guardiola and now gets the chance to mould in his image a team that has underachieved in recent years.
While it’s not been plain sailing all the time, the improvements over the past 10 months have been remarkable, and it wouldn’t be surprising were Arsenal to comfortably make the top four this season – the future is certainly bright at the Emirates.