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Arsene Wenger says Manchester City success is based on silly spending and not clever Pep Guardiola

Arsenal boss does not believe Spanish boss has the managerial Midas touch - just the deepest pockets

Arsene Wenger says Manchester City’s success is not about Pep Guardiola  — but how much he spends.

The Arsenal manager hit out ahead of their clash in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley tomorrow.

Wenger dismissed the notion Guardiola has taken football to new heights at mega-bucks City this season.


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Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola go head-to-head in the Carabao Cup final

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Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola go head-to-head in the Carabao Cup final

He said:  “No. Because  look at Barcelona, they are still the best team in Europe.

“You have to accept that the modern game has changed, with the recruitment of the best players by a small number of clubs.

“As managers, maybe we can impart our  philosophy on our teams. But this game now belongs to the players,  their importance has become  bigger than ever before.”


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Wenger admitted his players may have underestimated Ostersund

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Arsene Wenger has taken a swipe at Manchester City and Pep Guardiola

Wenger also claimed referee Craig Pawson must ignore Guardiola’s call for ‘extra protection’ from bad tackles.

SunSport revealed the nine fouls Guardiola and City believe should have been more severely punished this season — and their request for a meeting with refs’ chief Mike Riley.

Pressed on Guardiola’s demands, Wenger replied: “Extra protection? I don’t know what that means.

Pep Guardiola and Arsene Wenger will be going head-to-head on the sidelines

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Pep Guardiola and Arsene Wenger will be going head-to-head on the sidelines

“Protection, yes. But we just want the referees to protect the rule book.

“You want the refs to make the right decision, that is all.

“We know  to beat them we will have to be at a different level —  and I don’t want to speculate on City weakness.

“They have so many top players  you think you have to stop, it is better to focus on the team plan  rather than on  any individual.”

Wenger snubbed the chance to sign Guardiola when the former Spain midfielder was leaving Barcelona in 2001.

He added: “We had top-class players in his position.”

Wenger is still sweating over the fitness of  midfielder Aaron Ramsey while Raheem Sterling is a doubt  for City.