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Pep Guardiola throws a dig at Arsenal’s recent spending

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Pep Guardiola, known for his mind games, used his pre-match press conference before Manchester City’s crucial game against Tottenham to target Arsenal’s spending. This is a tactic he often employs, deflecting questions about City’s own spending by pointing the finger at rivals.

Guardiola claimed that Arsenal, along with Manchester United and Chelsea, should be winning titles based on their spending in the last five years. He implied that spending equates to success, conveniently ignoring the context.

Here’s where Guardiola’s argument gets misleading. He focuses on net spending within a limited timeframe. While it’s true that Arsenal has spent a significant amount in recent years, a more complete picture emerges when we look at gross spending over Guardiola’s entire tenure at City (nearly eight years).

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In this broader timeframe, Arsenal’s gross spending is around £1 billion, whereas City has spent an estimated £300 million more. Additionally, Mikel Arteta inherited a squad in disarray compared to the one Guardiola took over at City. Arteta needed to revamp the entire team, keeping only a few young players and taking financial hits to streamline the squad.

Guardiola, on the other hand, inherited a City team with established stars like Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, and David Silva. The point is, Arteta began with a much weaker foundation than Guardiola.

Despite these disadvantages, Arteta has achieved success. He won the FA Cup with a struggling Arsenal squad, beating a strong City team in the process. He even secured a league victory over City this season and ended their formidable goalscoring streak at their home ground.

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While Arsenal’s recent spending is indeed record-breaking for the club, it’s a necessary step to compete with the financial powerhouse that City has become since its takeover in 2008.

Guardiola’s tactic of cherry-picking data points to make his case is clever, but it crumbles under scrutiny. When viewed in its entirety, the picture is clear: Arsenal, despite their recent spending efforts, is still playing catch-up to a team that has benefitted from years of heavy investment.

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