Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has hailed Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola as the best coach in the world ahead of Sunday’s huge Premier League encounter between the two sides.
Emery admitted that Liverpool’s push for the title this season suggests that City’s reign as champions can be challenged, though after 11 previous encounters without beating Guardiola as manager, the Gunners boss was adamant that his compatriot is the top coach.
Ahead of Sunday’s meeting at the Etihad Stadium, via the Mirror, Emery said: “I have analysed a lot of teams and coaches and I think it’s difficult to find one coach who is better than Guardiola.
“His career is a very big career. We started together. He started with the Barcelona second team, I started with Lorca and Almeria [in Spain’s third and second tiers].
“I learned a lot looking at his team – it’s good to look at each other when we are coaches to learn different things between us. I think in his career he’s doing the best in all the coaches in the world.
“He has had the possibility to take the best players at Barcelona, in Bayern and in City, little by little. He is, every year, improving with great players and also paying a lot for some players. But he led them, at Barcelona, Bayern and City, one step more every place.
“This, for me, is the quality that makes me say he is the best.”
Whilst Emery acknowledged that Guardiola is the leading figure among his fellow coaches, the Spaniard admitted that Liverpool’s progress under Jurgen Klopp is the blueprint which his Gunners side must follow under his stewardship.
“I remember three years ago, Liverpool were playing in the final of the Europa League [against his Sevilla side], they were in the top four in the Premier League, and their progress is very, very good progress and now they are the favourites,” Emery added.
“Maybe Manchester City is a different example, because they bought a very important lot, with paying a lot and maybe we can’t do that now like that.
“But we can also do one way similar to Liverpool, similar to Tottenham, doing more with young players, using well players who can improve with us. And we are doing that.”
Arsenal will look to continue their push for a top four spot as Emery meets Guardiola once again when the Gunners travel to face the champions in a tough clash at the Etihad on Sunday.