Premier League

Guardiola stands up for Wenger

Pep Guardiola has defended the record of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.
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Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola insists that Arsene Wenger cannot be regarded as a failure despite his nine-year trophy drought at Arsenal.

In a war of words with Chelsea chief Jose Mourinho, Wenger was labelled as a "specialist in failure" by the Portuguese tactician.

But Guardiola, who won 13 trophies in his six years as Barcelona boss, insists that football is not just about winning silverware.

"This life is not just about winning trophies," insisted Guardiola.

"Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Arsenal compete with huge teams. Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City - they are important teams. But Arsenal remains a good team and good club.

"I have a lot of respect for my colleague Arsene: he always likes the good, good players, the good style of football."

Guardiola admits Bayern are favorites for their Champions League last-16 tie with Arsenal as he prepares for the first leg at the Emirates on Wednesday night.

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"If we let them have the ball, we are going to suffer. So we have to make sure we monopolise the ball," he said.

"I learned you can never dominate for 90 minutes against Arsenal. You can dominate for certain moments, but with these quality players at Arsenal, we have a problem.

"Arsenal are not a new team in this competition. I am pretty sure they will play to win the game, not for a 0-0.

"I know we are favorites - I can't deny that. But I have to handle that, to live every game, to accept we are favorites.

"I would like to live without these feelings, but it's impossible. I handled it before in Barcelona but we start 0-0, so now we have to show our level."

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