Pep Guardiola assesses Arsenal’s quality and gives his verdict on Mesut Ozil

15:37 10 March 2014

Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

2014 Getty Images

Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola intends to prepare his free-scoring side to face an Arsenal team ready to bring their own best form to the Allianz Arena.

The Germans warmed up for the second leg of the last 16 Champions League tie, in which they hold a 2-0 advantage, with a 6-1 triumph at Wolfsburg to move some 20 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga standings.

Arsenal, meanwhile, will be looking to take confidence from Saturday’s 4-1 FA Cup quarter-final win over Everton, and Guardiola is all too aware of the threat the Gunners can pose when firing on all cylinders.

“The quality is there,” said the former Barcelona coach, acknowledging the impressive 2-0 win for Arsene Wenger’s men in Bavaria last season, which saw them go out on away goals only.

“When I analyse Arsenal and the first game (last month), we saw the quality of (Santi) Cazorla, we saw what happened until the (early) penalty (Mesut) Ozil missed, what happened in the first nine minutes they were the nine minutes in this season when the opponent was better against us. They remain a good club, a good team.”

Guardiola added: “They can create two or three really great chances in two or three minutes. If you play in a really good team like Arsenal and are 2-0 down, anything is possible.

“People think ‘2-0 you don’t have a chance in Munich’, but that’s the main problem for us.

“They have (Per) Mertesacker, (Tomas) Rosicky, (Kieran) Gibbs, (Mikel) Arteta a lot of very good players.

“I do not want to see Ozil controls the game. That will be a big problem for us.

“This is not an easy game. We have to attack, give our best, be aggressive without the ball.”

The penalty save by Manuel Neuer from his Germany team-mate Ozil seemed to suck the life out of the Emirates Stadium home support, with goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny soon sent off before second-half goals from Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller put the Bundesliga side in control of the tie.

Ozil was given some time away after picking up a dead leg, but returned to form when he scored the first goal in the win over Everton and had a hand in two more.

Guardiola feels the German playmaker can continue to grow in his new environment following a £42.5million switch from Real Madrid on deadline day in September 2013.

“I never played in England, or trained a team (there), so I don’t know how difficult (it is), but I can imagine how difficult it is (for Ozil) to play every three games in November, December, January,” Guardiola said.

“But this is one game, it is a final, Arsenal know that, Ozil knows that.

“For one game, the player puts in everything.

“From my experience, I expect the performance from the opponents. Ozil will give the best performance and we have to be prepared.”

Guardiola believes possession will be key to subduing Arsenal’s forward supply line.

“We have to make sure we have the ball, that we really attack well and go through to the next phase,” he said.

“They have a lot of quality, so we have to make sure we have a lot of possession.

“We have to make sure they do not score a goal.

“We have to have that offensive idea and to play with the type of mentality that we win, otherwise we will have a problem.”

Guardiola insisted there can be no complacency from his players.

“Winning 2-0 in London was a very good result for us, but it is also dangerous,” he added.

“We have a very good chance to go through, but we have to be in the situation that we really focus on the game.

“We have to bring our ideas across in the way we play, and know what the strengths are.

“The Champions League is a huge game for us, it is not like a day-to-day game in the Bundesliga.

“We have to do our best.”

Related articles

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Once you’ve seen this 1920s tree, your offering will feel a little light on feathers.

Read more

The experts give their tips on how to create the textured twist, topsy-turvy updo, and halo braid.

Read more

Offers for university places are at a record high.

Read more

Promoted content

We've got a great selection of Secret Santa presents and stocking fillers for under a tenner...  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Office Secret Santa: it’s a Christmas ritual that everyone dreads, but no-one wants to seem like a Scrooge by saying no. Never fear, London24 is here to make buying gifts for Dave in Accounts simple and stress-free, with a selection of presents for under a tenner

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

Match reports

TOP STORIES

Arsenal Quizzes

Try our fiendishly difficult new Arsenal quiz! Picture: PA

This new quiz will test even the most devoted Arsenal fans’ knowledge...

Read more
Can you name these moustaches?

Movember is upon us once again and men across the country are growing moustaches to raise money to battle prostate cancer.

Read more
Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho go head to head (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Football managers are either deified or chastised, depending on results and they are some of the most famous faces in the country.

Read more

Arsenal Transfer News