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Guardiola on Gunners: “You can’t dominate 90 minutes of Arsenal”

Feb 19, 2014, 8:30 AM EST

Britain Soccer Champions League AP

Sky Sports scored a sit-down with Bayern Munich boss/tactical wizard Pep Guardiola, and interviewer Geoff Shreeves had an interesting discussion with the manager on football and how far away Bayern is from his preferred form.

And as he prepares to play Arsenal in a London building in which he’s never won, the 43-year-old Spaniard had high praise for his opponent in the UEFA Champions League’s Round of 16.

“You can’t dominate 90 minutes of Arsenal. We are going to try for as long a time as possible, but always they have one game or thirty minutes, one half or 75 minutes where Arsenal is special.”

“They have the quality to not lose the ball easily and the quality to one against one. When that happens, it’s impossible to dominate 90 minutes. You have to be prepared to try and be aggressive.”

Some other highlights from the nearly-eight minute talk:

On mistaking possession with domination: “The possession is important when you create chances. The possession in itself is nothing. We try to have the possession in front. Sometimes you have the big, big possession but not to create chances and just to defend. That is not football.”

Attacking keeps him calm: “When the ball is far away from my box, I am happy. I am calm. I am not nervous. When the ball is step-by-step or closer to my box, now I am trembling. That’s why I prefer to keep the ball as far away as possible.”

RELATED: INFOGRAPHIC – Breaking down Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich

On not wasting movement: “I prefer more when the ball goes to the positions, the players, more than the players move a lot.”

How far away is Bayern from the club he wants it to be? “Far away… We’ve played okay. Three minutes, twenty minutes but not consistently. But that’s normal. We change a little things from my ideas and I need time.

“In the process, it’s important to win so to have more time to work during the process. When you don’t win, it’s more difficult to change quickly, but it’s happening. Bundesliga, we’ve won almost everything so we are in good position. But still I am in a position to adapt, to know my players and the players know me. I feel we are still in process to getting there, but it’s normal. Football is not arriving in one month, two month, where the team can play the way you want.”

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