Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta admits he and Pep Guardiola are still in regular contact despite his departure from Manchester City.
The player turned manager was the Catalan’s No 2 at the Etihad and played in part in a hugely successful two years.
The lessons learned while under Guardiola have served him well and he is looking to make his name at the Emiraes, but he concedes he misses his mentor and still turns to him for inspiration.
He said: “I am a big friend of his and I admire him. I had a lot of joy working together and success. We spent a lot of time together and he is a friend.
“I always talk with him. He is a really good friend of mine. I respect him so much. We share a lot of things in our life and we discuss everything.
“I have to apply my own things. He was part of my development as a person to go through a lot of things I experienced next to him.
“It was a privilege and of course a lot of the things I took on board, that I felt from my time at Barcelona, we shared together and a lot of things I learned from his management.”
The Spaniard has only presided over one Premier League win since taking charge – a 2-0 success over Manchester United- but believes a succession of wins can haul them into European contention.
Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta spent over three years together in Manchester
His methods are of stark contrast to those employed by predecessor Unai Emery but he is confident his players are under no illusions of what he expects.
“I want to go game by game,” he added. “At the moment we are far from the top four, but there are a lot of games to play. It is very tight. Everybody is giving points away. It will depend on us. If we are able to put three or four wins in a row, we will be much closer.
“It is our principle, our style of play and how we manage the games, how we manage each section of the pitch and clarity.
“That the players have clarity…