It now seems more and more certain that Mikel Arteta will be Arsenal’s new ‘head coach’ and for all intents and purposes it would seem that Arsene Wenger has been planning for the Spaniard to take over for quite a few years….
When Arteta was sidelined with a serious injury, Wenger gave the midfielder a one year extension to his contract, despite the fact that he was unlikely to play, and during that time Arteta was studying (at Arsenal) for his FA coaching badges.
When that contract ran out, he was offered to remain at Arsenal as well as his offer from Pep at Man City, but he chose to widen his experience before taking on a permanent top coaching job. At that time Wenger revealed what he thought about Arteta’s coaching ability. Le Prof said (in May 2016): “First of all he was the captain of the team, so he has leadership qualities,”
“He is a winner and he is focused every day to do well.
“He has an impact on his partners. That is a little bit difficult to explain sometimes, but I believe he is highly focused on football. He has a passion, like Spanish people do, for the game.
“When you get to 30 you start to envisage your life and your future without playing football. Slowly it matures inside you and there was never a doubt in my mind, the way I see him behave every day, that he would finish in football, and I think he will do very well.”
So it looks like Arsene was more than aware of Mikel’s potential, and after guiding him through his badges under his own tutelage, perhaps Wenger also agreed that he should go and work under Pep Guardiola for added experience before coming back to take over Wenger’s position at the Emirates?
So do you now think that Wenger had a big say on who should be his successor – and planned for it for a long time?