Hello, Gooners far and wide, I am happy the World Cup has finally kicked off, not out of excitement for the tournament itself, but because the countdown has begun for me, I can’t wait for all this to be over so I can watch proper football offered by Arteta’s Arsenal again.
Speaking of our fine manager, in my opinion, it is easy to forget he is the youngest manager in the league and perhaps the least experienced. Before I go into tactics, I can’t but mention his excellent communication skills and courage which are qualities that endeared him to me from the moment he stepped in.
Boy, Arteta is a good talker, he must have passed all his communication tests in his badges because his responses are always on point, how he manages to say the most correct things need to be studied by some so-called elite managers.
I mentioned courage – because as a rookie, you don’t take the Arsenal job if you are not a courageous person, I don’t need to talk much about this, we all know the state of our club before he came in. I am not only referring to things on the pitch, the club as a whole was in shambles,
fast forward to this moment in time…
Just look at the connection and the support from the fans, the spirit in the young team, the undeniable progress and all; has Pep ever done that? Hey! I am not disrespecting Pep by any means but I think he had a better start, would he have taken the job at Arsenal at that time, if he did, would he have survived it? Well, maybe, or emphatic maybe not.
Below is an excerpt from what Pep said about Arteta when he was linked to Arsenal:
“…more than that he is an incredible human being and works a lot, I said after a few months together, he would be a manager. He is already a manager – he behaves like a manager.”
If I have to write about the many comments from other top managers, including the great Arsene Wenger himself, about Arteta, I am gonna bore you to death, so we move on.
Arteta has been called many names, one I can remember well is Pep’s cone man, in fact, when you mention Arteta, many can only think of Pep and City, these ones believe the progress Arteta and Arsenal are making is all down to working with Pep. Now I’d be stupid if I said Pep has not influenced Arteta, but I think it’s time we start believing Pep, here is another quote from him:
“I’d like to say that I influenced him a lot, but I’d be lying. Mikel and I worked together for three years. He was taught since he was born, maybe I learned more from him than he did from me when we worked together”.
Pep also said this after City became the first club to accumulate 100 Premier League points: “What we have done this season, Mikel’s contribution was outstanding, amazing, we work together so good,”
Ferdinand said Pep has created a monster but Pep replied and said “He was already a monster”. I have always thought Pep was being modest or sarcastic, maybe he is but there is an element of truth in what he says.
For example, the inverted fullback position was implemented by Guardiola when Arteta was his assistant. Pep never used such a tactic when he was at Barcelona or Bayern, so there might be a debate on who is the innovator of that tactic.
Secondly, there are many things that differ between Arteta’s Arsenal and Pep’s Man City. Yes, Arteta’s positional system is very similar to Pep’s Man City, but Arsenal’s quick passing and fast transitions are more like Wenger’s and I am pretty sure Arsene Wenger’s dietary and fitness building is on full display on the young Gunners’ squad. Just look at Xhaka, Partey, Gabriel, and White. They have lost a lot of weight and their cheekbones are so obvious.
Also, whenever Arteta talks, you would observe he wants to be more like Klopp’s Liverpool. He constantly talks about how Liverpool evades a press with a long ball from Van Dijk to Salah’s chest. I have seen this pattern with us several times, what about the way we counter-press at times? Sometimes, you’d think you are watching Liverpool. He even tried to acquire the services of Klopp’s assistant, Pepijn Lijnders.
“Mikel Arteta had asked me to be his assistant manager when he was preparing for his new step into management,” Lijnders wrote in his new book, Intensity: Inside Liverpool FC: Our Story. “We were together years earlier on the Pro Licence course. His request came out of nothing”
“Imagine the assistant of Pep Guardiola and the assistant of Jurgen Klopp at Arsenal. What a crazy thought. Mikel said he felt: ‘There was just a difference playing Liverpool before and after you came in.’ This was the biggest compliment I ever got from somebody.
“I politely said no to him. A few months later, we won the title for the first time in 30 years.”
He is a student of the game and a meticulous planner this man. As I said, I am not saying Arteta has not learned a thing or two from Pep, but I think we have to start believing Pep when he makes these statements, he means it for real, and we need to start recognizing Arteta as a genius, and perhaps we also need to start believing that Pep has learned from Arteta as well. Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got Super Mik Arteta!!