As I explained yesterday, Arsene Wenger was well aware of Mikel Arteta’s qualities before he even retired from playing for Arsenal, and it appears that the Spaniard’s team-mates were also fully expecting Arteta to move up to management after he hung up his boots.
Arteta revealed in an interview in 2014: “My team-mates are always going “What are you going to do Miki? You’re going to be a manager, you should be a manager!” I know what the job means and I know how hard it is, especially when I look at the boss and see how many hours he puts in here. You need to sacrifice your family all over again, which I’ve done since I was 15. But I would love to manage a squad of players and staff – I’ve got it inside me, it’s true, and I want to do it…..”
He was also asked to describe how he would want a team under his control to act on the pitch, and he replied: “My philosophy will be clear. I will have everyone 120 per cent committed, that’s the first thing. If not, you don’t play for me. When it’s time to work it’s time to work, and when it’s time to have fun then I’m the first one to do it, but that commitment is vital.
“Then I want the football to be expressive, entertaining. I cannot have a concept of football where everything is based on the opposition. We have to dictate the game, we have to be the ones taking the initiative, and we have to entertain the people coming to watch us. I’m 100 per cent convinced of those things, and I think I could do it.
“I think you need to adapt. You can have an idea of a system, but you need to be able to transform it depending on the players you have – how much pace you have up front, how technical your team is, what types of risk you can take and whether your players are ready to take those risks.
“It’s important to analyse your players because you can’t always play the same way. There have to be different details and changes in how you approach things, and you have to look at how you can hurt whoever you are playing against. Is there something they don’t like to do? If so, we’re going to make them do plenty of it. Then the most important thing for the manager is that, the Friday before the game, you imagine what’s going to happen on the Saturday. And if what happens on Saturday is not what I had planned, then it’s not been good enough from me.”
So this is definitely not a new idea for Arteta, and it looks like he has been driven to become a manager even before he stopped playing. He has certainly inherited the philosophy of both Guardiola and Wenger to take the game to your opponent and to attack and entertain, which has also been one of Le Prof’s main aims as Arsenal boss.
Perhaps Arteta really could be a star manager of the future?