Everyone still likes to call Mikel Arteta a rookie manager as he approaches his first anniversary as Arsenal coach, and the Spaniard has admitted that he likes to listen and learn from the best most experienced managers.
Jose Mourinho is of course one of the most successful, as he has proven in many different Leagues, and Arteta has been describing the qualities he has picked up from his studies of the ‘Special One’, who he is preparing to face this afternoon in the North London Derby.
Arteta told SkySports: “Normally I like two things. First of all, the head coach, the manager, whoever it is, what he needs to create is a level of engagement with the players and the club and fans, and a level of belief that what his ideas are they get a big buy in to him. If you don’t get that, you won’t last long.
“Mourinho has something really special, that whatever he wants to get into the football club, he manages to do it, and he believes that in a way that players at the end they execute what he wants to do. And whoever doesn’t do it is not part of that. When I talk about being ruthless it is not only on the pitch but as well with some decisions that you have to make.
“And the second one I would say is how you navigate some difficult moments. All these managers have had difficult moments. I have been part of a coaching staff with difficult moments. The important point is how you react in difficult moments and how the club fans react in difficult moments.”
I imagine most Arsenal fans will agree that Mourinho is arrogant and ruthless, and it would appear that Arteta has taken the ruthlessness on board looking at his treatment of Ozil and Guendouzi, but I’m not sure Arteta can do the arrogance bit yet, and I hope he doesn’t ever get it.
As for ‘dealing with the difficult moments’, I would say that today is definitely one of those, with Arsenal currently 13 places and 8 points behind our local rivals. It will be very interesting to see how Arteta copes with this, especially against our nemesis Jose Mourinho!