Mikel Arteta, the next Arsenal manager
On 12th of September last year Mikel Arteta told SER Catalunya: “I was about to leave [for Arsenal], but I stopped myself. The first [time] was different, the second [Newcastle] was mostly me.
“Firstly, that I am not in a hurry and I have not felt that I need to take the step.
“There are important conditions, especially in a first experience for me that are vital and eventually. I learned that these are essential to develop what you want, no matter how clear your vision is.“
So, the question for an Arsenal side in dire need for change now is, how do they provide the right conditions to lure Mikel Arteta from Man City and why would they want to?
We will address the why first as that is probably the question many may ask when thinking about handing the reigns of one of the biggest football clubs to someone who is yet to manage a single game yet.
Well in answer to that maybe it’s best to ask the manager of the current league champions Pep Guardiola,
Guardiola said of his countryman:
“He’s an incredible human being, with incredible values about what it means in the locker room and to be together.
“He is already an incredible manager and he’ll have incredible success in his future.
“I’m pretty sure (he could succeed me), yes. But he decided to stay – thanks – but everyone decides what they’ll do in the future. Sooner or later it’s going to happen.
“He’s a young manager but he has experience already to handle big players and teams.”
So, Mikel Arteta could quite possibly be the heir to the throne at Manchester City, when Guardiola leaves them. A club with a recent history of winning titles and huge demands from their billionaire owners are willing to make Arteta manager, which is a pretty good marker for most things I’d say.
With that said Unai Emery worked for billionaire backed Paris Saint Germain, yet hasn’t impressed at Arsenal and has apparently failed to convince the Arsenal players, so what do Man City players say of Arteta?
In a recent article Mikel Arteta’s impact on the Man City players was highlighted by Leroy Sane:
“People always ask me about training under Pep, but the things I’ve learnt from Mikel Arteta! We get on brilliantly, he’s a lovely guy and a great coach. And he’s always right. He’ll watch me training and then afterwards he’ll tell me what he thinks.”
Pep Guardiola confirmed this about Sané and Sterling:
“Mikel Arteta has helped them both to make a lot of actions near to the box. The qualities one against one, we say to the wingers when you receive the ball, if the control is good, the shape is good, go, it doesn’t matter if you lose the ball – try.”
One of the most evident things about Arteta’s coaching is on the pitch be that telling Benjamin Mendy to do cut back crosses instead of lofted crosses or on a larger scale his one on one work with players new to the league or playing new positions.
Just look at the left back situation at City, over the past 3 seasons, they have had, centre backs, central midfielders and even attacking midfielders all playing that position and none of them looked out of place. Mikel Arteta was the one who worked with Fabian Delph and Oleksandr Zinchencko exclusively to help mould them into their roles at the left back to the extent, you’d be fooled into thinking that was their natural positions.
The current centre back situation which has led to midfielders Fernandinho and notably Rodri playing there, would no doubt be a lot harder without Mikel Arteta helping them adjust to their new duties in the roles.
Finally, it might be good to hear from the man himself, what is his philosophy and football principles?
“My philosophy will be clear. I will have everyone 120 percent 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 must dictate the game, we have to be the ones dictating the game, we have to be the ones taking the initiative and we must entertain people coming to watch us. I am 100% percent convinced of those things, and I think I can do it.”
Indeed, that is a question you might be asking, how do we get such a clearly talented guy to come back to Arsenal?
Well for me Freddie Ljungberg is vital, he provides a link with the younger players as well as the current squad, I think any future manager set up, needs to include the Swedish legend.
Edu Gaspar and Francis Cagigao are also vital, they need to not only provide the right recruitment and scouting platform for Arsenal but also convince any manager let alone Arteta that they can work well with anyone coming in, securing the players needed to compete at the highest level.
Finally, The board are vital Raul Sanllehi, Josh Kroenke and Vinai Venkatesham all need to make firstly the right decision to sack Unai Emery now, but also make the right appointment of Mikel Arteta, an appointment they didn’t have the ambition to do last time.