According to the Daily Telegraph, Arsenal are reportedly eying Mikel Arteta to succeed legendary figure Arsene Wenger once his contract expires in June 2019.
Starting his career as a La Masia youth product, Mikel Arteta went onto gain twelve years of Premier League experience with Everton and Arsenal until retiring from football in May 2016.
Arteta was the main star in the early stages of Moyes’ reign at Goodison Park and he also played a key role for Arsenal in the latter phase of his career. Arsenal and North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur offered coaching roles to the Spaniard but he opted to reunite himself with former FC Barcelona teammate Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
Guardiola arrived at Manchester City in June 2016, after winning a total of 21 major honours at FC Barcelona and FC Bayern Munchen. Arteta joined forces with Brian Kidd and Domenec Torrent, as Guardiola assembled a trio of assistant managers.
Tottenham Hotspur manager and former Paris Saint-Germain teammate Mauricio Pochettino would’ve been disappointed to have been rebuffed by Arteta. The Argentine spoke admirably of his former teammate stating in his recent book, “I’m very fond of him and he’ll make an exceptional coach.”
Overall, Arteta spent a total of five years at the Emirates Stadium, although his spell was plagued with injury problems. He won a total of four major honours, including two successive FA Cup triumphs.
Arsenal are creating a reoccurring pattern of reclaiming former players to join the coaching staff. Patrick Viera opted for Manchester City but Jens Lehmann has returned to North London and Per Mertesacker is set to become academy manager next season.
Wenger has 18 months left on his current contract, which he eventually signed at the end of the 2016/17 season, after a lengthy delay. Thomas Tuchel and Diego Simeone are currently favourites to succeed the famous Frenchman but Arteta is currently joint-seventh favourite to take the throne, with Bet Victor offering odds of 16/1.
Coaching Career So Far
Manchester City slumped to a third-place finish at the end of the 2016/17 season, as Guardiola came to terms with the competiveness in the Premier League. The Spaniard and his coaching staff suffered a series of defeats to Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Leicester City, Liverpool and Everton before January but went onto record just one league defeat for the remainder of the campaign.
Guardiola clearly required two strong full-backs and he replied by acquiring the services of not two but three high-profile defenders. Kyle Walker from Tottenham Hotspur, Benjamin Mendy from AS Monaco and Danilo from Real Madrid signed for a combined total of £120.8 million.
Bernardo Silva, who shone for AS Monaco in their French Ligue 1 triumph and UEFA Champions League adventure, was also added to the pack for a further £43 million. He also put the bed the goalkeeping debacle by luring Brazilian shot stopper Ederson to the Etihad Stadium.
As many expected, Guardiola radically forced numerous outgoings to make room for the new arrivals. Caballero, Clichy, Zabaleta, Kolarov, Navas, Sagna, Zuculini, Nolito, Iheanacho, Nasri, Fernando and Bony were all sacrificed for the new upcoming generation.
The Citizens were culpable of overplaying in the final third during Guardiola’s debut season in England. Guardiola has since went onto credit Arteta for “improving” Raheem Sterling’s finishing and “working many, many days after training sessions for the last action, for the control in the last moment.”
This suggests Arteta may be a perfectionist, which is exactly the trait many of the managerial greats have possessed in football history. Yes, the new signings have been beneficial this season, but this is also combined with the players’ ability to adapt to the physical demands of Guardiola’s philosophy and continuous work behind the scenes by the coaching staff.
They’re now embarking on a seventeenth successive league win, which would significantly exceed the previous record of fifteen consecutive victories. Guardiola has assembled a strong team of backroom staff but it’ll only be a matter of time until Arteta spread his wings to take sole charge of a major club himself.
Will the task of succeeding Arsene Wenger come too early in his career? Or will he flourish under the spotlight and further enhance his growing reputation on the managerial front?
Arsenal’s Futuristic Approach
Arsenal are preparing for life without their leading Frenchman Arsene Wenger at the end of the 2018/19 season. The building blocks have been placed onto the building with Raul Sanllehi and Sven Mislintat being appointed as ‘head of recruitment’ in the previous summer.
Sanllehi spent fourteen years at FC Barcelona and contributed to helping Guardiola build their 2008/09 treble-winning squad. Sven Mislintat unearthed the likes of Christian Pulisic and Robert Lewandowski to assemble Borussia Dortmund’s back-to-back Bundesliga winning squad.
These two new recruitments should decrease the pressure on management. Mislintat and Sanllehi are likely to become the new scapegoats of Arsenal’s decline if their transfer dealings are unable to make an impact in the Premier League.
It’d be a positive environment for Mikel Arteta to enter, especially considering he played for FC Barcelona during Sanllehi’s spell in Barcelona. The duo have a glistening track record in identifying young talent, which could be highly beneficial for their production of the new generation at the Emirates Stadium.
Pep Guardiola, Julian Nagelsmann and Eddie Howe have proven that experience and age have no boundaries in modern football.
Guardiola was appointed manager of FC Barcelona in 2008 at the age of 37, which would be the same age as Arteta once Wenger’s contract expires. Nagelsmann became the youngest manager in German Bundesliga history when he was appointed manager of Hoffenheim aged 29 in 2016. Eddie Howe was placed as player-manager at AFC Bournemouth at the age of 29 in 2008 and achieved promotion in April 2015 during his second spell with the cherries.
It’d be a mammoth task to succeed a manager with such a long-standing legacy. However, the three examples above prove that it’s possible to achieve success regardless of age or experience.