Frontrunner for Arsenal job Mikel Arteta reveals his footballing philosophy

Mikel Arteta has emerged as the man most likely to replace Arsene Wenger and return to Arsenal as the club’s new manager.

The Spaniard has spent two years as assistant to Pep Guardiola, but his lack of experience as a No.1 has divided Arsenal fans, reports Football.London.

Arteta left the Emirates to join Guardiola when he took over at Manchester City, following his retirement.

Guardiola has hailed the influence of the 36-year-old, but despite the backing of the Premier League winning manager, some Arsenal fans remain far from convinced that Arteta is the right man for the job.

A lot of that could be down to fear of the unknown, as no-one really knows what sort of football or philosophy he would introduce in north London.

But Arteta gave an interesting insight into how he would operate as a manager during an interview with the Arsenal magazine before he retired in 2016.

During the interview he described how his team would be built to entertain.

“My philosophy will be clear,” he said. “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.”

Arteta added: “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.”

One of the reasons that fans are wary about the appointment of Arteta is that he only left London Colney two years ago.

Many believe he would be too friendly with the players and that the squad may struggle to respect him as a manger so soon after leaving.

But when discussing taking the step into management, Arteta spoke with the sort of authority that suggests he would not be pushed around.

“I will have everyone 120 per cent committed,” he said. “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.”

Arteta spent five seasons working under Wenger and credits the Arsenal boss as a coach who will heavily influence how he will work in the future.

But there are other managers who he admires, with Guardiola unsurprisingly one of them.

“The way he sees football is always to look ahead, then further ahead, always improving,” said the former Everton, Rangers and Paris Saint-Germain star.

“Then there’s Mauricio Pochettino – he was my captain at PSG and I always knew he would become a manager. He has taken a lot of influence from Marcelo Bielsa, who was his coach with Argentina; they used to talk about things a lot, and now you can see that his teams are really aggressive, both when attacking and defending.

“He takes a lot of risks, the players enjoy playing with him, his decisions are always sound and he’s got a good personality. I’ve admired Pochettino ever since I was young; he really looked after me when I was at PSG as well.”

Arsenal fans! Would you be happy with Arteta as boss?


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