His footballing education began at Barcelona’s famous La Masia and it is set to end at Arsenal.
In between, among other clubs, Mikel Arteta played in the SPL for Rangers and under David Moyes at Everton. There’s as much grit to his game as there is poise, and it’s something that makes him perfect for a coaching role in the future.
Arteta can see, understand, and appreciate the value of all sides of the game. As an Arsenal player he’s become a leader and sacrificed himself for the team, almost as if he’s already preparing himself for a career of doing just the same once he’s no longer playing.
“Mikel has a huge influence even when he is not playing,” Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger told the club’s official website. Arteta is currently injured, but is still around the training ground and doing everything you would want from a professional and a captain.
“He is super conscientious, and every morning two hours before training he prepares and that is absolutely right.
“Just through his behaviour, his focus on getting everything right in the team, he has a huge influence. He has great experience and is respected throughout the squad.”
Tha Spaniard is clearly reaching the end of his career, and has already started taking the occasional youth training session at Hale End.
Could it become a full-time gig?
“I really hope Mikel considers going into coaching,” Wenger added. When you manage, you want to see your players continue and see them give their experience and knowledge back.
“You want them to give their expertise of the way we want to play football and the way we want to behave. It would be great if someone like Mikel went into management, so somewhere the spirit of our game can survive through the players who have played for us.”
Following on from Wenger seems a long way off, but Arsenal would surely be delighted to keep Arteta around?
Thanks to his varied experiences, the midfielder truly appreciates every aspect of the game but above all else he plays what some may call the Arsenal way (or at least the way things have been under the French manager).
Keeping the ball, looking to attack, but never shirking responsibility and managing each and every situation as the game happens around him. That’s currently Arteta the midfielder, but a team built in his own image would be very similar.
“He has the quality to be a manager in the future I’m sure, but at the moment he gives his focus on the job as a player and gives absolutely everything.”
He is still a player. For now.
One day Mikel Arteta may well be in the dugout at the Emirates Stadium. I hope it’s not as a visitor, and you get the sense that Arsène Wenger does too.