Mikel Arteta has not given a single interview in the UK since he left Arsenal but in 2014 he explained exactly how he sees his management style and what he wants from players.
We know little about Arteta’s potential management style because nobody has seen him manage a game but piecing together bits that he has told the media, coupled with what others have said about him, you can start to form a picture.
Speaking to Arsenal magazine while still at the club, Arteta explained his vision for his own managerial style. “My philosophy will be clear,” Arteta replied when asked what his ideas would be if he was start managing immediately.
“I will have everyone 120 per cent 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 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 is also aware of the dedication needed to be a Premier League manager. The player, often called ‘coach’ by his teammates, went on to say, “My team-mates are always going “What are you going to do Miki? You’re going to be a manager, you should be a manager!” I know what the job means and I know how hard it is, especially when I look at the boss and see how many hours he puts in here.
“You need to sacrifice your family all over again, which I’ve done since I was 15.
“But I would love to manage a squad of players and staff – I’ve got it inside me, it’s true, and I want to do it. First of all I want to make the most of my playing career, because I’m 32 and in this game you never know whether you’ll end up carrying on until 34, 35 or 36.
“After that, I’m certainly going to stay involved in football because I think I’ve got something to add. I would like to prove myself, and prove my ideas about managing and encouraging people to do things in the way I believe is best.”
Arteta is believed to be the clear favourite for the Arsenal job with Ivan Gazidis championing the former midfielder. When he retired, Arsene Wenger said “you cannot create artificial positions at the club” when Gazidis wanted to find a role for Arteta at the club.
Almost exactly two years on and the chief executive has found a role he thinks is perfect for the Spaniard – Arsene Wenger’s.
Arteta, reportedly, would be happy to come to the club as head coach rather than as manager and while he has already begun to consider his own backroom staff, the belief is he will not be as demanding as a more experienced manager.
He’ll also be considerably cheaper, too.
There is no doubting Arteta’s sincere love for Arsenal. Anyone who watched him break down in tears after his final game knows that.
Writing in his final programme notes as captain, Arteta, said, “For me it was a dream to come here because I always admired this club. My Arsenal debut was something special. I was so happy and privileged to be a part of this club. When you have the chance to get up on those steps at Wembley and lift a trophy, it’s unbelievable. Arsenal was my favourite club in England when I was a kid.
“To become the Arsenal captain and to share the nice moments that we’ve been through has been a spectacular experience for me. I’ve tried to take on board all the help and commitment that has been shown by all the players and the staff in every department, who I have tried to bring together. I hope whoever follows me as captain carries on trying to maintain the values of this club because that is what sustains us in the long term.”