Mikel Arteta looks like he could well become the next Arsenal manager, so what can we expect from the man who has been Pep Guardiola’s number two?
With Arsenal holding clandestine meetings at Mikel Arteta’s house without telling City anything about it (Arteta did the right thing and informed his club), it seems as if it’s just a matter of time before we get an official announcement. Now everybody wants to know, ‘What sort of football will Mikel Arteta’s team play?’
Arteta has reportedly already met with Raul Sanllehi to discuss the major details and Vinai and Huss to iron out the financials.
After 18 months of dire and directionless football under Unai Emery, Arsenal fans are desperate to see the club get back to the way it used to play under Arsene Wenger.
So what sort of football will Mikel Arteta’s team play?
“My philosophy will be clear,” Arteta said in 2014, when asked to outline his managerial vision.
“I will have everyone 120 per cent committed, that is 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 and 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.”
Arteta has already been hailed by Guardiola, Wenger and a host of others and he’s yet to take charge of a senior game. Credited with transforming players due to his attention to detail, his in-game awareness already paid dividends when City beat Arsenal in Emery’s first game in charge.
That game was Arteta’s first as Guardiola’s number two and it was his spot that handed City the winner when he advised Mendy to pull the ball back in the Arsenal box. Arteta had noticed a huge hole Arsenal were leaving into which Mendy duly delivered the ball and David Silva scored.
“Do you remember from Sunday’s game, after the second goal, Pep’s hug with Mikel?” Marti Perarnau, Guardiola’s biographer said on a podcast after the game.
“That was because Mikel said to Mendy, ‘Don’t make a high cross when you get to the end line, make a cut-back along the floor,’ and after that Bernardo scored the goal.
“He [also] talked with Mendy and Sterling to try to make a double pass before the last cut-back.”
It is surprising that City are willing to let Arteta leave mid-season but perhaps an indication of the esteem in which he’s held.
They see him as a future City manager and denying him this chance at Arsenal after he already had it taken from him last summer might be a move that puts that option at risk.
But it is certainly a move that’s got Arsenal fans excited, even more so if it’s annoying City who’ve done just that to us for years.