Mikel Arteta’s managerial philosophy: Years in the making

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Mikel Arteta and Zech Medley during a training session at Emirates Stadium on December 28, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Mikel Arteta and Zech Medley during a training session at Emirates Stadium on December 28, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Many are crediting Pep Guardiola for Mikel Arteta’s managerial philosophy but it’s one the Arsenal head coach has been developing himself for years.

(Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

There is no doubt that Pep Guardiola has had a massive impact on Mikel Arteta’s managerial philosophy. The same could also be said for Arsene Wenger. But when it comes to being a head coach, the 37-year-old has been planning what he’s going to do for a long time.

Back in 2014, when he was still at Arsenal, Arteta explained his vision for his own managerial style and philosophy. “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.”

Sound familiar from his recent interviews?

Mikel Arteta's managerial philosophy is becoming clear BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal applauds fans following his team's draw in the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal FC at Vitality Stadium on December 26, 2019 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 26: Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal applauds fans following his team’s draw in the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Arsenal FC at Vitality Stadium on December 26, 2019 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Even before he became a coach, Arteta was aware of the dedication needed to be a Premier League manager.

The then-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 [Arsene Wenger] 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.

Once a player, Mikel Arteta's managerial philosophy is becoming clear LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 15: Mikel Arteta of Arsenal is congratulated by team mates after scoring to make it 4-0 during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium on May 15, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

“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.”

It seems he wasn’t lying when he said he had it inside of him.

How much fun is it going to be watching him let it out?