Mikel Arteta has explained why he didn’t celebrate Manchester City’s goals against Arsenal while he was Pep Guardiola’s assistant.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola recently made some headlines talking about Mikel Arteta, claiming the Gunners were the only team against whom Arteta wouldn’t celebrate any City goals.
“He loves the club,” Guardiola said. “I remember when we were together, when we scored goals he jumps a lot and celebrates — except for one team.
“I jump, look back and he was sitting there. It was at that moment I said: ‘That guy likes Arsenal’.”
The Athletic put together an article analysing Arteta’s reaction to City’s goals against Arsenal, and it’s true, he almost always stayed stoic and seated.
Speaking to the media this week, Arteta answered a question on why he did so.
“Just for respect,” Arteta said. “I think for the feelings that I had towards the club, and probably if I would have scored as a player (against Arsenal) I would have done something similar.”
Arteta spent five years with Arsenal as a player, eventually retiring at the club before moving on to take that opportunity as Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City.
The Gunners had also made Arteta an offer, to lead the Arsenal Academy, but the Spaniard was evidently keen to make his mark in senior management – albeit initially as an assistant.
It worked out in the end, with Arsenal offering him their own head coach job just three years later. The rest is history.