“Arsene Wenger Was Afraid of Mikel Arteta,” Arteta’s Former Teammate At Arsenal Theo Walcott Reveals

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is working wonders at the club after taking over as new manager in 2019.

Away from his heroics in the dugout with the Gunners, Arteta was destined to be a manager, as per his former Arsenal teammate Theo Walcott.

Speaking in a recent interview with Hill’s podcast, Walcott, who shared the Arsenal dressing room with Arteta from 2011 to 2016, revealed the enormous impact Mikel Arteta had in Arsenal dressing room although he was a playing staff like every other player.

According to the former Southampton forward, Arteta wielded influence in the Arsenal dressing room more like a manager. Walcott added that even Arsenal’s former manager Arsene Wenger was scared of Arteta.

Mikel Arteta

To corroborate his assertions, Walcott recounted an incident where Arteta override Arsene Wenger when the team was about to file out for a training session – a scenario that made him (Walcott) believe Arteta was destined to be a great manager.

He reportedly locked all the players inside the room and gave out instructions to everyone, acting more like he was the boss. Meanwhile, the real manager, Arsene Wenger, was waiting outside for the players to come out to training but Arteta barred everyone from going for the training while engaging them with a charge because the team failed to make the top four

“The turning point for me in terms of how I viewed Mikel Arteta was an experience I had with him as a player at Arsenal,” ‌‌‌‌‌‌Theo Walcott said.

“It was at a time when we weren’t making the top four. We had training in 30 minutes and he locked all the players in the dressing room as if he was the manager. He was taking control of the whole space and telling us how it is. In that moment, it was like he was the manager, and that was the turning point for me.

“That’s when I thought he could go on to be a manager. Arsene Wenger was waiting for us to come outside for training but we weren’t coming out because Mikel stopped the training session. He was such a strong character that even Arsene was afraid of him.”

Mikel Arteta as Arsenal player

Mikel Arteta is among the newest former footballers who have excelled in the dugout as manager recently. Arteta belonged to the class of footballers, who boast an average footballing career. He graduated from La Masia in 1999 and made 45 appearances for Barcelona reserve team before joining PSG on loan in 2001.

At PSG, he made 31 Ligue. appearances, scoring 3 goals. From Ligue 1, Arteta moved to Scottish Premier League where he won the Scottish elite division and Scottish Cup in 2003. He made 50 appearances for the club and returned to Spain in 2005, playing for Real Sociedad. After a season with Real Sociedad, he moved to the Premier League first as a loanee to Everton in 2005 before signing a permanent contract the next year.

Arteta’s career peaked at Everton. He made 162 Premier League appearances, scoring 27 goals in his six-year stint with the club. After his spell with the Merseyside outfit, Arteta’s Arsenal journey began in 2011.

He signed a four-year contract with the club for £10m and made his debut in a 1-0 victory over Swansea. He would go ahead to make 110 Premier League appearances for the club, scoring 14 goals.

Mikel Arteta managerial journey

After his spell with Arsenal, Arteta called time on his club and international career. According to reports, Arsenal offered him an opportunity to coach the club’s Academy after his retirement. There was also an opening at Tottenham Hotspur as then-Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino wanted him to join his backroom staff.

Arteta ditched the two options and chose to join Pep Guardiola as one of the Spaniard’s assistant managers at Manchester City in 2016. It was from his assistant role with Manchester City that he was hired as Arsenal manager after Unai Emery’s departure.

After a disappointing first two seasons as Arsenal manager, Arteta has improved immensely in the Arsenal dugout. He has challenged for the Premier League title in the last two seasons, finishing as runners-up. Out of his 232 games as Arsenal manager, he has won 137, drew 38, and lost 57, recording a win percentage of 59.05.

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