Mikel Arteta has been battling to rescue Arsenal likewise his appointment as the manager of the club but a reflection on the kind of assistant coach he was while at Manchester City showed that the Spaniard is not as bad as the results at Arsenal make him look.
Recall that for two seasons (between 2016 and 2019), Arteta served as the assistant football manager of Manchester City under the legendary Pep Guardiola. During his time at the club, Manchester City was almost seen as an invincible team.
Also, during that period, Manchester City won two Premier League titles, two EFL Cup titles, two FA Community Shield. Though he was the assistant coach and always worked in the background, people who are close to the club then never miss the opportunity to note the impact of Mikel Arteta on Guardiola’s team.
When Arsenal decided to appoint him as the coach of the club in 2019, some thought that Arsenal has taken away the heart of Manchester City’s team. And coincidentally, Manchester City struggled in a couple of games after Arteta had left the club.
At Arsenal, during the concluding part of the 2019-2020 season, Mikel Arteta showed his brilliance as a football manager as he pushed Arsenal from below the league table to an 8th spot finish.
He didn’t only do that, he beat Manchester City led by his former boss, Pep Guardiola, in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, and went on to beat Chelsea in the final to win the title. For the fact that he conquered the FA Cup, that qualified Arsenal for this season’s Europa League.
More so, Mikel Arteta kicked off this season with a victory over Jurgen Klopp’s led Liverpool. The victory won the club the season’s Community Shield, making it Arteta’s second title in less than 12 months at Arsenal.
However, things have not been the same for Arsenal and the embattled coach. Arsenal currently has the second-worst form in the league since matchday 5. The terrible form has placed the club in the 15th spot on the league table, 4 points above the relegation zone.
💬 "I'm really feeling for the players, and obviously for our fans because something is happening every game for different reasons. But we need results." pic.twitter.com/uChggucUTR— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 23, 2020
Also, the bad form followed Arteta to the Carabao Cup quarter-finals where Arsenal was humiliated out of the competition at the hands of Manchester City. After the 4-1 defeat, Pep Guardiola came out to defend Mikel Arteta by telling the world how effective the Spaniard is as a football manager.
Guardiola said: “I’m pretty sure they are going to trust him. They will do a big mistake if they are thinking [of dismissing him].
“I know his incredible quality as a human being and especially as a manager, how he is involved in everything. It’s just a question of time and he will do well.
“Football changes in one week so quick. I can speak about my experience alongside him – one of the most incredible, successful teams in English history we had, and he was part of this success.
“It would not be possible without him. To create something like this you need time as I had in my first season.”
More prove that Mikel Arteta was a genius under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City
Besides the glowing comments Pep Guardiola showered on Mikel Arteta after knocking Arsenal out of the Carabao Cup, a flashback to the Amazon’s All or Nothing documentary, showed how important Arteta was at the club before he was appointed by Arsenal.
A part of the documentary showed Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta having a conversation after the club’s 1-1 draw with Burnley in the 2019-2020 season. During the conversation, Pep brought up the scoring opportunity the club’s Raheem Sterling missed against Burnley which forced the match to end 1-1.
Guardiola told Arteta how Sterling felt bad about the miss and how he blamed himself for the 1-1 draw. He also told Arteta how the England international regretted that he didn’t yield to Arteta’s advice before the match.
In the video, Guardiola tells Arteta: “Yesterday I talked with Raheem, and I must say, he is such a good guy. He was so p*, so I asked him four questions. How did you feel after the first action? You failed when the ball went up?
“I said: ‘Was the latter a consequence of the former?’ And he said: ‘No, no, but I didn’t do what Mikel said to me. Instead of attacking the ball, I put my foot in. I didn’t attack the ball. That’s why it went over.’
“I said: ‘Were you p** off?’ He said: ‘Devastated.’ We didn’t lose because of you. And he said: “F it. We lost because of my fault, of my s***.”