Mikel Arteta’s private chat with Pep Guardiola that summed up the Arsenal boss

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has commanded respect from elite level talent for quite some time, dating back to his days as Pep Guardiola’s assistant coach at Manchester City

The Arsenal manager is often seen micromanaging every last detail of his team’s attacking and defensive structure from the touchline, as well as running up and down his technical area to protest refereeing decisions. It is evident that the Gunners boss likes to have control and play his part.

While that’s no longer news to the Emirates faithful, Arteta didn’t just become this way overnight. It has long been evident to all who have worked with him that the Spaniard was destined to be a manager at the highest level. His time as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City further highlights that.

Fans got an insight into the early stages of Arteta’s life as a coach during Amazon’s All or Nothing: Manchester City documentary. One clip, in particular, was notably revealing, as it made clear just how respected the ex-Arsenal ace was among City’s squad of stars despite being a relative newbie in the coaching scene.

The video in question shows Guardiola talking to Arteta about a Raheem Sterling sitter during a 1-1 draw away at Burnley in 2018. The City boss tells his then-assistant: “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***.”

The fact that Sterling acknowledges he failed to follow the instructions of Arteta and that is what cost him would suggest that the England international put a lot of stock into the advice given to him by the current Arsenal boss. It was a similar story with fellow former City winger Leroy Sane.

“I can just say positive things about Mikel Arteta,” Sane told The Independent in 2020. “Since we started working together, he helped me a lot on the pitch. He tried to improve my football, he told me what I did good and what I did wrong, and he tried to work on it.

“Next to Pep, they both really helped me and improved me, to bring me to the next level. Even now, at Arsenal, for me, you can see he’s doing a great job.”


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