Arteta Is Prepared To Step Out Of Guardiola’s Shadow

Arteta served as Guardiola's assistant for three years before leaving to take over at Arsenal in 2019.

Mikel Arteta has insisted that he will never emulate Pep Guardiola’s managerial style as the Arsenal manager prepares for two crucial meetings with Manchester City.

Arteta served as Guardiola’s assistant for three years before leaving to take over at Arsenal in 2019.

They have known each other since Arteta progressed through the youth ranks at Barcelona, where Guardiola is revered for his time as a player and manager.

While Arteta has always admired Guardiola, the 40-year-old is determined to forge his own path in his managerial career.

“I had this when I was a player as well,” Arteta said when asked if he tried to emulate Guardiola’s style.

“We both grew up in the same situation. That is beyond my control. I’ve never tried copying and pasting anything.

“This club deserves much better than that, and it would not work that way. Every character and person influences how the manager and team operate. And we’re not the same.

“We are really different as people and we are very different as managers. That is why we understand each other so well and have the relationship that we have. That is probably for someone else to respond.”

After several rocky periods at Arsenal, Arteta is showing signs of being able to emulate Guardiola’s sustained success.

He has taken Arsenal five points clear at the top of the Premier League, with second-placed City looking to inflict a psychological blow on the leaders.

When it was put to the former Everton and Arsenal midfielder that he has stepped out of his friend’s shadow, Arteta was keen to credit his fellow Spaniard for his development as a coach.

“I feel gratitude. First of all, because he inspired me as a player and he inspired me and gave me the opportunity as a coach. That’s it,” Arteta said.

“I wouldn’t be sitting here and having that willingness and love for coaching if he hadn’t trusted in my love and given me the opportunity.

“I was looking at him and just wanted to achieve what he was doing. I loved the way he played and the way he was transmitting on the pitch and understanding what was happening. He was an inspiration since I was 18 years old.

“I think the influence that Pep had in football in the last 20 years is just incredibly powerful, he changed the game as Johan Cruyff did in the past, he did it like other managers have that will go down in history.”