Few people in the world can claim to possess as acute a footballing acumen as Pep Guardiola. After all, the current Man City boss is the true propagator of possession-based beautiful football in the 21st century.
He was the one who took forward Johan Cryuff’s philosophy of total football and gave to the world the art of tiki-taka. He was the brains behind the all winning Barcelona of 2008-2012. He was the one who took Premier League by storm and created the force that Man City today is.
And yet the Spanish claim that he was the one who benefitted and learned from Mikel Arteta during the latter’s spell as Man City assistant coach instead of the other way around.
“It was a joy to be with him”-says Pep
Mikel Arteta, the current Arsenal manager was the assistant of Pep for almost 3 years and claims the Spaniard to have been a huge influence on him. Even during the Arsenal vs Man City FA cup semifinal, which Arsenal won 2-0, he spoke of how he still seeks counsel from Pep.
“Yeah, he’s a person that I have huge respect and admiration [for] and we talk about a lot of things,” he added.
“When I need advice or I want him to support me he’s always there and willing to help me. For me, it’s great to have someone like him around.”
Arteta has been a part of a big overhaul for the gunners and is looking to rebuild what has been a tired and pretty ordinary side. So far he seems to be playing his cards right as Arsenal managed to finish 8th in a campaign in which they lurked in the bottom half for the majority of the time.
However, now, Pep Guardiola has said that he himself learned a lot from Arteta. In a recent tweet, he mentioned how the Spaniard’s insights helped him adjust better to the demands of the Premier League.
Guardiola: 'Maybe I learned more from him [Arteta] than he did from me. It was a joy to be with him, I learned a lot. And all the nice things that are going to happen to him, we'll be happy. ' [@beINSPORTS]
— Z (@ZRAFC) July 29, 2020
This is not the first instance Pep has expressed his admiration for his former deputy
“We were together for an incredible three and a half years. I learned a lot from him. He is an exceptional person and I wish him all the best.”He said just before the Arsenal vs Man City FA cup fixture.
The Twitterati as usual had funny reactions on Pep’s tweet.
Arteta is looking to make additions to his coaching set-up before the new season. [@beINSPORTS]
— Z (@ZRAFC) July 29, 2020
He's going to be Arteta's assistant soon😂😂
— Trey (@UTDTrey) July 29, 2020
Turns out Pep Guardiola was Mikel Arteta's assistant. pic.twitter.com/dEkjSim3pA
— Wel Beast (@WelBeast) July 18, 2020
Arteta has shown he is a fast learner by demolishing Man City by 2-0 to proceed to the FA Cup finals. The win did not just have the characteristics of Guardiola but also carried the hallmarks of Guardiola eternal rival Jose Mourinho’s ‘park the bus’.
The road ahead for the duo-
Man City are up against Real Madrid in Champions League last 16. They have a crucial 2-1 lead from the first leg and should the tie take place at Etihad, then there is a high probability that City would reach the next round.
As for Mikel Arteta, he has his task cut short in dealing with a talented but extremely inconsistent Arsenal side. But , if Pep’s Guardiola’s words are to be believed then the Gunners have perhaps the perfect man for the task.