Mikel Arteta on his Man City future, why Liverpool’s Anfield is unique & his relationship with Mauricio Pochettino

Mikel Arteta talks to Marca

Manchester City coach Mikel Arteta has sat down for an in-depth interview with Marca.

Arteta enjoyed a magical season with Man City, as they won the domestic treble.

In recent weeks, Arteta’s name has been linked with the vacant job at Middlesbrough.

In his Marca interview, Arteta has discussed his future at Man City, what it’s like working with Pep Guardiola, why Liverpool’s Anfield is special, his relationship with Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, and more.

Mikel Arteta on his Man City future

Does Arteta have ambitions of becoming a head coach in the near future? In short, no. Arteta said:

I’ve been with (Man City) for three years and I love this work. Being a head coach is something that will come naturally.

For now, I will continue with Pep at City.

I share, from the ‘cradle’ of Barça, many ideas with Guardiola, and I’m not in a hurry to be the first coach. 

Many things have to happen. I will take the step forward.

 

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Amazing season making history! What a beautiful journey…

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What’s it like working with Pep Guardiola every day?

Arteta also went into detail about Guardiola’s process, his daily involvement with the team, and his preparation:

With Guardiola, it is a daily challenge. He is super-efficient with himself, and those around him should always be seeking improvements, evolutions.

The challenge is how to be better than the day before, than the previous game.

(Guardiola) is a tireless worker. People say: ‘Pep is a genius’. And yes, he has a lot of ideas. But if I had to define it, I would say, first, that it is a tireless ‘worker’… 

And, in addition, he is very brave. His decisions are always focused on the attack… Love the attack.

Pep is always on the field, but he must also be fresh when he wants to give a tactical or analytical input.

I do more of the individual player monitoring.

Pep is very tactical, very interventionist. He never stays in his office. He is always on the field. 

We know exactly what training we need to do for the next match and opponent. Every minute of training is gold.

 

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Why Liverpool’s Anfield is unique

Man City pipped Liverpool to the Premier League title in 2018-19.

Arteta was asked if he was surprised by Liverpool’s challenge last season. He replied:

No, because it is very difficult to beat them. Also, in my playing career, Anfield was the only ground where in which I had the feeling of ‘pájara’, of being stuck. 

It happened to me with Arsenal, and we conceded five… You say: ‘I do not know what’s going on, stop the game, please, because I do not know where I am’. 

It’s hard to explain, but it never happened to me anywhere other than Anfield. 

Barça surprise me by the form of some of their goals, but at Anfield you can concede five without knowing.

Neither in Spain nor in Greece or Germany did I have that feeling. Not even in Old Trafford.

Relationship with Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino

Back at the start of his career, Arteta was sent out on loan to PSG in 2001.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino was also a PSG player at the time.

Arteta spoke about his relationship with the Spurs boss:

‘Mau’ was always a leader. I arrived in Paris at the age of 18 and lived for two months in his hotel.

I was alone and he with his family. He took care of me a lot. 

‘Poche’ is very intelligent, has a great team and has managed to capture what he had in mind. He has had good teachers and is very hardworking.

Other keys quotes from Arteta

Arteta was asked if Leroy Sane will leave Man City this summer. The City coach said:

I hope (he stays). I love him. He has unique qualities.

On Man City’s interest in Atletico Madrid’s Rodri, Arterta said:

I do not want to get into names, but our ‘6’ must understand our game. It is vital.

He is the one that makes everyone work, the one that frees those in front, the one who finds upper hand, the one who sets the pace.

Arteta also discussed the impact of Eden Hazard’s exit from Chelsea:

For City it is positive; for the Premier it is very negative. 

He is among the five or six best in the world. 

I put him there, along with Messi, Cristiano, Mbappé, Neymar … and Hazard. He is outstanding.

Also see: Bayern Munich’s Leroy Sane plan B includes Arsenal target Yannick Carrasco.

Arsenal clear favourites to sign Celtic’s Kieran Tierney – SkyBet.

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