Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa has backed Mikel Arteta to succeed at Arsenal, thanks to the “additional value” given to him by working alongside Pep Guardiola.
The former midfielder returned to his former club as manager – replacing Unai Emery and short-term boss Freddie Ljungberg – following a trophy-laden spell as Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City.
How much has Guaridola influenced Arteta? Five things to know…
- Arteta and Guardiola first met in the Barcelona academy when the former was just 16.
- They have kept in touch since and Guardiola even asked Arteta for advice when his Barca side faced Chelsea in the Champions League in 2012.
- Arteta was appointed as Guardiola’s Man City assistant in 2015 and helped the club win five major honours.
- Guardiola is a known disciple of Bielsa, who in turn believes the Spaniard has become the best manager in the world.
- Arteta on working with Guardiola: “From the start, I was absolutely fascinated by Pep’s work ethic, by his ability to transmit his ideas to the players and convince them that they’re going to work.”
Guardiola is a famous disciple of Bielsa’s and ahead of Leeds’ clash with Arteta’s Arsenal in the FA Cup on Monday, the Argentine manager gave his prediction on the reign of the new Gunners boss.
“Anybody who has worked with Guardiola has an additional value,” Bielsa told reporters.
“I think that Guardiola is the best manager in the world and as a great manager, of course, he distributes responsibility to his staff.
“Arteta’s position on his staff was tough. It was important work, an important job. Arsenal didn’t choose him just because he was a member of staff for Guardiola. This is just one fact. He is a person that has more qualities.
“The profile of one person depends on the job you have. If you are a manager, you have more media [attention]; if you are an assistant, you have less.
“When Arsenal play more matches, we are going to see more of the manager. In three matches, all he can do is try to get results.
“To make changes, you need a process and to keep doing this for a long time, but I can imagine how Arteta works.”
Arteta has taken charge of three Arsenal matches so far, drawing 1-1 with Bournemouth, suffering a 2-1 defeat against Chelsea and then impressing in a 2-0 victory over Manchester United last time out.