Jose Mourinho has jokingly suggested Mikel Arteta’s lack of defeats on his CV secured him the Arsenal job.
The former Manchester City assistant coach was appointed as the Gunners full-time boss and will take charge of his first game on Boxing Day at Bournemouth.
Arteta’s moment: Five key things to know…
- Mikel Arteta ended a 17-year playing career at Arsenal in 2016.
- He subsequently joined Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff at Manchester City.
- Arteta was in the frame to take over at the Gunners in 2018 following Arsene Wenger’s departure…
- …but Arsenal chose Unai Emery, who was sacked in November 2019.
- Arteta is Arsenal’s 17th permanent manager.
Arteta ultimately succeeded compatriot Unai Emery, who became the third Premier League manager sacked this season, after Mauricio Pochettino and Javi Gracia.
He’s got a big task ahead of him with the Gunners languishing in mid-table. Given that this is Arteta’s first managerial job, this is no easy task.
His appointment was backed by Pep Guardiola, whom he assisted at City for the last three years, but there wasn’t a similar response from north London rivals Tottenham, who are now coached by Mourinho.
Mourinho himself took charge after the season began and cheekily brought up Arteta’s lack of experience as being the major factor behind his promotion.
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“The only point I can find – and it is for us to laugh a little bit – is that years ago the best managers were the guys with more victories and now the best is the guy with the fewest defeats,” he told reporters.
“So Ancelotti has three Champions Leagues, won the league in Italy, France and England and won cups here and there – but Ancelotti has lost, I don’t know, 200 matches? I have lost 150-180 – Carlo is a little bit older than me.
“I think now it is not about how much you won, it is about the matches we didn’t lose. So probably the best managers now are the managers with zero defeats.
“The only reason I can understand is that they look through the CVs and see guys with more defeats and guys with less defeats, so guys with less defeats are given the job. I cannot find another reason.”