Football News

“He is so clever” – Pochettino praises potential of new Arsenal manager Arteta

By CJ Smith

Published: 13:55, 22 December 2019

Mauricio Pochettino has praised the qualities of new Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and believes his former teammate has everything he needs to be a success in the dugout.

Arteta has taken over from interim manager Freddie Ljungberg following the sacking of Unai Emery in November, beginning his first foray into management having served as Pep Guardiola‘s assistant at Manchester City since 2016.

Does Arteta have what it takes? Five things to know…

  • Arteta made 150 appearances for Arsenal during his playing days.
  • The Spaniard has spent the last three years as Guardiola‘s assistant at Man City.
  • But he’s now taken over from interim Arsenal boss Ljungberg following Emery’s sacking.
  • Ex-PSG teammate and former Spurs boss Pochettino believes Arteta has the “experience and knowledge” to succeed at Arsenal.
  • Arteta’s first match in charge is away to Bournemouth on Boxing Day.

For a short time, Pochettino was actually linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium ollowing his sacking from Tottenham Hotspur but the Argentine is still awaiting a new post.

Speaking publicly for the first time since leaving the Lilywhites, he was full of praise for Arteta – with whom he lined up alongside at PSG during their playing days – and believes the Spaniard has all the tools to be a success in north London.

“I wish him all the best of course. He’s a very good friend of mine, we met in Paris Saint Germain, he was very young, I was captain of Paris Saint Germain and it’ll be interesting to see him in the dug-out,” said Pochettino.

“Yes, but you make me a very, very old man. I think big brother is better than like a father. I wish him all the best, he deserves big success in football.

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“He is so clever, I hope he can enjoy the new position in his career in football because he’s been an assistant and now to be on the touchline as a manager, coach or head coach, in this case, is different. But he has experience and the knowledge to do a great job.”

Pochettino open to moving abroad 

Pochettino has been managing in the Premier League for the past six years with Southampton and Tottenham and on top of the recent links to Arsenal, has long been touted as a future Manchester United boss.

Although the 47-year-old does admit his “love” for the English top flight, he has revealed he would be open to moving elsewhere in the future, should the right opportunity arise.

He added: “Of course when people approach us then we are open but we didn’t have time because we’ve been in Argentina, now in Doha and, to be honest, we were not in London to have the time to listen or to talk.

“Our priority is to have this motivation and the energy to again be ready to accept a new challenge and always give your best because that’s most important.

“Of course I love the Premier League, the English fans and if not the best, then it’s one of the best leagues in the world and for any manager, it’s very exciting to be involved in the Premier League.

“But it’s not just the Premier League, there’s other leagues, different clubs which can be exciting and can give you a challenge that is maybe different.

“Now it is true that we have not had time to think about the future, but now is a time to think about ourselves, to make sure you are ready and that’s the key point to be ready when something happens.”