Mikel Arteta says missing out on the Arsenal job doesn’t feel so bad given he gets to work day in, day out with Manchester City’s stellar squad.
The Spaniard, who has been assistant to Pep Guardiola at the Etihad for two seasons, was the front-runner to take over from Arsene Wenger when the Gunners began their hunt for a new head coach back in May.
It’s understood the 36-year-old was so close to an Emirates return that he’d started house hunting in North London before Ivan Gazidis got cold feet about his inexperience and switched attention to Unai Emery.
To date, our former club captain has stayed quiet on the way things panned out, however, sent in place of Guardiola (banned by UEFA) to face the media ahead of City’s Champions League clash with Lyon he finally touched on the subject.
“The decision was made and I am so happy the decision was made,” he said.
“I am privileged to be where I am. I feel very fulfilled. If you ask, one day in the future, will I be a coach? The answer is probably yes.
“But I am very happy where I am and there is still a lot of room for this club to grow.
He added: “For me, we have the best players in the world and I look at our players as if they are the best. I wouldn’t change my players for any others. They are absolutely fantastic.
“I look at the players, I see how they behave, how they react. The positives, negatives, their qualities and weaknesses.”
To be fair, City, one of the favourites for this season’s Champions League, do have an embarrassment of riches at their disposal and Arteta is getting to learn from one of the best coaches there has ever been.
If Unai’s process doesn’t go to plan, I’m sure we can dig out Mikel’s phone number again.