Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Guardiola: Arteta honest about Arsenal talks

All going well, Mikel Arteta should become Arsenal’s new head coach in the coming days.

Yesterday, Pep Guardiola confirmed that our former captain has informed him of his desire to return to the Emirates, however, it’s fair to say the Manchester City hierarchy is less than impressed by the fact we failed to make a formal approach for Arteta’s services before being caught on camera leaving his assistant’s home in the dead of night.

Gunners officials had the chance to chat the matter over on Sunday afternoon in the aftermath of our 3-0 defeat to City, but for whatever reason, decided to maintain a level of secrecy.

“Mikel was honest with me,” said Guardiola at a press conference ahead of his side’s League Cup game with Oxford City.

“Arsenal? We were there two days ago. They were talking with our sporting director, the CEO and they didn’t say anything.

“I don’t know if the meeting [with Arteta] was because they didn’t want to make it public, but in the end it was public.

“Sometimes it’s not easy to handle this kind of situation. We cannot deny that all the clubs around the world make the first contact behind the scenes and try to avoid the clubs that are in charge, they don’t realise it and the media don’t realise it, so that process is normal.

“But all I can say as far as I’m concerned is that Mikel was clear with me and that’s all. Perhaps there is a problem with the chairman and the CEO [at Arsenal], they have to talk to each other.”

Asked whether Arteta has the quality to revive Arsenal’s fortunes, Guardiola made clear that he has no doubts about his compatriot’s coaching quality.

“I don’t know. When Arsène [Wenger] took over the team, he raised the club to another level and now they are struggling.

“Mikel’s a professional and a person I don’t have doubts about. If he stays I’d be happy, incredibly, because we all work together really well.

“If he decides to move I’ll wish him all the best, for him, his family and for his professional future.

“When the club takes a decision to replace the manager or buy players it’s always to attempt to be better. Whether it’s going to happen or not with Arsenal, I don’t know.”

Guardiola was also asked why Arteta wanted to leave City, a team he’s helped coach to every domestic honour in the last couple of seasons.

Pep sounded pretty irked by the line of questioning. “I don’t know the reason why [he wants to leave],” he explained.

“He was honest, he explained everything that happened, the steps involved, but after that I didn’t ask, ‘What do you want to do?’ I don’t want to be involved. I am a guy that likes people to live with freedom and do what they want because they feel that is what they want, in this moment, right now, for their life, their family, with their position, professionally and individually.

“That is what I think all the time with the players, with the staff, with everyone. Mikel knows exactly what we think about him, at the club, after that, we cannot do more. What can we do? We are not going to tell him, ‘Stay, stay stay’, if he doesn’t want to stay. It’s his decision. I don’t know what happens now.”

Elsewhere, it’s been reported that we’re are also in talks with City scout Samuel Fagbemi about a return to Arsenal.

The 25-year-old was a London-based scout for us for six years before taking up a video scout position at London Colney for 15 months.

He was lured to City three years ago and leads their youth scouting strategy in the south. It appears he’s on Per Mertesacker’s hit-list as the German looks to develop a new team in the aftermath of an Edu-led streamlining process. 

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Le Jim

That fella was scouting for us when he was 16 if I’m interpreting that right? Impressive.

Cliff Drake

No i think 14 or 15 years old so even more impressive. 25 – 6 years scout – 15 months video analysis – left for city 3 years ago.


Yeah thats about what I figured too


Arteta who?

Naked Cygan

He came over from Everton and player for us for few years. Was an OK player, nothing special. He was amazing at Everton. As far as managment experience, he has none. He sat next to pep and they spent millions, and millions and won. I can see him getting the sack by the end of next season…

Harish P

* “Mikel Who?”


I see what you did there!

Arsene Arteta

I hope the answer to that results in a similar outcome to the last time that question was asked….?

Cultured determination



Except Wenger actually had experience managing 3 clubs when he came over and won the French league with Monaco.

It was just British fans were ignorant and stupid.

In Arteta’s case, no man management experience. At City he relies on the clout of Pep. I don’t think the players there would give him time of day otherwise.

At Arsenal, we have ill discipline. Hope he brings his hair dryer. Should be quite a strong one considering his hair.

Tankard Gunner

Exactly my hangup too!

Venga Bus

There’s a fair few players at Arsenal, who can do intensity for 90 minutes provided they have the guidance and personal motivation, ie from Arteta and Freddie.
Leno,Martinez AMN, Bellerin, Tierney, chambers, holding, Willock, Nelson, Saka, Pepe, Martinelli , auba, Lacazette, ESR, Torreira .
Am I missing anyone? Haha, don’t answer that!!

Naked Cygan

Playing for Arsenal should be enough motivation. There is no excuse for these guys anymore.


It is a mentality problem with some of today’s players. Look at Pogba for example injured one minute Fred Astaire the next.

I’m hoping that this will be shaken out of a few of our squad members when the appointment is made. One of the biggest issues at our club is a comfort zone. If that can be dealt with then a marked improvement in performance should follow.


If I was Freddie, I’d be a bit aggrieved. He is being replaced by a younger guy, with less backroom experience who overall has spent less time at Arsenal. Of course he comes with the magic of his association with Pep – attractive football and trophies. As someone pointed out though, that philosophy required buying a whole squad to fit the system and Arteta doesn’t have that luxury.

Harish P

There was a film called Moneyball that released in 2011 which had a rather attractive man play a true story role about Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s successful attempt to assemble a baseball team on a lean budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players. I’m pretty sure for a time Wengerball referred to this before being more synonymous with his football style. Anyway, if Arteta knows exactly what he needs – which he should – there’s no reason we can’t do what most clubs in the world do (and basically indeed Wenger for a large period) and… Read more »

SF Gooner

I’ve met Billy Beane once at an event back in Napa in 2015 (?). We shared a golf cart back to the main location and somehow we got on the topic of football and how his approach with the A’s has been adopted across the globe. I shared I was an Arsenal fan, for some reason Billy opened up to me mentioning he was once offered a GM type-role at Arsenal to effectively run the same program at Arsenal as he did at the A’s. It’s possible his competition for that role was our old friend Ivan. I can see… Read more »


Is that a true story? Gee, that’s amazing!


He’s Spanish.


We need to be really patient with Arteta, he is taking a squad with some real problems; highest paid player is the least motivated, midi field is unbalanced & incapable of controlling any game, defence… well let’s not expect he will fix it quickly. He will probably have to comprise a bit on his preferred game plan, and need 2 transfer periods to shape the squad. Let’s not kill him or our chances to rebuild by unrealistic short term expectations and booes when it doesn’t work out, we really need to get behind this man and the team, he will… Read more »


The board hasn’t covered itself in glory over this one.

Upamecano but downalego

This board is using our former players as shields just to buy themselves more time, it’s appallingly disrespectful to both the club and fanbase.

Upamecano but downalego

“…it’s fair to say the Manchester City hierarchy is less than impressed by the fact we failed to make a formal approach for Arteta’s services…” Rather than networking and building connections over time the mega rich Manchester City lazily built title-winning teams by tapping up some of our most promising and proven players in Sagna, Clichy, Toure, Adebayor, and Nasri. They sabotaged a number of attempts from Arsenal to quietly acquire new players, by arrogantly and publicly announcing their intentions to sign the same players, forcing us into potential bidding wars they knew we couldn’t compete in. When they signed… Read more »


very good point.


Great comment


Arteta’s chances of being successful, will be linked to the clubs ability to ship out players who aren’t on board with his ideas and project. One of Emery’s biggest problems was the club failing to ship out Ozil and Mustafi, and then returning Ozil to the team, against everything that everybody knew he though. We need a huge clear out, and we need to become much more astute in the profile and quality of the players we sign. This would be a very tough job for any of the worlds top managers, Arteta is going to be right up against… Read more »


Again…pipe dream. We won’t be able to ship out players we want to because who wants poor players for high salaries. Instead if Arteta falters, we will be losing key players leaving more gaps to fill with a dwindling budget because again no CL (maybe no Europa) and we have committed to 20m each window to pay for flop Pepe and non existent Saliba (this season). Young players won’t win you the league without experience to gel it Ala Ajax. He will need to make those older players perform (particularly off ball like Pepe and Auba and Ozil) Will they… Read more »


Arteta will have to give experienced players an opportunity to fail first before dropping them….. I’m in little doubt Ozil will clasp that opportunity with both hands. Hopefully Smith-Rowe can stay fit, I’d much rather go down with inexperience, than a lack of application and desire. In midfield and defence, Arteta’s really not got many options, One left back until the middle of March, one natural right back coming back from a knee ligament injury, well below standard centre backs, and some talent in the midfield in Guendouzi, Willock and Torreira, but Torreira wants out, Guendouzi hasn’t renewed, and they… Read more »


Guardiola cannot say these things without taking into account how his own club is acting , if he Truly did he would be a shamed beyond saving. But no, point fingers and go public on things that he himself says should be managed behind closed doors. Hypocrite of the century.

Forest gooner

Arteta has wenger and pep as gurus!


I find Pep occasionally insufferable but I admire his magnanimity in this situation. “I am a guy that likes people to live with freedom and do what they want because they feel that is what they want, in this moment, right now, for their life, their family, with their position, professionally and individually.” People could learn a lot from that sentiment. The best managers have insight into the human condition and while we judge them based on their match-day performances, their successes are in no small part a result of that insight. I’m low-key excited for Arteta in that context;… Read more »


One of the most spot-on comments here for a while.


The same was said of Unai who has had way more success and man management experience but could not turn this squad around because of obvious capability gaps at Cback and CM still not addressed last summer by Sanlehi. Wenger alluded to this. He mention we had been buying with a lot of money but mixed results. Pepe? never mind Granit or Mustafi. Even Torreira hasn’t been any better than Xhaka when on. There are still issues in the squad that need a disciplinarian IMO that can instill fear in some of the senior players. BUT those players know we… Read more »


Pep doesn’t care, neither arsenal nor Arteta will be a threat to him.

We also have Klopp and Moanrinho in this league. Potentially Ancelotti maybe but of course Everton have poorer resource if he came.

BUT how Arteta is going to squeeze us into Cl is a bit far fetch at the moment.

Looks like our ambition as set by the club is to stay in the league and possibly sneak into Europa.

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