Manchester City fans weren’t unduly perturbed when their club allowed Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko to move to Arsenal. They were thanked for their service and a changing of the guard was welcomed; all the more so with the cash from their sales going some way to covering the cost of Erling Haaland’s transfer and huge monthly wages.
Six months later and there’s a sense of frustration, even annoyance, that Zinchenko and Jesus, who won 17 major honours between them at the Etihad, have helped turned the Gunners into genuine title challengers.
Asked how exactly Arsenal pulled off a double coup from under the nose of Pep Guardiola, Arteta’s former mentor, the Spaniard explained: “That was done in a really nice way between the clubs especially, between us [him and Pep] as well, personally, because you have to do that respectfully.
“It was all agreed by everybody, as you have read and heard many, many times. It was a three-party decision because if not they would not be here, that’s for sure.”
In recent weeks, Zinchenko’s presence in the dressing room has really come to the fore. The Ukraine international isn’t just orchestrating things on the pitch as an inverted full-back, he has also laid down the gauntlet to his new teammates calling on them to aim for an unlikely title win.
Arteta has been hugely impressed: “We know that he’s a player that gives us everything that we want in that position, the versatility and [the way] he gets a lot of attention which frees up other spaces that for us is really important.
“I would especially highlight his mentality, what he brought is a real desire to win, to make something special with this team and the experiences he had in the past, I think they are very helpful to do that.”
Arteta and Zinchenko return to the Etihad on Friday as the Gunners and City gear up for the first of three mouthwatering showdowns that could dictate where the two biggest domestic honours end up at the end of the season.
It’s exactly what Arteta wanted for his Arsenal side when he joined in December 2019 but he has mixed feelings going head-to-head with Guardiola, whose friendship he cherishes.
“I always hoped that that was going to be the case one day and it’s happening this season,” he said.
“Obviously, that’s not going to change our friendship, the moments we’ve had and how important he is in my life and my profession. We’re both willing to win and will defend our clubs in the best possible way. That’s always been the case since day one.
He added: “I would prefer to do it with someone else, to be fair because I want the best for him, generally the best for him,” he said.
“Obviously, when you are challenging with someone like this, something comes in between of that. It’s a strange feeling, it is what it is. And that’s our challenge.”
Well, they took Nasri, Adebayor, Kolo, Sagna & Clichy for us to enable them to start winning trophies. We only took two yet. I reckon we may also need to get three more from them to even it up.
yeah let’s get Haaland in next year
Nice one Judd 🤣
Absolutely phenomenal player and leader. Cannot state enough how crucial this guy is. I’m still having trouble deciding our most crucial player and signing this season? Marty or Zinny. What a coupe to get them both in one window!
Zinchenko is not a leader…. said some uninformed platypus
I understand that feeling. In my younger days I got introduced to boxing by a nice friend who helped me in training, showed me the ropes and stuff, and then we went to separate camps and one day later I was informed that I’d be coming up against him in the ring. I was really good at boxing but wasn’t looking forward to this game. Well the day came and when I met him at the pre game presser he told me, “Up there in the ring I’ll assume I’ve never seen you before, and beat you to a pulp”.… Read more »
Hopefully Mikel’s encounters with Pep ends like this.
Which was nice…..
I love that your boxing mentor showed you the ropes. The best unintended pun ever, lol
Personally I find the bromance of Arteta and Pep endearing and beneficial.
Pep is about the only likeable thing about City, and from a professional point of view I have no doubt he is an ongoing resource for Arteta to develop – and even with the current situation where padewan is challenging master, I suspect Pep is still there for him to offer help and advice when required; it is a positive thing.
I think of them as the management version of the Martinelli / Vieira axis
Love Zinky fantastic footballer. I think we will win one of the 3 games against city
You definitely need some talking-to by Zini.
Meant to say at least one
Zinc would be like “why not all them?”
What a power house!
Rotate the s*it out of the team on Friday. Our priorities must be PL first,second and third,then EL and FA cup rock bottom. City can field two teams almost equally strong and don’t nede to risk key players, I wake up in the middle of the night with nightmares of Ake or some other thug kicking MØ or Saka into hospital. Then we’re screwed…
my team : Turner- Tomi, Holding,Kiwor,Tierney- Sambi,Mo ( if well),ESR- Trossard,Martinelli, Marquinhos.
I love the FA cup, but this year we can afford to do without it.
I don’t think rotating the s*it out of the team will be what Arteta chooses to do. He will go for the win to build belief and momentum for the 2 PL challenges. He wants to win them all and doesn’t subscribe to the theory there is only one goal to strive for. I’m comfortable following the managers plan whatever it is, he has brought us to this point. Trust the process.
“I would prefer to do it with someone else, to be fair because I want the best for him, generally the best for him,”
It seems Arteta would prefer Pep dropped out of the title race XD
I think we all would