Monday, April 22, 2024

Arteta won’t block staff from pursuing other opportunities

Mikel Arteta says he won’t block backroom staff from leaving Arsenal if they want to test themselves elsewhere and says interest from other clubs underlines that the club have recruited well.

Earlier this week, The Guardian reported that Norwich City were keeping a close eye on Gunners assistant coach Carlos Cuesta with interest driven by Sporting Director, Ben Knapper, who himself recently switched London Colney for Carrow Road after holding the position of Loan and Pathway Manager.

Since Arsene Wenger departed in 2018, there’s been a dramatic increase in the roster of support staff working across various departments for the men’s, women’s and academy teams and a noticeable rate of churn.

Given the organisation is growing as a whole, that’s not unexpected, although when higher-profile characters, like Cuesta, start to attract suitors, it does raise eyebrows.

Asked about his coaches being linked with managerial jobs, Arteta told his pre-Burnley press conference: “Yeah, that’s great what has happened, not only with the coaching staff but also certain staff, that other clubs are trying to come and get them which is always a really good sign that they’re doing a really good job and and we have the right people here.”

Having recruited young staff to the first team – Cuesta is 28 while fellow assistant Miguel Molina is 31 – he’s clearly conscious of the need to provide them with development opportunities in the same way he would any of his players.

“Yes, it’s very important with the staff as well. Everybody need to feel there is a path, there is a development plan for everyone,” noted the boss. 

“People don’t want to do the same thing for three, four, five years. It is a way to incentivise and inspire other people and then to explore because you don’t really know the limit of a person unless you expose him to certain things.

“I think curiosity is a really important quality that we have within our young staff and that drives the rest.”

He added: “We all need opportunities. I got the opportunity when I didn’t have any experience in coaching, first of all at Man City and then here, and I’m very grateful for that. Obviously it is our responsibility, my responsibility, to give, when you see talent, when you see that level of passion and enthusiasm on people, to give them the chance as well to show what they can deliver.

Arteta was only 34 when he was lured to Manchester City by Pep Guardiola and was particularly thankful that his mentor didn’t try and talk him down from twice applying for the Arsenal head coach position.

Asked if he’d block one of his coaches from doing the same, he said: “If that’s their will [to leave], you cannot do that. I wouldn’t, no.”

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Only one Dennis Bergkamp

And that’s class. Wouldn’t have expected anything different from him. Another sign that the club is headed in the right direction- that generosity of spirit and the underlying confidence in our ability to recruit well.


Think that’s a good approach to follow in life too. I’ve met too many people at work, particularly in middle management, who strangle diligent, high performers in their roles and discourage long-term career conversations.

The bit about “doing the same job for 3-4-5 years” and hence feeling less incentive is very true. Some churn is good and keeps the organization fresh and brings in new ideas.


You can tell Arteta does everything to make people want to stay at arsenal, but first team coach at such a young age is A big opportunity, Cuesta has got a big decision to make

Al M

He can’t stop them going!


That’s how it should be, but with Carlos taking a lot of the Steve Round responsibilities he’s still learning and I think he’s better off staying for a while yet. I don’t think Norwich is a serious temptation to give up on the project at Arsenal, and I think there’ll be better opportunities for him in the future. What I’m really trying to say is that we all love Carlos, wish the best for him, but don’t want to lose him anytime soon.

Spanish Gooner

Yeah I’m sure more opportunities will come for him and I don’t think a yo-yo team is the place to start. Given he speaks 5 languages he’d probably be better off starting elsewhere and moving to the prem later on if he does well.

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