- Spanish coach took Arsenal job in 2019
- Cut coaching teeth at the Etihad
- Catalan coach wouldn't have snubbed Barca
WHAT HAPPENED? One Spanish coach departed the Etihad Stadium in December 2019 when an opportunity to return to a former club presented itself. Arteta jumped at the chance to take the reins at Arsenal, having previously captained the club in his playing days, with the chance to fill a top job after working alongside Guardiola as an assistant in Manchester proving too good to turn down.
WHAT THEY SAID: Guardiola admits he would have jumped ship in the same position, with his strong ties to Barcelona ensuring that would have accepted any call from Camp Nou. The City boss has said: “It’s like me, if I’m training here, wherever, as an assistant... and Barcelona calls me, I’ll go to Barcelona. It’s my club.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Guardiola added on being made fully aware of Arteta’s affinity for Arsenal during their time spent working together: “We scored a lot of goals and he was always jumping and celebrating, except against one team. I was jumping, celebrating, turning and he was sitting. It was Arsenal. Then I realised: ‘This guy likes Arsenal.’ Everybody has dreams and I know he went to his club, to the club he dreamed of. He was a fan of Arsenal by playing there, he was captain and he loved that club. I didn’t want to stand in his way. Life is too short. You have to fly.”
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty
WHAT NEXT? Arteta is preparing to lock horns with Guardiola once again in Arsenal’s next outing, with the current Premier League leaders – who are yet to face City in the 2022-23 campaign – due at the Etihad Stadium on Friday for a FA Cup fourthround clash with the current title holders.