To prepare his team for Saturday’s match against Chelsea, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said on Friday that “role model” Mauricio Pochettino initially discouraged him from becoming a coach.
During the early years of Arteta’s career, the two men played together for Paris Saint-Germain.
This Saturday, however, they’ll be on opposing sides of the pitch at Stamford Bridge as Arsenal seeks to maintain their hold on first place in the Premier League and Chelsea looks to build on its recent surge.
Arteta talked highly of the Argentine coach despite the fact that he has disregarded Pochettino’s training instructions.
The Spanish player, who was loaned to the club from Barcelona, reflected on his experience, saying, “It was my first professional opportunity in Paris and we arrived together at the same time.”
For three months, we made a hotel our home.The critic was harsh. As a football player, he was one of the most important figures in my life. I felt his arm go around me.
Like a big brother, he took care of me, encouraged me, and provided me sound advice, so much so that he was a major contributor to my success in Paris.
Because I had to make the tough choice to retire from playing and launch my coaching career, he has been an inspiration to me both as a player and a manager ever since that day.
“He had a big say in that and I will always be grateful for what he has done for me.”
Arteta, now 41 years old, disclosed that Pochettino, a former manager of both Tottenham and PSG, warned him against entering management.
Counsel for Coaches
Arteta, who is 10 years younger than the Argentine, added with a grin, “‘Don’t get into coaching. It’s too difficult.
Also, “I knew he was going to be a coach,” he said. I was a close follower of his. He was a superb player whose understanding of the game made him an immediate leader. I always knew he had my back, and he was always giving me advice.
After a slow start, Pochettino’s team has won two straight league games, and the manager was eager to acknowledge Arteta’s praise.
Those were “amazing memories,” he remarked. When you find someone with whom you have common goals and a love of football, like I did with him, you know immediately that you’ve made a lifelong friend.
We stayed in the same hotel together when we initially got to Paris, and then we moved in together when we got to our apartments.
It has a fascinating past. He has been a coach since he was 17 years old, therefore his current endeavours don’t shock me at all.
“He’s fantastic, yet very young, and obviously getting better as time goes on. As a manager, he has the potential to be outstanding.
When Pochettino faces his pal for the first time as a manager, their friendship will be put on pause for 90 minutes.
“All coaches are very competitive, we want to win and to destroy the opponent,” added the coach.
“It’s going to be strange but at some point I’m going to feel proud to see him.”