Bielsa backs Arsenal boss Arteta to flourish out of Guardiola’s shadow
Sports World News of Saturday, 4 January 2020
The Argentine believes the Manchester City boss is the best in the world but that his former assistant deserves to be judged on his own merits.
New Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has more credentials than simply being a member of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City coaching staff, says Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa.
The Spaniard took the reins at the Gunners in December following Unai Emery’s exit from Emirates Stadium, with the midfielder returning to his former club from his position as assistant at the Premier League title holders.
So far, he has overseen a win, a loss and a draw in charge of the north London club, sharing the spoils with Bournemouth on Boxing Day before a late loss against Chelsea and a New Year’s Day win against Manchester United.
They next face Leeds in the FA Cup third round, only days after Arteta oversaw the recall of striker Eddie Nketiah from the Championship club where he had been on a season-long loan.
The decision hasn’t stopped either manager from offering high praise of their counterpart however, with Arteta previously hailing the Argentine in his pre-match press conference.
Bielsa, returning the favour, believes Arteta has the potential to become a great coach on his own merit, and that he deserves to be judged out of the shadow of his former boss.
“I think that Guardiola is the best manager in the world and as a great manager of course he distributes responsibility to his staff,” Bielsa told a news conference when asked how much impact Guardiola will have had on Arteta.
“Arteta’s position on his staff was tough. It was important work, an important job. Arsenal didn’t choose him just because he was a member of staff for Guardiola. This is just one fact. He is a person that has more qualities.
“The profile of one person depends on the job you have. If you are a manager, you have more media [attention]; if you are an assistant, you have less.
“When Arsenal play more matches, we are going to see more of the manager. In three matches, all he can do is try to get results. To make changes, you need a process and to keep doing this for a long time, but I can imagine how Arteta works.”