Arteta explains decision to snub Premier League duo
Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta has opened up on his choice to reject the advances of former employers Arsenal and Newcastle United.
French tactician Arsene Wenger left his position as Arsenal manager at the end of the 2017/18 campaign, bringing an end to his 22-year reign, and there were several big names linked with the vacant position at the Emirates.
Ex-captain Arteta, who ended his playing career in 2016 after a five-year spell with the Gunners, was believed to be top of the list after building his coaching reputation since hanging up his boots.
The 37-year-old started out as a coach under Pep Guardiola at City in the summer of 2016 and he has since become an instrumental figure in the defending Premier League champions’ backroom team, where he is now number two.
Discussions did take place last summer over Arteta taking charge at Arsenal but the Spaniard decided to turn down the opportunity, with the Gunners instead appointing Unai Emery on a two-year contract.
Speaking about the decision to reject the chance to return to the Emirates, Arteta told SER Catalunya: “Yes, there have been some things, but the decision I have made is that I am very happy where I am, I feel very valued and fulfilled. And the road will continue here.”
A year later and Arteta was again linked with a vacant managerial position, this time at Newcastle United. The Magpies were unable to agree terms with Rafael Benitez over a new contract and the former Liverpool boss left St James’ Park.
Eager to bring in a big name, the north-east outfit were looking at City’s number two but they failed in their advances, instead opting to appoint Corbridge-born coach Steve Bruce from Sheffield Wednesday.
Revealing his reasons for rejecting Newcastle, Arteta added: “The first [time] was different, the second was mostly me. I am not in a hurry and I have not felt that I need to take the step.”
With Arteta’s stock rising so quickly over the past three years, it is expected the Spaniard, who has been touted as a replacement for Guardiola, won’t be number two for too much longer.
James Mason grew up in Northumberland so is entrenched in both the football and golf scenes. A low handicap golfer, he also follows Newcastle United and predicts big things under Rafa Benitez.