⚡️ Get the free App now
Favorites Edit

Mikel Arteta, Thierry Henry can never become Arsenal’s Pep Guardiola

vrinda chopra
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 15:19 IST

FC Barcelona v RCD Espanyol  - Liga BBVA
Guardiola and Co. celebrate their Copa del Rey win

Pep Guardiola being signed as the Barcelona boss back in 2008 was one appointment that changed football management.

Undoubtedly, Pep was one to go a long way in the books of legendary coaches, with or without FCB, as he went on to set the zeitgeist for an era that could be termed as the golden one for football in Europe.

With Barca setting unparalleled records that nobody thought could be broken, setting the pace of the game with their possession play – their midfielder-turned-manager won every triumph possible in a football season (the treble).

Be it mastering the art of the ‘Tiki-Taka’ philosophy, or plotting nightmarish attacking plays, FC Barcelona were unstoppable during the 2008-09 season under Pep Guardiola. However, one thing that many would not have predicted was the manner of his appointment – which also set a standard.

In the conventional sense, Guardiola was exceptionally under-qualified for one of the most massively major jobs in the game. The only prior experience the now Manchester City manager had back then was managing Barcelona’s B Team, and yet he was given the first-team job, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Pep Guardiola set the trend

Coming back to the present day, many football clubs have been trying to make a similarly miraculous appointment in the form of signing their former players who could lead the team to glory.

If FCB took a shot with Guardiola and placed their faith in him, then there is no stopping others in trying to replicate the fashion in which the former Barca boss evolved as a manager, especially with some of the most promising names in the world of football.

There are a lot of footballers who became legends and led their clubs to many, many victories while still on the field. But the real challenge begins once you can recreate that magic without having a ball at your feet, and instead, guide your club from the sidelines, inside the manager’s box.

With reports emerging out of Europe regarding a potential departure of Arsene Wenger as the Arsenal boss from the club, the spotlight is now being shone over their former midfielder, Mikel Arteta.


Considering that the current Manchester City assistant coach has worked under the former Bayern Munich boss at the Etihad for two consecutive seasons, he has allegedly become a top candidate for the job at Arsenal as Wenger’s successor.

Manchester City v Chelsea - Premier League
Mikel Arteta, Assistant Coach at Manchester City

The pursuit to land Arteta as the Arsenal manager came as a bit of an obvious plan of action as the Spaniard is regarded as an essential member of the coaching staff at City.

Therefore, it would only make sense to assume that the 35-year-old has learned a thing or two under Josep Guardiola's guidance. The best managers are the ones who are likely to inspire a generation of their own and Mikel could perhaps prove to be an able successor to his current boss.

Henry may belong, but he isn't the solution either

Meanwhile, the day Arsene is shown the exit gate at the Emirates does not seem too far off, with the Gunners looking to fill in the Frenchman’s seat at the club by the end of the ongoing season.

The time has come for the North London club to chalk a fresh succession plan, though the appointment of Mikel Arteta could turn out to be outrageously reckless and one that the club may not even need at this point in time.

Former Barcelona club chief, Joan Laporta is certain that if Arsenal are to make a ‘Guardiola-esque’ appointment, they must consider Thierry Henry for the job. Laporta believes that Arsenal require similar qualities as FCB did back in 2008 and sees the same in Arsenal’s former goal-scoring machine.

With Henry recently making his way into the managerial path with the Belgian National side (as assistant to Roberto Martinez), the Frenchman would be more than happy to succeed his former coach at Arsenal.

Enter ca
Thierry Henry during a Belgium National Team training session

However, if Henry is to be assigned the job, Arsenal would be taking a huge risk. After Sir Alex Ferguson called it a day at Manchester United, a fairly under-qualified individual was called in as a descendant to the Scotsman in the form of David Moyes and the role was evidently too much for him to handle.

Arteta, or even Henry for that matter, could face a similar hurdle, should either of them are called up to fill in the footsteps of Arsene Wenger. And so, what the Gooners currently should be prioritizing is the experience element, rather than looking for the next Pep Guardiola.

Published 23 Mar 2018, 17:24 IST
Fetching more content...