Pochettino's crystal ball: How he saw Arteta's coaching star in the making

Arteta with Pochettino for PSG back in 2001. Photo Credit || PSG

FOOTBALL Pochettino's crystal ball: How he saw Arteta's coaching star in the making

Mark Kinyanjui 12:00 - 21.10.2023

The Chelsea head coach insists that he saw Arteta becoming a “great” coach back when he was as young as 19.

Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino insists that he knew Mikel Arteta would become a great coach after seeing him call the shots at Paris Saint Germain in 2001 back when he was just 19.

The duo, who became PSG teammates in 2001, will face each other as managers for the first time on Saturday.

Despite the 10-year age gap, they quickly struck up a bond, with Arteta describing how Pochettino treated him like a little brother and was “a role model” for him.

“I always used to say 'Mikel is going to be a coach.' But not only is he going to be a coach, he's going to be a great coach.”

“Mikel, myself or other coaches that played football, in our minds we still believe that we can play football.

“Still we have the animal instinct that make us to arrive here.”

When Arteta retired as a player in 2016, there were numerous reports claiming that he was either going to join Pep Guardiola at Manchester City or Pochettino at Tottenham.

Arteta chose Manchester City for very obvious reasons, but the Argentine coach insists that he never approached Arteta to join his backroom staff.

“Remember he was the captain of Arsenal and Arsenal and Tottenham the relationship is not so good!

“Maybe Pep was perfect because City, Arsenal are not enemies. But how do you bring the captain of Arsenal (to Spurs)? It's a massive problem. We never thought like that.

“Never did we invite him to work with us at Tottenham. First of all he was never going to accept and secondly, for me, if he thought I was going to invite him then it was impossible.”

The friends spoke before Arteta followed Pochettino into coaching with the Arsenal chief joking he was warned: “Don't go into coaching. It's too hard.”

“I could not speak the language, it was my first professional club, and I needed someone to be close to me,” Arteta said. 

“He [Pochettino] was always giving me advice, giving me confidence, coaching me and talking to me. He was really inspirational, really supportive. He took me under his arm like a little child, a little brother.

“ Every time I was doing something he was controlling me – ‘What did you do last night?’ He really looked after me.

“I was in a hotel with him for two or three months. That period was key in my career to be able to make it. I don’t think that without him I would have had the time that I had in Paris and the start of my professional career.

" He was critical and has been one of the most influential people in my career.”