Manchester City are furious that Arsenal have held talks with their No.2. Mikel Arteta about Arteta becoming Arsenal’s next manager and so they should.
The problem for City is that they understand Arteta’s desire to be a full time manager- he can’t stay under Pep Guardiola’s wing much longer. But it has been the way that Arsenal has conducted themselves. According to City, Arsenal have made no formal contact with the club over Arteta but have spoken to the Spaniard. Photographers captured Arsenal’s board leaving Arteta’s home very late in the night and it almost seems a given now that Arteta will be Arsenal’s new manager.
Whilst City will not stand in the way of his ambition one has to wonder why Guardiola has not spoken out about this? Just watching any of City’s matches over the past few seasons there has been Arteta right by Guardiola’s side, it seems that Pep needs him and it seems odd that he is just willing for his right hand man to leave halfway into the season.
One could rightly point out that City’s title chances have all but evaporated being 14 points behind Liverpool but there is still the navigation of the Champions League coming up, something that Guardiola wants more than anything. Will losing Arteta’s input and let’s face it a friend at this stage of the season harm Guardiola’s thinking? It is worth a thought.
It just feels that Guardiola is having too much of a shift with his close knit team in the middle of a gruelling and testing season. Had this happened in the summer it would have given him some time to think, but it happening now makes little sense.
One wonders if the change is going to come back to haunt City? The league looks over but Guardiola really wants the Champions League. His own time at City will be winding down soon with many believing that he could leave the club next season. If City don’t win the Champions League it would be two clubs now in a row where Guardiola hasn’t won it and he hasn’t won the competition since 2011 with Barcelona.
In short Guardiola is losing reliable quality. First it was fearless club captain Vincent Kompany, then some key injuries took hold and now it is Mikel Arteta to Arsenal. The cards seem to be falling and it will take every bit of Guardiola’s professionalism and experience to get through this time unscathed.
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