Mikel Arteta has admitted that former manager Arsene Wenger ‘started a fire’ under he and Patrick Vieira during their time together at Arsenal, inspiring them both to become coaches after they retired as players.
The two will do battle at the Emirates Stadium on Monday night as Vieira, the Gunners’ captain and leader for many years, sits in the visiting dugout as Crystal Palace manager having taken on the job over the summer.
The Frenchman has had a mixed start in south London – winning just one of Palace’s seven Premier League games but losing just two – while Arteta’s Arsenal are on the comeback trail, bagging 10 points out of a possible 12 after losing their first three games.
One thing the pair have in common is their time under legendary Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who was in charge of the club between 1996 and 2018. Both enjoyed great success under him, and Arteta has now revealed the size of the impact he made on him and Vieira in terms of their coaching careers.
“We were all guided and, in a way, felt a different way about the game because we had Arsene as a manager,” Arteta said, quoted by the Mirror. “He started a fire in us to be a coach.
“Not only me or Patrick, but many others, with his way of treating everybody of the club and how he felt about the game.”
When asked about the pressure of being compared to the successful Wenger, Arteta confessed that “you have no choice” but to accept those pressures when taking a job.
“Is there a pressure of being compared to him? You have no choice,” he added. “Or you have the choice to say, ‘No, I don’t want to take that job because they always want to compare with me’.
“But if you know what you want to do and feel capable of achieving what you think you can achieve for that club, through what they are demanding you to do in the role, it’s your decision to take it up.”
Monday’s game could see Vieira’s Palace could leapfrog Arsenal in the table with a win, but Arteta will fancy his team’s chances of jumping up into seventh – should results go their way on Sunday.Internet Explorer Channel Network