There was a cracking read to be had in the Sports section of Easter Sunday’s Times…. Jonathon Northcroft got an exclusive interview with our midfield maestro, Mikel Arteta, and I thought I would give you people some of the more juicy quotes from said interview… as it would be behind a paywall online.
Aged 15-18, Mikel served as an understudy to Guardiola who was the main man in the Barca side at the time. Our boy stated that Pep “was limited physically, could not defend, could not score goals, could not cover ground… but he played the “pivote” role like nobody ever has or ever will, including Xavi”
He went on to speak about what Guardiola told him about playing in the “pivote” role…. ” Mikel, you have to be happy when other people in the team are playing well around you, it means you have made them better, don’t try and find happiness in your own moments”
Arteta goes on to speak about learning to play that role he learned as a kid at La Masia but had subsequently forgotten when at PSG, Rangers and Everton… only at Arsenal has he been asked to serve his proper role.
He was deployed in a more offensive central position elsewhere.
Speaking of Alex Song he says ” Alex has the talent to play further forward, and with me helping out defensively, he has the license and I am happy to cover for him”
How can you not love this guy?