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Pep taught me to be ruthless – Arteta vows to bring 'incredible' Guardiola qualities to Arsenal

By Patric Ridge
Arteta

London, December 21: Arsenal's new boss Mikel Arteta has claimed being ruthless and consistent is what has made Pep Guardiola such a successful manager.

Arteta was announced as Arsenal's new permanent head coach on Friday, with Freddie Ljungberg having been in interim charge since Unai Emery was sacked in November.

He joins the Gunners after assisting Guardiola at City since 2016, winning two Premier League titles, two EFL Cups and the FA Cup during his time in Manchester.

Arteta leaves Man City for top job at Arsenal

Arteta, who came close to taking over at Arsenal in 2018 before Emery succeeded Arsene Wenger, plans to champion some of Guardiola's best qualities as he looks to revitalise fortunes at Emirates Stadium.

"What I've learned mostly is you have to be ruthless, consistent and fit every day the culture of the club to have a winning mentality," Arteta, who will officially take charge of the Gunners after Saturday's game at Everton, told a news conference.

"To sustain it is even harder, so every day is important, every act is important, every word of the organisation is important.

"[Pep's] work rate is incredible. How inspirational he is to people is incredible, but to me the secret is the players and staff have to believe what you deliver. You have to be able to transmit it and then people will buy into that.

"When you do that, you have a team, everyone is united, and we will be strong."

Arteta acknowledged it was difficult to leave City, who are 14 points behind league leaders Liverpool in what has been a more difficult season, but believes the opportunity was too good to turn down.

"Sometimes you can have a plan, an idea or a way to develop," he said. "But then emotions get involved and when Arsenal knocks, it is difficult to say no.

"It was a very difficult decision, but I felt the club needed someone to appoint. They trusted me and were so convinced they wanted to go with me, I had to take the challenge.

"It wasn't the right time [in 2018]. When things don't happen, it's because it's not the right time. I'm glad it's come now.

"I've learned a lot from that experience, it was great to be a part of a process of that nature and I was better prepared for this one and it was a positive thing to happen."

However, the former midfielder insists his relationship with Guardiola and City remains intact, even though the timing of his departure could prove troublesome.

"The relationship between him and me is incredibly good. Obviously, he was sad, the timing wasn't the best for him, but he understood," Arteta said.

"He knows how I've been growing and the needs that I had, emotionally, the ambitions that I had. If I had admiration for him before, after working with him, I could not explain how much of a nice person he is and what a professional he is.

"The way he reacted, he knew that I was suffering, because I was in a moment where [City] needed me as well, so I felt in that sense sad, but he has been so supportive.

"The relationship could not be any better. I said goodbye yesterday to all the staff, the players. I cried, because they've been my family for three and a half years, and we had incredible moments.

"We had a dream to do something in England with Pep that people said was impossible. 'The Premier League, you will get bullied'. We did it, in the way we wanted. It was so fulfilling, to share that moment of our lives."

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Story first published: Saturday, December 21, 2019, 0:10 [IST]
Other articles published on Dec 21, 2019
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