For the past three years Mikel Arteta has had a front row seat at the Etihad Stadium.
As a part of Pep Guardiola’s coaching team, the Spaniard has enjoyed great success at Manchester City, but there has long been the sense that the former midfielder would one day complete coaching finishing school and take a manager’s job of his own.
Indeed, Arteta has earned himself a reputation as English football’s next great manager. Some may say that is on the basis of very little. After all, being a manager is very different to being an assistant. Nonetheless, Arteta seems destined to take a top Premier League job sooner rather than later.
So which club, of the ones he’s been linked with, would suit him best?
Arteta was reportedly considered for the Arsenal job before Unai Emery was hired in the summer of 2018.
Since then, Emery has done very little to vindicate the Gunners’ decision to overlook the Man City assistant and with the current Arsenal boss under intense pressure many presume the Emirates Stadium outfit will once again look at Arteta.
He would certainly have a lot to work with at Arsenal. Despite their current troubles, the Gunners still boast one of the most talented squads in the Premier League. Of course, deficiencies can be found at the back and in midfield, but succeeding Emery would present Arteta with a good chance of improvement.
How would he cope with the pressure that comes within the Arsenal goldfish bowl?
The Toffees are in a bad way.
This season was meant to see Everton challenge for a place in the top six, maybe even the top four. Instead, they are slumped in 16th place in the Premier League table, just four points off the bottom three.
It’s no longer a question of ‘if’ Marco Silva will be sacked, but ‘when.’
Given his history as a player for the club, Arteta is widely seen as a leading candidate for the Goodison Park position.
Everton have long attempted to move on from the conservative, one-dimensional football of the David Moyes and Sam Allardyce eras and Arteta, having worked under Guardiola for so long, would surely continue those efforts.
Everton’s squad is so unbalanced that Arteta, just like Ronald Koeman and now Silva, might struggle to make his mark and get the Toffees playing the way he wants.
🗣️ Pep Guardiola on @m8arteta:— Man City Xtra (@City_Xtra) November 25, 2019
"For sure he will be a manager. I would like him to stay with us as long as possible. But personal life is personal life, his professional desire is professional.”#MCFC pic.twitter.com/ncIrw1QekO
Guardiola comes with an expiry date.
So intense are his ways and methods that he never lasts more than three to four seasons at any one club and so with the Catalan midway through his fourth season as Manchester City manager thoughts are already being cast to what might come after Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium.
If Arteta is willing to wait until the departure of his current boss, he will surely be a candidate to succeed him with City more than once hinting that they will appoint from within post-Guardiola.
Succeeding someone like Guardiola isn’t always easy, though. Just ask Carlo Ancelotti who failed to match the levels of his predecessor at Bayern Munich. Or the countless managers who have failed to live up to Guardiola’s billing at Barcelona.