Could Mikel Arteta move into management with Middlesbrough?

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 30 May 2019, 09:42

Middlesbrough’s search for a successor to Tony Pulis is set to enter into a third week, and it appears that the club are no closer to making an appointment.

Double Championship promotion winner Slavisa Jokanovic, unemployed since November, continues to be hotly linked to the post as does Boro’s coach Jonathan Woodgate.

Aston Villa’s assistant coach John Terry has drifted out to 14/1, and is not believed to be in the running, while former player Michael Reiziger has just been promoted to Ajax’s first team coaching staff.

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Fans may be surprised to hear that a new name has been propelled into the betting, Mikel Arteta, a 33/1 shot earlier in the week who has been cut to the 10/11 frontrunner.

Arteta, a promising young manager in the making, is currently employed in one of the most envious jobs in world football, working under the tutorship of Pep Guardiola at Man City as an assistant coach - what an apprenticeship.

Arteta played a pivotal role in a coaching capacity as the Citizens won an unprecedented English treble last season, which came after a record-breaking league and cup double during the 2016/17 campaign.

Arteta was a major contender for the Arsenal job last summer, but in the end the Gunners opted for the more experienced and successful Unai Emery, whose side endured an ultimately disappointing campaign where they missed out on Champions League football, failed to sparkle in the domestic cups, and then suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat to Chelsea in Wednesday night’s Europa League final.

If Arteta bides his time he has every chance of succeeding Guardiola at City when his fellow countryman does leave the Etihad. However, if he is eager to venture out on his own then there’s a job up for grabs at the Riverside.

Arteta will no doubt be wary of how other former Premier League players have fared in management over the last few years.

Thierry Henry was ditched by Monaco after 20 games, Paul Scholes walked out on Oldham after 31 days, and Gary Neville previously flopped at Valencia.

More positive examples include Frank Lampard at Derby, Charlton’s Lee Bowyer, and to an extend Steven Gerrard at Rangers.

It’s worth noting that Boro previously gave Aitor Karanka - then a long-term assistant to Jose Mourinho - his first stab in management which resulted in promotion up to the Premier League.

In the past the club have handed managerial debuts to the likes of Steve McClaren and Gareth Southgate who both went on to manage England.

Arteta may lack in actual managerial experience, but his first class degree under Guardiola means he is ready made for the dugout.

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