Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has praised his captain Mikel Arteta during a recent interview, stating that he believes the Spaniard to be a hugely influential presence in the Arsenal dressing room (via Arsenal.com). The French manager also went on to speak highly about the Spaniard’s coaching skills, admitting that Arteta could one day make a top tier coach.
With the game against Sheffield Wednesday tonight, Wenger has promised a host of changes in the first team. Unluckily, Arteta will not be able to feature thanks to an injury he picked up during training (via Arsenal.com), but that does not stop him from contributing. The manager revealed that Arteta’s focus and determination boosted the entire squad and that the rest of the players looked up to him as a captain.
“Mikel has a huge influence even when he is not playing. He is super conscientious, and every morning two hours before training he prepares and that is absolutely right” Wenger said.
“Just through his behaviour, his focus on getting everything right in the team, he has a huge influence. He has great experience and is respected throughout the squad.
“I really hope Mikel considers going into coaching. When you manage, you want to see your players continue and see them give their experience and knowledge back.
“You want them to give their expertise of the way we want to play football and the way we want to behave. It would be great if someone like Mikel went into management, so somewhere the spirit of our game can survive through the players who have played for us.
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“But at the moment I must say Mikel is still here as a football player. The first thing in life, when you sign the contract you have to give absolutely everything to the job you have signed for and I think he does that very well.
“He has the quality to be a manager in the future I’m sure, but at the moment he gives his focus on the job as a player and gives absolutely everything.”
Arteta has recently started to take his coaching badges (via the Daily Mail) and has now progressed to coaching the Arsenal Under-16’s – reportedly attending their training sessions quite frequently. It is clear where the Spaniard sees himself in a few years and he will no doubt succeed in that role. For the time being however, he is still the captain of Arsenal and as such should continue to inspire and motivate the players under him as we hopefully mount a title challenge this season.