One of the most frustrating elements of being attached to someone else in football, whether it be by name or job, is that there’s always a certain degree of pressure to go above and beyond what they have done and supersede them. While we can understand the comparisons and the fascination with it all, it just feels a bit cheap – as if it’s nothing more than an angle for the poisonous British press to work with.
Case in point: Mikel Arteta. The majority of people are well aware of the fact that he has worked under the guidance of Pep Guardiola and did so for quite some time. Nobody has any issues with that, and if anything, it’s a fun anecdote as it seems to indicate he knows what he’s talking about aside from just being a really good midfielder back in the day.
There’s such a thing as going too far with it, though, to the point where he’s already being called Guardiola 2.0 and things of that nature. While we understand the desire to see someone like Pep rise up once again and create a storm in English football, we’d much rather see and read about the many players and managers who noted what a great mind Mikel Arteta has for the game from a very early age.
The early signs are good from Arteta and we all know that, but getting carried away isn’t the right way to go, here. The Bournemouth draw was okay, the Chelsea loss was massively disappointing, the Manchester United win was impressive but came against a really poor United side and the win over Leeds was great because of the Bielsa element of it all, but let’s not forget that they are a Championship side as opposed to a Premier League team.
The critics and the haters are going to have it out for him no matter what, and while that’s a shame, we should instead use it as motivation in order to kick on and really grab this new role of his by the scruff of the neck. Pep Guardiola is a wonderful manager within his own right, but pretending like we need a carbon copy feels incredibly cheap.
What are your thoughts on Guardiola’s leadership?