Mikel Arteta, from Spain to Scotland to Everton and then Arsenal. A 31st August signing back in 2011. Midfielder, vice captain and finally captain before hanging up his boots and heading to Manchester City as assistant coach to Pep Guardiola. According to reports at the time, Mikel Arteta had three options upon retirement. Manage the Arsenal Academy, join Mauricio Pochettino and his coaching staff at Totts or work alongside Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. Well, he was never going to Totts was he and if the offer from Arsene Wenger really was to look after the academy, well, I suspect Mikel Arteta wanted a first team role. Either that or working with Pep was too good an offer to turn down.
I am not a guy to say, ‘no, you have to stay with me. Everyone has dreams. We felt if one team could offer him (the chance) to be manager he would leave. I know he went to ‘his’ club, the team he dreams of. He’s a supporter, for the fact he played there, he was a captain there. He loves the club. I remember when we were together here, when we scored goals, he’d jump a lot and celebrate – except against one team, Arsenal. People have to fly when they believe it is the best. Life is too short. Spend time in a place you believe suits you better.
That ‘one (club) team’ came calling and on the 20th December 2019, Mikel Arteta became manager at Arsenal and just a few months later, when the two Spaniards went head to head in the FA Cup semi-final, it was Arsenal who triumphed 2–0. In the final against Chelsea, Arsenal ended the game with a 14th FA Cup trophy in the bag.
Today, Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta go head to head in the FA Cup again.
- Manchester City beat Chelsea 4-0 in the last round of this competition.
- Arsenal beat Oxford 3-0 win.
- City have had the upper hand for a few seasons in the League but when it comes to the FA Cup, the last two semi-final fixtures between the two clubs, Arsenal have not only beaten City but gone on to beat Chelsea in the final.
I think anyone who loves football will be watching this one tonight. It’s top of the League up against second, Pep v Mikel, probably the best footballing team/squad in the game against a team/squad striving to be the best. A seasoned and extremely successful manager against one of the youngest but already well admired managers in England. At least I think he is.
I’ve no idea how Mikel Arteta will approach this game other than he’ll obviously want to win it. Will he rotate his players, giving a few a rest, or will he go full throttle with his strongest starting eleven. We know Mo Elneny is ruled out for the foreseeable, as is both Reiss Nelson and Gabriel Jesus so midfield and striker options are limited.
As for Guardiola, well, against Chelsea in the last round, he rested the big fella but then why not when Julian Alvarez is the alternative. Guardiola made a few more changes to his Premier League usual’s but that’s the difference between Man City and Arsenal right now, squad depth. It’s perhaps the only difference other than the League titles City have won since the big spending owners arrived at the club. Before then, a bit like Chelsea before the Russian started spending money, league titles were little more than a dream.
Win or lose, I don’t think Arsenal have anything to prove. Those who matter, ie the board, staff, players and fans can see what’s happening on the pitch and it’s good. Very good and in my opinion, Arsenal under Mikel Arteta, are only going to get better.
I still fancy us to win though, even if it takes a replay..
Catch up in the comments.
Morning Rico and all.
As much as both clubs will want to win, I recon they will use it to feel each other out, for when we meet later this season
Good morning Rico.
Neither side will want to risk a beating tonight, Arsenal to extend a winning run and maintain the high confidence level in the squad, City to avoid another defeat and the consequential increase in pressure on a slightly stuttering team.
I can’t see much reason for Arteta to rest his first choice players, the last game was Sunday and the next is not until tomorrow week, away to Everton.
My one concern is Ben White, his unexplained half-time substitution against United may have been a reaction to his booking, or as a precaution if he was feeling an injury.
All in all I think we should start with the usual line-up and try to get a lead rather than benching some of our better players and, maybe, having to playing catch up in the second half.
Smith Rowe Out with a thigh strain…
I love the FA Cup, but I feel we have bigger fish to fry this season. I’m concerned about the players running out of steam and getting injured in this mega long season. Actually I think both clubs have bigger fish to fry.
@Cicero Ben White was struggling a bit with Rashford’s pace against United. BW gave him a petulant kick in front of the ref and got a card mid way through the 1st half. I think Arteta erred on the side of caution and replaced White with Tomi rather than risk a red card. Good management IMO.
Morning Geoff, Cicero, all.
I’ve a feeling White was unwell, if it’s something else, Tomi is a good backup to have.
Shame about ESR, hopefully it’s not too serious.
@Kev I’m starting to worry that ESR may permanently crocked. He has spent a long time on the sidelines over the past 3-4 seasons. This is pretty unusual for a young player.
Me too Pete, Pep will be focused on the CL imo, it’s strange how regardless of their squad strength over recent years, he’s not managed to win it with City.
Arsenal submit £60m Caicedo bid’
Arsenal have submitted a £60m bid to sign Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo, according to Fabrizio Romano.
Chelsea are still pushing to sign the Ecuadorian although one source has told Sky Sports News a transfer in January seems very unlikely as the clubs are “not in the same ballpark” regarding valuations.
Brighton have no intention of selling in this window. Last week, head Coach Roberto de Zerbi said: “The best solution is that he finishes the season with us and in the summer he changes teams.”
Caicedo has two and a half years left on his contract and is unlikely to sign a new one. As a result, Brighton will be doing due diligence on a potential succession plan.
If Brighton really won’t sell Moises Caicedo this month, it seems odd that Arsenal are chasing him.
Chelsea only want to buy now, just in case the FA change the FFP rules and they can’t use long contracts to help them.
@Pete, yes it’s concerning, he’s such a lovely footballer but we’ve been here before too often in the recent past. It might just be a reaction to his last injury or maybe he was pushing himself too hard in training because he knew he was gonna start against City tonight?
Chelsea will let us agree a price with Brighton and then offer Caiciedo and more importantly his agent more dough – job done.
I’m not invested at all in this transfer, if Boehly wants him he’ll get him.
It’s an ego thing.
But the player might only want to join Arsenal.
ESR injury again?
Perhaps Vieira will be next…
I think he’s been to Gyms “photo shop”😀
Quite a transformation. He’s certainly ‘toughened up’. Noticeably too. He is far more physical than he was a couple of years ago. All good. All part of the Arteta revolution. More please.
Agree Wavy. For a littl’un, he’s pretty strong. 😆
Evening rico, all. Orstein breaks that Martinelli has agreed a new 4.5 year new contract. Great news. Ambition shown by bidding for Caicedo but not getting any hopes up. Oh, and a game tonight. Busy day at the Arsenal.
Evening Andrew, just seen. Brilliant news. Now for Saka and Saliba to follow suit..
Man City: Ortega, Stones, Ake, Akanji, Lewis, Gundogan, Rodri, Grealish, Mahrez, De Bruyne, Haaland.
Subs: Ederson, Walker, Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Phillips, Silva, Palmer, Alvarez.
Arsenal: Turner, Tomiyasu, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney, Xhaka, Partey, Vieira, Trossard, Saka, Nketiah.
Subs: Ramsdale, White, Zinchenko, Saliba, Kiwior, Lokonga, Odegaard, Marquinhos, Martinelli.
6 changes but have started well albeit Holding having trouble with Haaland.
Yep, not the best matchup. Both are all over each other, shirt pulling etc..
The Arsenal fans are in great voice.
Oh dear, Holding booked. We know what comes next if he stays on.
Stick or twist ? I reckon Arteta wants to keep Saliba back for the league and that means Kiwior and that’s maybe too soon to gamble.
I reckon it’s almost fifty fifty between Holding and Harlaand with Rob just getting a slight edge.
Trossard has tangled poor old John Stones legs in knots and off he goes.
Definitely the best chances have gone to Trossard, Tomiyasu and Eddie Nketiah.
Watch out for a fast start by City in the second half. We will have opportunities on the break in we can nick the ball off them.
Saliba on ! What do I know.
….and Lokonga for Partey. 😕
And that’s what happens when there’s no Partey…
Here comes Odegaard
Okay so we are out of the FA Cup, one nil away to perhaps the best footballing club in Europe, if not the World, is no disgrace.
With a little bit of luck we could have been three nil up at half-time. Holding, in the first half, and Saliba in the second put the shackles on the League’s top scorer and definitely rattled him.
I have not a single word of criticism for any of our players, they stuck to the game plan and gave everything.
At the very least we have less games to play and can concentrate on the title chase and Europa League.
I’m in such a forgiving mood that I can also say well done to the referee, just for once he didn’t cock the entire game up.
Amen to that Cicero.
Beating City up there will never be easy but I reckon we can do them at our place and if we share the points nothing changes .We need to be at our best but i am sure the crowd and Arteta will have them up for it , just don’t be too up for it and get a player sent off .
We competed really well against them. Martinelli tore Walker a new one when he came on. The difference was a single kick. We’ll be ok against them in the league I think.
Partey MRI scan is more than a little worrying as he’s rarely out for a week.
It kinda increases the need to sign a midfielder because Lokonga just doesn’t cut the mustard.
Didn’t get to see the match in oz because we have to pay a yearly subscription on top of already paying for the premier league.
Cicero I fully agree, loosing 1 nil to Man C with our starting team was no disgrace, can’t wait for when we meet next.
From what I have read it seems the best thing for the club would be to loan Lokonga out for 12 months so he can gain more experience and then work out in 6 months’ time, what to do with him.
New post up now