Mikel Arteta will be at Arsenal “long term”, according to his former Everton team-mate Tim Cahill. But Cahill claims he would have liked to have seen Arteta take over at Everton instead of Arsenal in December. Both clubs were on the lookout for new managers at the same time, with Arteta linked to the two vacancies.
However, it was Arsenal who captured the Spaniard, with Everton appointing the vastly experienced Carlo Ancelotti instead.
It was Arteta’s first step into first-team management and he has had an immediate impact on the Gunners squad.
Arsenal had only lost one Premier League game under Arteta before football was suspended due to the coronavirus and were also in the quarter-final of the FA Cup.
Arsenal did crash out of the Europa League at the round of 32 stage though with a shock exit to Greek side Olympiakos.
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Cahill played alongside Arteta for six years at Everton between 2005 and 2011 and the Australian claims he could always see him becoming a manager.
He admits there is still work for Arteta to do at Arsenal but has been impressed with his start, even if he would have liked him to have been the Toffees’ boss instead.
“You only have to look at the clubs he’s played for,” Cahill told Sky Sports.
“If you go back to Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Rangers, Everton and Arsenal.
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“You only need to think of the coaches he’s worked under and players he’s been around.
“Mikel was always a coach, even as a player.
“He would take in information, he listened, and he would always look for other options. At the same time, he would talk to the players constantly.
“He’s a good leader and he’s someone I struck a good friendship with because we had a natural understanding on the pitch, just from his movements and the way he crossed the ball.
“We talked in and outside of training, analysing the teams we’d be coming up against and we analysed ourselves.
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“I think him being at Manchester City was fantastic, but this had to happen.
“He had to fly the nest, and Arsenal is an amazing club.
“Unfortunately, he didn’t join a club that I love in Everton with all the speculation, but at Arsenal he’s doing an amazing job.
“He has the attributes to first change the culture, what the club is about and the brand of football, and you can already see how the players are taking to that.
“It’ll take time as at City he was flying, but I’m looking forward to seeing how he’ll flourish because he’s there for the long term.”
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