Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino has heaped praise on Mikel Arteta, saying he could become “one of the greatest managers in the world” ahead of Saturday’s game.
Arsenal visit Stamford Bridge this weekend looking to continue their recent excellent run against the Blues.
The Gunners head into the contest joint-top of the Premier League table following their 1-0 victory over Man City two weeks ago, while Chelsea secured three consecutive wins in all competitions before the international break.
It’s bound to be a thrilling bout on Saturday as Pochettino and Arteta lock horns for the first time on the sidelines.
Mauricio Pochettino believes Mikel Arteta can become ‘one of the greatest managers in the world’
Life certainly hasn’t always been easy for Arteta at Arsenal, but hierarchical faith in the Spaniard has been vindicated. The Gunners have been on an upward trajectory since the pandemic and hope to knock City off their supreme perch come the end of the season.
Arteta’s work in north London has seen him garner plenty of plaudits, and there’s no denying his status as one of the best young managers in the game.
Ahead of Saturday’s game, former Spurs boss Pochettino was full of praise for his opposite number, with the pair developing a close relationship after playing together at Paris Saint-Germain: “It’s Mikel, he’s part of my family,” the Argentine said. “Amazing memories. When you connect with a person like him, we share the values, and passion of football. He doesn’t surprise me, he’s great and can be one of the greatest managers in the world”.
Arteta regards Poch, ten years his senior, as a “big brother” and credits the Argentine as being “one of the most influential people” of his career.
“He took me under the arm and looked after me like a little child, a little brother, and he was a big part of the success I had in Paris. It was because of him because he really looked after me, gave me a lot of confidence and a lot of advice.
“He has been a role model for me since that day,” Arteta added.
Given their tight relationship, the stylistic similarities between their two sides come as no surprise. Their shared principles render Saturday’s bout an intriguing one, and while the scope for sideline tension is small, both sets of players will be desperate to prevail in a London derby.