Mikel Arteta says Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino advised him to not take coaching
Mikel Arteta and current Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino were teammates at Paris Saint-Germain when they both joined the club in January 2001. Arteta wanted to retire early and start his career in coaching.
The Argentine manager later advised the former Arsenal player to avoid accepting a management position because it would be too demanding and risk stressing him out.
Now, moving forward from that date, Pochettino and Arteta are going to be in the dugout to oversee their respective teams taken on against each other at Stamford Bridge.
While the former Southampton coach was chosen Blues boss this season in order to get them to become a strong competitor side, Arteta, who was appointed Arsenal manager, took years to make them a title contender.
Arteta reflects on those times and shares the advice the 51-year-old provided when they both played at PSG, he told the Arsenal website:
“Don’t go into coaching; it’s too hard! That was the first thing! I knew he was going to be a coach, and I followed him very closely, obviously because, as a player, he was already a leader. The way he understood the game was phenomenal. I used to have him constantly coaching me, and I’m very proud of what he’s done, especially the way he’s done it throughout his coaching career.”
The way that they both used to play at the same time and will now watch their clubs compete against one another shows how unpredictable life can be. Pochettino’s advice is undoubtedly valid at some point since managing clubs is undoubtedly stressful.
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We can only hope that the Chelsea board will follow the Gunners board’s path and support Pochettino in shaping the Blues into an elite side in the near future, as they did with Arteta, for whom support from the Gunners board paid off as he turned the North Londoners into title contenders.