Arteta Admits to Copying Guardiola’s Tactics for Deploying Zinchenko

Arteta Admits to Copying Guardiola’s Tactics for Deploying Zinchenko

Elijah Odetokun
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:29 PM
In this article:
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  • Arsenal and Manchester City are involved in a tough battle for the Premier League title
  • Mikel Arteta was Pep Guardiola's assistant at City before he moved to the Emirates Stadium
  • The Citizens sold Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko to the Gunners in the summer

The Premier League title race is down to the final 10 games, as the battle for who will be crowned champions come May gets intense between Arsenal and Manchester City.

The Gunners are eight points clear of City, who have a game in hand, with a second-leg meeting between the two still to come at the Etihad Stadium on April 26. City won the first leg at the Emirates Stadium 3-1.

Pep Guardiola, Mikel Arteta, Arsenal, Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta before Manchester City's 3-1 win over Arsenal in February. Photo by David Price.
Source: Getty Images

This year's title race has a special connection: Mikel Arteta was Pep Guardiola's assistant for three years in Manchester before he left to take over at his former club.

Arteta got some help from his former dugout when he signed Brazilian striker, Gabriel Jesus and Ukrainian star, Oleksandr Zinchenko for a combined £82 million in the summer, as reported by Caught Offside.

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Arteta is copying Guardiola's tactics

Jesus and Zinchenko have been pivotal for Arsenal.

While many fans have slammed Guardiola for selling them to a rival, Arteta revealed he has taken more from his former boss than two important players.

Zinchenko is a versatile player who can play as a full-back, midfielder, or winger. Arteta has exploited this advantage at Arsenal by using him as a floating full-back in a move traced back to his compatriot.

“It started when I was in Barcelona; we used to play a 3-4-3 diamond and one of the full-backs used to play there. But Pep did it at Bayern for the first time with Phillip Lahm and then that was developed at City with many different ways of doing it with different players,'' Arteta told Mirror UK.
''So that is the great thing, that you can take all the time things from other sports, other coaches to make yourself better and that curiosity is necessary to evolve and be better,'' he added.

De Bruyne's message to Guardiola

Speaking of Guardiola, there are reports of dressing room rifts between him and some players including João Cancelo, who departed to Bayern on loan in January.

Sports Brief reported on Kevin De Bruyne sending a message to Guardiola to express his dissatisfaction over the reduced playing time given to him this season.

While KDB said he will do his best when called on, his manager believes the Belgium captain must return to the basics to regain his position on the first team.

Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.
Mikel ArtetaPep Guardiola