Mikel Arteta has revealed the whirlwind of emotions and feelings he experienced after being offered the job of Arsenal head coach, including self-doubt.
The 39-year-old was part of Pep Guardiola's backroom staff at Manchester City for three years, taking on the role of assistant coach after hanging up his boots as a player in 2016.
He was first linked to the Arsenal job in the summer of 2018 following the departure of Arsene Wenger after 22 years in charge, but stayed at the Etihad as the job was instead offered to compatriot Unai Emery.
But just 18 months into his tenure, Emery was dismissed by Arsenal, and Arteta soon found himself as the leading contender to take over.
This time, the club decided to offer him the position - and as Arteta has now revealed in a lengthy interview with Arsenal's official website, he accepted after experiencing a range of emotions that included self-doubt over whether he was ready to step up to such a huge job.
“When you are sitting with the owner, the sporting director and they are telling you they want you to be the new Arsenal manager, all sorts of things go inside your body,” Arteta revealed.
“And the first one is emotion, passion, incredible energy but some fear as well - ‘Am I ready to do it?’ I am prepared, it is my first job, it is a huge job, it is a huge responsibility but, because of the feelings I have for the football club, I can’t let these people down.
“So there’s a lot of emotions going on, and then it’s a decision to make. Something in your brain is saying, ‘This is too early, is it not?’ But then you have to just follow your gut and say, ‘Listen, you’ve been preparing for this opportunity. They believe in you, why are you not going to believe in yourself?’”
“When you have such feelings like this, and you want to become a manager - and you want to manage Arsenal - do it! And then don’t find any excuses about momentum, about structure. Just do it.”
Arsenal's FA Cup triumph in May 2020 has been referenced as a defining moment in Arteta's reign so far, but the Spaniard suggested that his self-belief and confidence in what he was doing had actually stemmed from something far simpler.
“The moment when I felt energised - like vitamins through my veins - is when I see the people around me convinced," he continued. "When you look at them and they say, ‘I buy into what you’re saying, I want to do it, I’m right behind you’.
“When you see the players really trying...it can work or not, but if they are really trying, and they are really engaged with what we are trying to do, that’s when it gives you the energy and the conviction to say, ‘We’re going to get there. I don’t know when it’s going to be - in two weeks, in three months - but we are going to get there’, because they are convinced. When they have that feeling, it’s going to happen."
Arteta also said that he continues to question the decisions he makes to this day, but says that it's part and parcel of the job and is necessary to do so.
“It’s not easy. I have my fears, I have my doubts. ‘What are you doing? Is it right? Is it wrong? Is it the right strategy? Are you picking the right people? Are you good enough to do it?’ You question yourself, but it’s good that you do it.”
Source : 90min