Mikel Arteta always destined to become a manager, says former Arsenal team-mate

Arsenal's Lukas Podolski and Mikel Aretat bump fists during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Southampton on 15 September, 2012 at the Emirates Stadium in London, United Kingdom.
(Image credit: David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal (opens in new tab) boss Mikel Arteta was always destined to become a manager, according to his former Gunners teammate Lukas Podolski.

Podolski spent three seasons from 2012 to 2015 at the Emirates Stadium with Arteta, who served as captain during the forward's last campaign in North London.

And the ex-Germany international could tell from sharing a pitch with the Spaniard that he was bound to make the transition to the technical area after he retired from playing.

Speaking to FourFourTwo for the latest issue available to buy (opens in new tab), the 2014 World Cup winner – now 37 and playing for boyhood club Gornik Zabrze in Poland – described the managerial potential he saw in Arteta, and praised the Gunners for sticking by their boss when the going got tough:

"Mikel was a great character, nice to work with and passionate about football. He was exactly the same as now: he gave 100%. He hasn't changed.

"Mikel had decided he wanted to become a manager, and he prepared everything for that. I saw, on and off the pitch, that one day he would become a manager; he had that vision.

"The most interesting thing is that the board has given him time. Everyone was saying, 'We have to change the manager. Why did they bring him in?' – but he trusts the process. Everyone works for one goal and now you can see what good scouting, transfers and decisions can do. When you trust in the process and everyone works together, then anything is possible."

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...