Mikel Arteta reveals he is open to managing former club Paris Saint-Germain one day… but says his current focus is on Arsenal as the Gunners look to haul themselves into the European places after another campaign plagued by inconsistency
- Mikel Arteta spent the 2001-02 season on loan at Paris Saint-Germain
- The midfielder then played for Rangers, Real Sociedad, Everton and Arsenal
- PSG are currently managed by Arteta’s old team-mate Mauricio Pochettino
- The Gunners’ most recent match against West Ham summed up the current side
- Arteta’s first season brought clear progress – but this campaign has been harder
Mikel Arteta has revealed that he is open to the possibility of managing former club Paris Saint-Germain at some point – but says his focus remains on helping Arsenal improve.
Arteta played 53 games and scored five times during the 2001-02 season after being loaned out by Barcelona to the French giants, guiding them to the Intertoto Cup.
Speaking to BeIN Sports, the 38-year-old remembers his time at the Parc des Princes as giving him a solid grounding before spells at Rangers, Real Sociedad, Everton and the Gunners before becoming Manchester City’s assistant in 2016.
Mikel Arteta made 53 appearances at Paris Saint-Germain on loan and won the Intertoto Cup
PSG are managed by Arteta’s former team-mate and ex-Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino
‘I love Paris, I love Paris,’ Arteta said. ‘I have very good memories from over there. It was my first club as a professional (having previously played for Barcelona’s B and C teams).
‘The club is always in my heart. You never know, but I have a lot of work to do (at Arsenal).’
PSG are currently managed by Mauricio Pochettino, Arteta’s former team-mate at the club and a long-time adversary of Arsenal during his five years in charge of arch-rivals Tottenham.
Back in London, Sunday’s 3-3 draw with West Ham was symptomatic of the inconsistency that has plagued both Arteta’s reign and Arsenal more generally over the last decade.
Arteta took the reins in December 2019 with the north Londoners 10th following a poor start to the season under Unai Emery.
An eventual finish of eighth and an FA Cup Final win over Chelsea suggested progress was being made – despite a disappointing Europa League exit at the hands of Olympiakos – but their current position of ninth is not what the hierarchy would have had in mind.
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal battled back to draw 3-3 with West Ham after a disastrous first half
The 38-year-old had an overall positive impact last season – but the going has got tougher
Glaring defensive errors almost proved their downfall against Benfica and Olympiakos in the Europa League this term before seeing out both ties, while the Gunners’ FA Cup defence ended in limp fashion at Southampton in the fourth round.
The attack has been slightly less potent with a drop-off in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s output and Arteta’s men have already lost 11 in 29 league games this term – one more defeat than in the whole of the previous campaign.
All is not lost though. Arsenal remain in the Europa League and can qualify for the Champions League if they win Europe’s second-string competition. They next face Slavia Prague in the quarter-finals in April.
It is also not beyond the Gunners to qualify for next season’s Europa League, as they sit four points off seventh-placed Liverpool and face on the Reds immediately after the international break on April 3 at the Emirates.
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