Premier League title rivals Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta “spoke the same language” when they worked together at Manchester City, according to former club captain Vincent Kompany.
Guardiola and Arteta will go head to head on Wednesday night when defending champions City head to the Emirates Stadium with a chance to move above Arsenal at the top on goal difference, albeit having played a game more.
Guardiola won both matches against his former assistant last season, 5-0 in Manchester and 2-1 in north London, but Arsenal are a different proposition this term as they seek their first Premier League title since 2004.
Much of their improvement is down to Arteta, who began his coaching career as Guardiola’s City assistant in 2016 before becoming Arsenal boss in 2019.
Arteta needed patience from the Arsenal board during some teething problems early in his reign, but the success he is now enjoying has come as no surprise to Kompany, who spent three seasons working with him at City towards the end of his playing career.
“Like any good coaching staff is supposed to work he was definitely an extension of Pep, probably the one in the coaching staff that was closer to the players, and understanding fully what Pep wanted as a manager,” Kompany said.
“You could see Mikel was in that transition moment from being a player to being a coach. He was hungry, he was very active, full of energy, and obviously he was in a good environment to develop and grow his own ideas.
“I’m not surprised he’s been doing well with Arsenal and definitely he’s going to continue doing well, there’s no doubt about that…
“He’s got the energy and especially the resilience to deal with setbacks and keep going, draw his own conclusions and improve. That’s why I think he’s doing so well with Arsenal.”
Kompany is now enjoying success of his own as a manager, with his Burnley side seven points clear at the top of the Championship – and 17 points clear in the automatic promotion spots – after a 3-0 victory over Preston at the weekend made it 10 league wins in a row.
While he has been asked many times how Guardiola had influenced him as a coach, asked if he had learned anything from Arteta, Kompany said: “When I go into a coaching room, I might be the one transferring the ideas to the players but I might have got the idea from three or four of the staff members.
“It might have come from Craig Bellamy or could have come from Mike Jackson, so they have a response as a staff that is very co-ordinated.
“To say everything comes from Pep or everything comes from Mikel is difficult to say because they work as a team, but they spoke the same language for sure, so you learn from the coaching group in general.”