Arteta ready to step into Guardiola's shoes after missing out on Arsenal job

He was linked to the Arsenal job in the off-season and Mikel Arteta will assume the coaching reins in Pep Guardiola's absence on Wednesday.

Published : Sep 18, 2018 19:28 IST

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola (R) and his assistant Mikel Arteta.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola (R) and his assistant Mikel Arteta.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola (R) and his assistant Mikel Arteta.

Having been overlooked for the vacant Arsenal position before the season, Mikel Arteta will get the chance to stand in for Pep Guardiola in Manchester City's Champions League opener.

City faces Lyon at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday but it will do so without its talismanic manager, who is serving a suspension following his sending off in the quarter-final second-leg defeat at the hands of Liverpool last April.

Arteta faced the media on Tuesday and fielded questions on his own managerial ambitions, as well as City's plans for coping without the influence of their figurehead in the dugout.

Having spent five years at Arsenal as a player, Arteta was widely thought to be a candidate to replace the departing Arsene Wenger in the off-season, only for former Paris Saint-Germain boss Unai Emery to be given the job.

"I didn't talk on that moment two or three months ago and I don't think today is the day to talk about," Arteta said.

"You all know some things that happened, the reality is I'm here and I'm very happy. In football it's so hard to predict things, when things happen you have to make a decision, the decision was made and I'm so happy and privileged to be where I am."

"I feel very fulfilled with the job at the moment. If you ask me in future will I become a coach the answer is probably yes but I'm really happy where I am and I think we're in a fantastic momentum now and there's still room for this club to grow."

READ | Real Madrid is Champions League favourites, insists Man City coach Arteta

Although Guardiola's role will be heavily restricted on Wednesday, Arteta confirmed that City's build-up to its Group F opener had been no different than usual.

"Up to now the preparation has been completely normal, the difference tomorrow is obviously there are some rules that we will respect," Arteta said.

"I will be on the touchline and try to make the right decisions and for the rest nothing will change. It's a good challenge. If I had to choose, I would choose Pep to be on the touchline because he does that better than anyone else. We will try to reduce the impact and give the players what they need and hopefully it will work well."

"[Guardiola] is very disappointed, we know how much the Champions League means for him. It's the first match and it's vital for the group stage but he had a reaction to something that happened in a big game, they made a decision, we respect that and this is the situation. He wouldn't choose it but this is what's happening, I'm here to try to do my best."

Arteta also revealed that Sergio Aguero, who was substituted early in the second half of Saturday's 3-0 Premier League win over Fulham with a foot injury, and Benjamin Mendy, who missed the game altogether, would be assessed in Tuesday's training session ahead of the clash with Lyon.

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