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    Mikel Arteta admits stealing from Guardiola & credits Arsene Wenger

    After his former boss was inducted into the English Premier League Hall of Fame, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has acknowledged the huge influence of the French legend.

    Wenger coached Arteta back in his managerial days at Arsenal and the current Gunners boss has showered the retired manager with praise – saying he had a massive impact on his career on the pitch and now in the dugout himself.

    The Frenchman has been awarded the honour of having guided Arsenal to three league titles and winning 476 matches across a league-record 22 seasons, alongside Manchester United legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

    Arteta was brought to Emirates Stadium by Arsene back in 2011 and Mikel is delighted to see him recognised by the Premier League.

    He was quick to pay tribute to someone whom he was thrilled to learn from during their five-year stint together.

    “I had a dream to play for this club, and that was because of the way Arsenal played under Arsene,” Mikel told the club’s media team.

    “It was so attractive, I think every player wanted to play here! I had a phenomenal time with him, and I learnt a lot.

    “That pushed me at the end of my career to become a coach, so he had a big influence on me. We had a conversation and I asked him what he would do in my position because I had doubts about whether to continue [playing] or start my journey as a coach.

    “He helped me at the club and at the academy to do my badges, and he was an inspiration and always supportive. I think he inspired every player and every member of staff that has worked with him.”

    At the same time, he revealed that he stole a few ideas from his Manchester City counterpart, Pep Guardiola.

    Arteta discussed the tactical shift and explained how the concept of a floating full-back has been in place for some time but was inspired by Guardiola’s initial invention.

    “It started when I was in Barcelona, we used to play a 3-4-3 diamond, and one of the full-backs used to play there,” the Spaniard explained.

    “But Pep did it at Bayern for the first time with Phillip Lahm and then that was developed at City with many different ways of doing it with different players.

    “So that is the great thing, that you can take all the time things from other sports, other coaches to make yourself better and that curiosity is necessary to evolve and be better.”

    As things stand, Arsenal remain hot favourites to win this season’s EPL title as they lead with 69 points from 28 games while City have 61 at number two but have a game in hand.

    Main Image: Mikel Arteta & Arsene Wenger/Arsenal/BBC

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