Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta opens up on reservations about taking job so soon after Arsene Wenger

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta opens up on reservations about taking job so soon after Arsene Wenger
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Mikel Arteta has admitted he had reservations about taking the Arsenal job in the wake of Arsene Wenger leaving, but his fear of failure was outweighed by the prospect of success.

Arteta was a leading candidate to replace Wenger in 2018 but Arsenal ended up appointing Unai Emery instead.

Arteta eventually landed the Arsenal job after in December 2019 following the sacking of Emery.

And asked if he ever had reservations about taking charge of Arsenal in 2018, so soon after Wenger, Arteta replied: “It did [cross my mind before taking the job].

“But it was tiny in comparison to the excitement and the opportunity that I saw to join this club and try to do what we all wanted to do, which is to get it back to where Arsene took it at the highest level.

“And obviously that desire was much bigger than the worries of failure.” Arteta was, for a long time, the favourite to succeed Wenger and asked how close he was to landing the job, the Spaniard said: “It was close, but things happen for a reason and [it was] probably was too soon.”

Asked why he didn’t get the job: “Because there are people who made the decisions and they made a different decision.

“For me to turn down this club is extremely difficult and when you see it closely, there is something happening there that you just want to do it.

“But, again, they signed another exceptional coach that again is showing in Villarreal how good he was, but sometimes it’s not about the capacity of a person, it’s the capacity of the context that you showed or the team that it fits.

“If it’s the right moment or not the right moment, sometimes it’s not about the capacity, it’s about the timing.”

Arsenal take on Manchester United on Saturday who, like the Gunners, have struggled since losing Sir Alex Ferguson.

Erik ten Hag will be the sixth manager in the hot seat this summer as he tries to return United to their glory days.

“I think he’s been really good what he did a couple of years ago in the Champions League, especially the way his teams play,” said Arteta.

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