Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admits he can learn plenty from Marcelo Bielsa despite not being a “disciple” of the Leeds boss.
Bielsa takes his side to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon looking to claim a famous win for Leeds – who are enjoying their first season back in the Premier League following a 16-year absence.
While they may have suffered some noticeable defeats on their return, Leeds have earned plenty of plaudits for their approach and their 32 points from 22 games is more than fellow promoted pair Fulham and West Brom combined.
Love it, @PabloMV5 💪
More than five minutes of footage from Arsenal Training Centre ahead of #ARSLEE…
Step right this way! 👇📺
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) February 12, 2021
They travel to north London ahead of Arsenal in the table with the Gunners still lacking the consistency required to challenge for the European places.
Arteta has been in charge for 14 months and believes he and other young managers can look up to Biesla, 65, and his philosophy.
“Marcelo has some incredible methods,” said Arteta.
“There’s a lot of things that young coaches like me can learn from people like him who have been in the game for a long time and have been really successful.
💬 “His side have never lost their identity” Marcelo gives his thoughts on Sunday’s trip to the Emirates
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“They are a really brave, dynamic and attacking side – I think they are a really exciting side, (they have) a great coach, great coaching staff who are all involved and a bunch of players who believe 100 per cent in what they do.
“When you look at a lot of the games they’ve lost and how they’ve lost them, it’s pretty incredible as well.
“Maybe they haven’t deserved those defeats…overall what they’ve produced in open play compared to the opponent, it’s difficult to see games where they have produced less than the opponent.”
While his admiration for Bielsa is clear, Arteta is not as closely linked with the Argentinian as Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola – who Arteta worked under as his assistant before taking the reins at Arsenal – and former Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino, among others.
“I’m not a disciple because I don’t know him that well,” added Arteta.
“Pep knows him much better than I do but obviously, you try to learn, try to pick up things from other teams.
“I will be interested to learn how they develop their teams, their ethos, their way of playing. Marcelo’s got a lot of positive things to look at.”