Mikel Arteta opens up on being coached by Spurs rival Jose Mourinho at Barcelona


Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has praised Jose Mourinho for the way he dealt with young players during his time at Barcelona ahead of the north London derby this weekend.

Arteta was coming through the academy at Barca at the same time as Mourinho was on the coaching team in the 1996-97 season, and the two got to know each other well.

They go up against each other on Sunday in the first Tottenham v Arsenal game to be played at Spurs’ new stadium, and when asked about Mourinho Arteta was full of praise.

“He was great!” the Gunners boss said. “He used to coach us, as you said, with the Barcelona B team.

Jose Mourinho and Tottenham have been struggling recently

“He used to come to our training sessions. He had an incredible energy with young players. He was always very, very supportive and (we) all liked him.”

Arteta also thinks Mourinho is still one of the best managers in the world, despite his recent struggles with Manchester United and Spurs.

“They (Spurs) have had some up and downs, but overall you can clearly see what he wants to bring to the club,” Arteta added.

“He manages the energy, the momentum and established a really strong culture in a strong football club that does it. And as well, he makes sure that he wins, and he has won in every single club that he has been.

“Obviously the situation, the timing when he arrived, is different than starting a new project right from the summer, but I am sure he will be successful.

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Mikel Arteta will go up against Mourinho in the north London derby on Sunday

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“He has always been. He always finds the right way to do it and it will take him a bit of time, but I am sure he will do it.”

Spurs currently sit one point behind Arsenal in the Premier League and will go above their bitter rivals with a win on Sunday as both teams continue to fight for a European qualification place.





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