December 18, 2019 / 11:23 AM / 2 months ago

Arteta has great future but no top job experience, says Wenger

DOHA (Reuters) - Spaniard Mikel Arteta, in talks to be the next Arsenal coach, has “no experience” as a manager and will need help, former Gunners boss Arsene Wenger said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Newcastle United v Manchester City - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - November 30, 2019 Manchester City assistant coach Mikel Arteta before the match REUTERS/Scott Heppell

Former Arsenal captain Arteta, assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, is the leading candidate to succeed Unai Emery at the London club after their chief executive Vinai Venkatesham was pictured outside the 37-year-old’s house early on Monday.

Another of Wenger’s former players, Swede Freddie Ljungberg, is currently interim head coach, but looks set to be overlooked for the top job.

“I am an Arsenal supporter and at the moment I support the manager in charge and the manager in charge is Ljungberg. When Arteta will be in charge I will support Arteta,” said Wenger.

But the Frenchman, who won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups during nearly 22 years in charge of the club, said he saw many positives in both men.

“He (Arteta) is intelligent, he has passion, he has knowledge, but Ljungberg (does) as well,” Wenger added.

“I believe that Arteta has certainly a great future, he has certainly learned a lot in his first position as an assistant coach and after that as well he will have to deal with the fact that he has no experience at that level and he will have to get surrounded well.”

However, Wenger, 70, who left Arsenal in 2018, said the club needed to be smarter in their recruitment and that it was not necessarily the case that they needed a lengthy period to get back to their best.

“When I left the club was in a very strong financial position and they bought many players in-between, they have not all worked out,” he said.

“I believe that it’s not a question of time. The change can be very efficient very quickly, it’s just about the right decision-making and that’s all that it’s about in football, it’s about good players.

“We speak about the success of Liverpool, of course they have a great manager, but you have to say as well that in the last three-four years, they bought the right players.”

Last month, Wenger was appointed FIFA’s new chief of global football development and is in Doha observing the Club World Cup.

Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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