Former Arsenal star Paul Merson spoke on Sky Sports today about the one difference and one similarity between Mikel Arteta and Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho.
The Gunners boss finally got one over the experienced Portuguese tactician last month after failing to beat him in each of his first two attempts.
Since the derby triumph, Arsenal are yet to win a single game in all competitions. Spurs haven’t fared much better either, and Merson has noticed something about the two managers after their respective sides’ defeats.
Arteta’s attitude in press conferences after a defeat is completely different to Mourinho’s. He does not throw his players under the bus like the former Chelsea manager does, but Merson believes that the Arsenal boss is just the same as his Spurs counterpart ‘when the camera is away’.
He said: “When they get beat and he (Arteta) comes out and takes the blame. He’s just doing the opposite to what Jose Mourinho does when he criticises his player, but Arteta is thinking exactly the same as Mourinho.
“Mourinho just says it and the difference is one manager has been around for a long time and he’s won everything in the game. He can just say it exactly as it is whereas Arteta is just starting out and he’s got to say the right things in front of the camera.
“However, when the camera is away, he’ll be thinking exactly the same as Mourinho. That wasn’t good enough from Arsenal against Liverpool. It was as bad as it gets, and Arteta will know it.”
The Insider’s View:
Arteta taking the blame and not criticising his players publicly has nothing to do with how many trophies he has won in his career.
Mourinho is his own man and he has always made things public. That has cost him the dressing room at more than one club, and it looks like it is only a matter of time before players stop playing for him at Tottenham as well.
Arteta keeps everything private and that’s probably why no Arsenal player has had anything bad to say about him. As Merson said, he may be similar to Mourinho behind the scenes, but at least he isn’t embarrassing his lads publicly, just like Arsene Wenger never did in his 22 years at the club.