Arsenal vs Manchester City: Vincent Kompany — who captained Manchester City to a domestic treble under Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta — reflects on their success at the Etihad
The City skipper picked up the 'Goal of the Season' gong for the 2018/19 campaign — following his thumping finish against Leicester City — as the defending Premier League champions cleaned up.
Kompany, now a three-time Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month, having guided the Clarets to the top of the table in his first season in management in English football, believed the pair were so successful as a double-act as they “spoke the same language”.
Together they won two top flight titles, an FA Cup and two EFL Cups in three seasons before ex-Arsenal midfielder Arteta returned to the Emirates as manager, replacing Unai Emery in 2019.
“Like any good coaching staff is supposed to work he was definitely an extension of Pep, probably the one in the coaching staff that was closer to the players, and understanding fully what Pep wanted as a manager,” Kompany said.
“You could see Mikel was in that transition moment from being a player to being a coach. He was hungry, he was very active, full of energy, and obviously he was in a good environment to develop and grow his own ideas."
Guardiola and Arteta will lock horns tonight when the reigning champions head to north London with the incentive of knocking the Gunners off top spot by virtue of goal difference, albeit having played a game more.
The City boss has won 11 of his 12 meetings with Arsenal in the PL, drawing the other 2-2 in the capital in 2016/17, and got the better of his former assistant on both occasions last season, winning by an aggregate of 7-1.
However, Kompany wouldn't dream of writing Arteta off after he overcame adversity to steer Arsenal back in the right direction. Ahead of tonight's fixture, he said: “I’m not surprised he’s been doing well with Arsenal and definitely he’s going to continue doing well, there’s no doubt about that…
“He’s got the energy and especially the resilience to deal with setbacks and keep going, draw his own conclusions and improve. That’s why I think he’s doing so well with Arsenal.”
Kompany, 36, might well be joining his ex-coaches in the Premier League next season after the Championship leaders stretched their advantage at the summit with a 1-1 draw at home to Watford.
The Clarets, who had previously won 10 games on the bounce, equalling a record at that level, are also 18 points clear of third place Middlesbrough, who take on Sheffield United at Bramall Lane this evening.
Asked what he took from both Guardiola and Arteta during their time working together, he said: “When I go into a coaching room, I might be the one transferring the ideas to the players but I might have got the idea from three or four of the staff members.
“It might have come from Craig Bellamy or could have come from Mike Jackson, so they have a response as a staff that is very co-ordinated.
“To say everything comes from Pep or everything comes from Mikel is difficult to say because they work as a team, but they spoke the same language for sure, so you learn from the coaching group in general.”