Manchester City were hit by the loss of Mikel Arteta in the middle of the season, according to Joleon Lescott. Pep Guardiola’s No.2 left the club in December to take on his first managerial role when Arsenal came calling, and has already lifted a trophy with the Gunners. Manchester City used the unexpected break in the football calendar to bring in Juanma Lillo to beef up a coaching staff that had lost two important figures in recent years in Arteta and Domenec Torrent.
Joleon Lescott said “I think Mikel Arteta’s departure to Arsenal did have an impact on Manchester City and Pep Guardiola. Arteta was an integral member of the club so he would have left a hole and it’s difficult to cope with that appearing in the middle of a season. I know the role that Arteta played within that dressing room and he had the responsibility to keep everyone level-headed. Arteta also worked extremely hard with the players and spent a lot of one-to-one time with them that Guardiola wouldn’t necessarily have the time to do. I shared a dressing room with Arteta [at Everton] and if I’m honest, I couldn’t see Arteta proving to be this successful so soon as a head coach. He definitely had the knowledge and the energy. He was always a student of the game and his understanding benefitted from playing in multiple positions at the highest level, but I am surprised to see how quickly he has found success.”
Knowing Arteta from his playing days, former Everton and City defender Joleon Lescott is still involved at the Etihad now working as one of the loan development managers and also offering his insight on club matchday programmes. He believes that the role Arteta had in the City dressing room and his relationship with the players was a lot to replace when he left the club.
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