The Arsenal boss thinks it a bit early to compare his and the Chelsea manager’s work to that of the Liverpool and Manchester City coaches
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has dismissed the notion he and Frank Lampard could be considered the next Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.
Arteta and Lampard go head to head at Wembley on Saturday in the FA Cup final, hoping to win the first trophies of their coaching careers.
Arsenal managed only to finish eighth in the Premier League this season but have won praise for positive signs of progress in their play, most notably in the FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City.
Lampard, who took charge of Chelsea last year, steered the Blues to a top-four finish despite the restrictions of a one-window transfer ban and is now looking to lift a trophy he won four times for the London club in his playing days.
Arteta is full of admiration for Lampard but is not yet prepared to embrace the idea the pair are the natural successors to Klopp and Guardiola as the leading coaches in England.
“About Frank as a player, absolutely top,” Arteta said on Friday. “I think the consistency he was able to play for that many years in the position he plays at such a big club and doing what he did was incredible. Big credit to him on that.
“As a manager, he has shown since Derby the kind of ambition and person he has and the way he encourages his team to play. We are both young, both trying to learn our position so I wouldn’t like to compare to the two managers you mention.”
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Arteta twice won the FA Cup as a player with Arsenal and admits victory on Saturday could prove an important step in his team’s development.
“It generates trust when you’re winning titles,” he said. “It generates moments when together you go through good emotions. It brings everyone together, you have memories, there’s a lot of things about winning a trophy that is so positive for any group and when you’re in a process it makes it even more important. We have a great opportunity, so let’s go for it.”
Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud and Arsenal defender David Luiz are set to face their former clubs at Wembley.
Giroud has enjoyed a resurgence in recent weeks, scoring six goals in his past seven appearances in all competitions – including one in the 3-1 semi-final win over Manchester United.
“It’s always good connections when these moments arrive,” said Arteta. “You can see with Oli in the last few months, how he is performing, the amount of goals he is scoring for them. He has the experience in finals as well.
“In the case of David, such a special day for him to play his former club. Hopefully, he can do the performance he did in the semi-final against City.”
Arteta has not been surprised by Giroud’s strong form even though the France forward has often been compared unfavourably to great Arsenal strikers of the recent past, such as Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie.
“I’m not surprised because I know Oli and he’s a fighter,” he said. “When he played for Arsenal, he had some difficult moments, but he always reacted.
“Comparing him with the greatest is like always: they’ve done it, they did it for long periods, they were really successful at the club, so any comparison with them is always difficult. I’m glad he is doing really well and hopefully tomorrow he won’t do that well.”