Chelsea legend Frank Lampard admits he welcomes the speculation that Manchester City coach Mikel Arteta could be named the next Arsenal manager.
While the former Blues star is speaking from the perspective of young, untested managers being given the chance at a big club, one can’t help but wonder if he’s also pleased to see his old rivals take such a big risk in replacing Arsene Wenger.
‘I welcome the news Mikel Arteta is the favourite to become the new manager at Arsenal,’ Lampard wrote in the Evening Standard.
‘It is always encouraging to see a club give a young, up-and-coming coach a chance and Arteta has got what it takes to do a fine job.
‘Some will question his experience but he knows Arsenal very well from his time there as a player, while he is an intelligent man with a huge interest in tactics.
‘He has worked under Pep Guardiola as his assistant for the last two years and that cannot be underestimated. He will have learnt so much.’
For all the critics of the departing Frenchman, who stepped down at the end of this season after 22 years in charge, he at least had experience at the highest level and guaranteed a certain level of success.
Arteta, meanwhile, would be walking into his first managerial job after a two-year stint on Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff at City since retiring from playing in 2016.
The Spaniard played for and captained Arsenal before his retirement and certainly has a connection to the club, though that is surely not enough on its own to take on such a big job.
Lampard seems to have faith in his qualities, but with the Daily Mail listing a big name like Massimiliano Allegri as one of the candidates being snubbed, and with the Juventus boss also being linked with Chelsea by Yahoo Sport, it may be that Lampard is simply pleased to see the Italian become available to his old club.