Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has opened up on his friendship with Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta as the two prepare to face off as managers for the first time.
Pochettino will come up against a familiar face as Chelsea take on Arsenal in the Premier League, with Arteta and the Argentine having been teammates at Paris Saint-Germain during their playing careers.
Pochettino was full of praise for the Spaniard and insists he has not been surprised by Arteta’s successful adaptation to management.
“When you connect with a person like him, we share the same values and passion, yes he’s part of my family from day one,” Pochettino told his pre-match press conference.
“We arrived to Paris together, we spent time together with our families also. It’s an amazing history. It’s not surprising me what he’s doing, he was already a coach at 17. He’s great, still really young and, of course, improving day by day.
“It’s going to be really nice, my love for him is there, it’s a family, it’s more than friends, it’s going to be strange,” Pochettino added on facing Arteta for the first time.
“All coaches are competitive, we want to win and to destroy the opponent. I want to feel proud to see him.”