Mikel Arteta took charge of his first game as Arsenal manager on Boxing Day – and it didn’t take long for fans to spot Pep Guardiola tendencies.
The Spaniard spent three-and-a-half years working as Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City to begin his coaching career.
Fans instantly spotted similarities in his style as he arrived at Bournemouth and stepped off the team coach wearing a turtle neck jumper then displayed similar mannerisms on the touchline.
But that wasn’t where the similarities ended, with fans spotting tactical similarities once his side started playing.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles started at right-back for the Gunners with Bukayo Saka on the left flank.
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They were both spotted slotting inside into “inverted” full-back positions in the first half, a tactic Guardiola has utilized with the likes of Kyle Walker and Oleksandr Zinchenko at City in the past.
There was little width despite the wide men, with Arsenal fans joking that Arteta was “keeping Pep’s coaching manual” and “copying” the legendary boss.
Others stated that he was playing “Pep Ball” with his new side, although others labeled it a “poor man Pep system”.
One fan broke things down, writing: “Arteta using the same philosophy as Pep which is a mixture of how Sacchi, LVG, and Bielsa played. Widening the pitch as much as possible. Increase in bodies in the final third. On the offense Arsenal are immense. Their width helping dissect the low block.”
“Arteta literally copied everything from Pep….even the dressing,” one said, noticing his outfit choice.
The tactics did not pay off for Arsenal early on, as they struggled to create chances in the first half.
They went in 1-0 down at the break after Dan Gosling fired in the opener for Bournemouth after a good cross from the right flank.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a second-half equalizer as the spoils were shared with a 1-1 draw at the Vitality Stadium.