Mauricio Pochettino picks Mikel Arteta in his ultimate five-a-side team



North London neighbours Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur remain eternal city rivals, and it seems those affiliated with both sides never want to have anything to do with one other.

However, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino has put bitter rivalry aside when naming his ultimate five-a-side team, reserving a spot for former Gunners midfielder Mikel Arteta.

The Manchester City assistant manager spent the 2001-2002 season on loan at Paris Saint Germain from Barcelona, but he did just enough to convince former teammate Pochettino and earn himself a spot in his five-a-side team almost two decades later.

“Next to Ivan de la Pena is Mikel Arteta. He was very young when I played with him at Paris Saint-Germain but he was brilliant,” the Tottenham boss told Sky Sports SOCCER AM.

“He was mature, a leader on the pitch. His knowledge of football surprised me from the beginning because he was very young, he had the capacity to talk like a senior player.”

Arteta moved to the Emirates Stadium in 2011 after spending six-and-a-half seasons at Everton, and he soon became a leader in the dressing room and on the pitch, helping the team to FA Cup victories in 2013–14 and 2014–15 and the FA Community Shield in 2014 and 2015.

The 36-year-old was strongly linked to become Arsene Wenger’s successor at Arsenal last summer before the club opted for Unai Emery, and he sure has a great managerial future ahead of him from the look of things.

Pochettino also picked Tottenham goalkeeping coach Toni Jimenez, Ronaldinho and Diego Maradona in his team, while naming himself and Nigerian legend Jay-Jay Okocha on the bench, and it’s safe to say that Arteta is in good company in that regards.

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