How Pep Guardiola’s three apprentices are thriving on their own at Arsenal, Barcelona and Burnley

PEP GUARDIOLA is widely regarded as the most important manager of his generation.

The Spaniard, 52, spearheaded one of the greatest teams of all time during his four-year stint at Barcelona between 2008 and 2012.

PAPep Guardiola is one of the most successful managers of all time[/caption]

He won three LaLiga titles and two Champions Leagues with the Catalan giants before going on to become the head coach of Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

Guardiola has won 10 league titles in just 13 seasons of management, claiming 31 major trophies across his three clubs.

But away from the performances of his teams, he has also brought through several top level coaches.

Three of those he has developed are currently managing sides that are top of their respective leagues.

Here is an in-depth look at each of them and how their managerial careers have been shaped by Guardiola.

Mikel Arteta

ReutersMikel Arteta left his role as Guardiola’s assistant to become Arsenal boss[/caption]

Mikel Arteta, 40, spent three years as Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City before joining Arsenal.

Now, after being given time to build the Gunners’ team, which includes former City pair Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus, he is sitting pretty at the top of the table.

Arteta has moulded his side around Guardiola’s principles, with key cornerstones of his philosophy including passing out from the back and possession-based football.


The pair have known each other since they were both players at Barcelona more than 20 years ago.

And Arteta revealed in 2020 that they remain in contact despite him leaving for the Emirates.

He said: “Absolutely I miss working with Pep. I am a big friend of his and I admire him so much.

“We had a lot of joy and a lot of success working together and I always talk with him.

“We share a lot of things in our life and we discuss everything.

“He was a big part of my development as a person. A lot of the experiences I have gone through have been next to him.

“It was a privilege to work with him and of course I took a lot of things on board.

“I have known him since my time as a young player at Barcelona and I have learned a lot of things from his time in management.”

Guardiola was also unequivocal in his praise for Arteta when the Arsenal boss was going through a very difficult time.

After his City side beat Arteta’s Gunners 5-0 in 2021, Guardiola told BT Sport: “All I can say is I worked two or three years together [with Arteta], I learned many, many things.

“He is above and beyond a good manager. The correct personality, he is incredibly loved by all of us. We were sad when he left.

“Sometimes people expect and want results immediately.

“The squad he played today is not the team he dreamed because they have six, seven, eight injuries – really important players.

“Ben White, Thomas Partey, he cannot use the players that he needs to. All the managers need their squad.

“All our players, except Kevin [De Bruyne] and Phil [Foden], are completely fit.

“Absolutely, I am a big fan of him and I’m pretty sure, if they trust him, he will do a good job at Arsenal.”

He was right. Arsenal now sit eight points clear of Man City and are the favourites to win the Premier League title.

Vincent Kompany

GettyGuardiola won two Premier Leagues with Vincent Kompany as City captain[/caption]

Vincent Kompany, 36, won two Premier League titles under Guardiola in 2018 and 2019.

The Belgian was Man City’s captain for both of those triumphs, before he hung up his boots to pursue a career in management.

Following a stint at Anderlecht, he joined Championship side Burnley in June of last year.

And Kompany has enjoyed a sensational start to coaching in England as the Clarets sit five points clear at the top of the second tier.

Burnley have been praised for their attractive style of play this season.

And Kompany revealed last summer the impact Guardiola has had on his desire to get involved in coaching.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said: “He [Guardiola] has definitely been someone who triggered me wanting to become a manager and he meant so much to my career as a football player.

“But it’s what you take away from it. Rather than trying to solve everything in the same way, you take away an idea of solving problems.

“He was very important in me looking at the game in a different way, like he has been for many players and many other coaches.

“I just adapt what I think is feasible to my situation and I want to be my own manager, so that remains a big part of my day to day.”

If Kompany can secure promotion for Burnley, he will come up against his former boss in the Premier League next season.


Times Newspapers LtdGuardiola coached Xavi for four years at Barcelona[/caption]

The most high-profile student of the Guardiola philosophy is current Barcelona boss Xavi.

The legendary midfielder, 42, was one of the Catalan giants’ most influential players during Guardiola’s reign.

Along with the likes of Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta, he helped implement the tiki-taka style which has become synonymous with the club.

After retiring from football in 2019, Xavi took over Qatari side Al-Sadd.

Then 14 months ago he was named as Ronald Koeman’s successor at the Nou Camp.

And this season he has led Barcelona to the top of the LaLiga table after 16 games.

They are three points clear of rivals Real Madrid and beat Los Blancos 3-1 to claim the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday.

Xavi is yet to implement the level of attractive football he was a part of as a player under Guardiola.

But he is bringing winning football back to the Nou Camp, something Guardiola believed Xavi would do when he was first appointed.

Speaking in 2021, Guardiola said: “I wasn’t the heir to anybody and Xavi doesn’t have to be my heir.

“If [Barcelona president] Joan Laporta and the board have chosen Xavi then it’s because there are millions of pros and few cons.

“He knows the club and will bring positive energy, given how he enjoys football and because of his dedication. He always sees the positive side of things.

“With his class, dedication and effort, I’m sure he’ll improve the club’s situation.”

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