To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Jose Mourinho was the only man to back Mikel Arteta in 2020 and his comments have aged perfectly

Jose Mourinho was the only man to back Mikel Arteta in 2020 and his comments have aged perfectly

Mourinho saw something special.

Jose Mourinho once backed Mikel Arteta when he was at his lowest low as Arsenal manager - it makes for fascinating reading.

The Gunners moved eight points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League on Sunday afternoon following a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.

Arsenal are seeing their faith in Arteta, who had a tricky start to life in the Emirates Stadium dugout, pay off massively.

His appointment in 2019 confused fans and pundits alike at the time, given his lack of experience. The Spaniard had spent three years as Pep Guardiola's assistant at City but had yet to take a full manager's job since retiring from playing.

Despite winning the FA Cup in his debut campaign, Arsenal are yet to finish in the top four under Arteta. Things were at their lowest in his first full season in charge, coming eighth in 20/21. Arsenal lost 13 games that season, one of which came against Mourinho's Spurs side at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Goals from Heung-min Son and Harry Kane were enough to seal victory for a Spurs side who weren't troubled by their bitter rivals at all.

Mourinho took some time out of his post-match interview to pay tribute to Arteta, however, who was in the firing line.

Arteta wasn't always a popular figure at the Emirates Stadium. (Image

"I want to give good words and congratulations to Mikel because he gave us a very difficult game," Mourinho declared per the Daily Mirror.

"Tactically, they are very good, they were very well organised, they were building with four, defending with five. Then in the second half, they tried to find triangles on the side and they gave us problems, problems that we managed to resolve because the players in this moment have good tactical culture.

"And even above that, they have an incredible spirit, but they gave us problems because they are a good team and he (Arteta) is a good coach. But we deserved to win, I guess, because of two amazing goals.

Mourinho won the game, but knew Arteta would be a top coach someday. (Image

"I can imagine tomorrow there, that the headlines will be about them not being in a good position on the table. But I believe with these players, with Mikel, Arsenal will be Arsenal again."

Little did we know Mourinho would be proven right two years later. Arsenal's team are now a perfect personification of Arteta's methods, young and willing to buy into his tactics.

They return to action against Manchester United on Sunday afternoon in a massive first-versus-fourth showdown.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Mikel Arteta, Arsenal, Jose Mourinho, Premier League