Arsenal’s success so far is strongly rooted in coaching, led by manager Mikel Arteta but perhaps more pertinently in the backroom staff.
Meet Arsenal’s 27-year-old coach who is responsible for development of Saka, Martinelli, other Gunners stars
Carlos Cuesta is Arsenal’s 27-year-old assistant coach responsible for individual player development.
One of those men behind the scenes is Carlos Cuesta, the young Spanish coaching prodigy that has turned heads with his rapid rise.
Cuesta recently pooped up on the radar of the general football public through Arsenal’s ‘All or nothing’ documentary on Amazon and this offers more insight into the 27-year-old many believe to be heading straight to the top of football coaching.
Who is Carlos Cuesta?
Carlos Cuesta was born on July 27, 1995, in Palma de Mallorca in Spain and is currently one of five official assistant managers at Arsenal.
He has a UEFA Pro License and speaks six languages including, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Catalan.
Although the 27-year-old is officially listed as an Arsenal assistant manager but he functions more specifically as their Individual Development Coach.
He works individually with the likes of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and the rest of the first team
The background and journey so far
Cuesta started with dreams of playing football like every other youngster in Spain and he played for a small, local side in Mallorca as a 15-year-old while also coaching his teammates which birthed his passion for coaching.
Speaking to Spanish media, El Pais about his managerial journey so far, Cuesta revealed that he reached out to everyone he could find on Twitter associated with Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid at the start of his career in search of a job.
He got only one response from someone at Atletico Madrid which led to him joining the academy as a coach while also doing his coaching badges as an 18-year-old.
Cuesta rose through the ranks from the u-13s to become the u-17 assistant coach at Atletico and then left to join Juventus in 2018 to carry on the same role while also working with the u-23s.
Around this period, Cuesta had taken a study trip to visit Manchester City where he first met Mikel Arteta who was then an assistant to Pep Guardiola.
The young manager left an impression on Arteta as more established Spaniard reached out to offer him a job in 2020 after he had become the manager at Arsenal.
Cuesta’s role at Arsenal
In his role as the individual development coach, Cuesta works one-on-one with every member of Arsenal’s first-team squad.
His work usually takes place at the end of a day’s main training session with a focus on technical skills and tactical principles.
Each session is filmed, as is the rest of the training as well as matches, and Cuesta does a lot of video analysis with each player.
Cuesta’s job is to figure out who each player is and what they need, taking into account their physical, mental, technical and tactical capabilities and requirements to ensure a player's development needs are being met.