Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said David Moyes made him a better person during their time together at Everton and hailed his West Ham United counterpart for shaping his managerial career.
Spaniard Arteta played under Moyes for six years at Everton after joining the club as a 22-year-old, helping them finish in the top four and reach the Champions League qualifiers.
“He was the one that introduced me to the Premier League and he has been a huge influence,” Arteta said. “I think he made me a better person, made me mature in the earlier stages of my career.
“He was really demanding and challenging but at the same time really supportive. I have great memories with him and we had some great times together.
“He really installed a real belief around the club to be together all the time…He really created a special atmosphere when we were together and I think that is why everyone involved at that time really enjoyed our time together.”
Moyes has turned West Ham from relegation stragglers last season to top-four contenders in the current campaign.
Arteta said he was delighted to see his former manager thrive after difficult spells with Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland.
“I suffered when he had a difficult time because I didn’t think it was fair that he was given no time in some places,” Arteta said.
“I know his qualities and I’m glad to see that now he is enjoying it and doing what he is really good at. I can see his team being what he is and what he likes to do.”
Arsenal are 10th in the league with 41 points from 28 matches, seven points behind West Ham ahead of Sunday’s meeting.