Friday, April 26, 2019

Henry v Vieira: The Arsene Wenger proteges to move into coaching

SoccerNews in English Premier League 16 Jan 2019

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Arsene Wenger’s legacy in world football is very apparent, with the number of his former players who are becoming managers rising all the time.

Two of the more recent entrants to the coaching fold go head to head in Ligue 1 on Wednesday, with Monaco’s rescheduled match against Nice pitting Thierry Henry against Patrick Vieira.

Both men have found life tough in the French top flight this season, with Monaco battling relegation while Nice are mid-table, Vieira having lost patience with the club’s star striker Mario Balotelli.

Another Arsenal icon is in the mix too, Monaco having signed former Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas from Chelsea in the hope he can combine with Henry to lead the club clear of danger.

As former ‘Invincibles’ Henry and Vieira prepare to meet as coaches for the first time, we take a look at how other old Wenger proteges managed when they swapped the pitch for the dugout.

 

TONY ADAMS

A four-time champion in England’s top flight and Arsenal’s captain fantastic in Wenger’s early years in charge, Adams has not quite matched those lofty standards as a coach.

He had a year at Wycombe Wanderers and a little over three months at Portsmouth, both of which were pretty miserable. When Granada came calling in April 2017 in a desperate bid to avoid relegation from LaLiga, Adams took charge for seven matches and lost all of them.

SOL CAMPBELL

Campbell was another centre-back extraordinaire under Wenger after his acrimonious move from Tottenham, and is the most recent convert to the world of management.

The 44-year-old chose a real challenge for his first appointment, taking over League Two’s bottom club Macclesfield Town, who have improved during his time in charge so far.

Macclesfield are off the foot of the table after winning three of Campbell’s eight games in charge – as many as the Silkmen won all season before his appointment – but they are still three points from safety.

 

REMI GARDE

He only spent three years playing under Wenger before retiring in 1999, winning the Premier League the year before, but it was not until 2011 that Garde took up his first head coach role with Lyon.

Under Garde, Lyon won the Coupe de France in 2012 and the Trophee des Champions in the same year, before he took over at Aston Villa in November 2015. He only lasted until the following March. These days, he is in charge of Montreal Impact.

OLEG LUZHNY

Luzhny won a Premier League title under Wenger before stints with Wolves and Latvian side Venta, where he became player-coach for a spell in 2005.

After hanging up his boots for good, the former Ukraine international became assistant at Dynamo Kiev and was twice interim head coach before landing the top job at Tavriya Simferopol in 2012. He is now back in Kiev as an assistant again.

 

PAUL MERSON

Although his finest years as a Gunner preceded Wenger’s arrival, Merson did play under the Frenchman for a year before he had positive spells with Middlesbrough, Aston Villa and Portsmouth.

After joining as a player in 2003, Merson became Walsall manager a year later, but constant line-up changes and supporter unrest led to him being sacked after a 5-0 thrashing by Brentford in February 2006. He is now a television pundit and columnist in the UK.

 

DAVID PLATT

Platt was approaching the end of a storied career once Wenger took over and left after the manager’s first two years in charge. He was briefly Sampdoria boss but resigned after six matches, with other Serie A clubs angry that he was appointed without coaching qualifications.

A player-manager spell with Nottingham Forest followed, before three years in charge of England Under-21s. After three years on Manchester City’s staff, he spent a year in India with Pune City, and is now part of a consortium that has bought Palermo.

 

GIOVANNI VAN BRONCKHORST

Van Bronckhorst won the Premier League and FA Cup under Wenger before leaving for four successful years with Barcelona in 2003 – a spell which included a Champions League final triumph over the Gunners. He then returned to boyhood club Feyenoord, finishing his career in 2010.

After a year in charge of Netherlands’ Under-21 team, he went back to Feyenoord and worked as assistant coach for four years before taking the top job in 2015. Five domestic trophies have followed in that time, leaving Van Bronckhorst the coach tipped for bigger things.

Feyenoord are 12 points off the Eredivisie pace set by PSV this season, though.

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