Two former Arsenal superstars, Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry, will go head-to-head as managers tomorrow, as Henry’s Monaco side hosts Vieira’s Nice in Ligue 1. The two French legends are just two of Arsene Wenger’s former players who’ve gone into management. We’ve taken a look at each player who played under Wenger at Arsenal, who then decided to take the plunge into the manager’s chair.
From pitch to dugout: Managers who were players under Arsene Wenger
Thierry Henry took over a Monaco side which was low on confidence having seen most of their best players move on to new clubs. Henry’s start did not go well at all as his side didn’t win for over a month and suffered two high profile defeats against Club Brugge and Paris Saint-Germain. He got his first win at the end of November and is now looking to build upon it, but it’s been far from plain sailing.
Patrick Vieira started his life as a first-team manager by taking over at MLS side New York City. The Bronx Blues improving from 17th in 2015 to 4th in Vieira’s first season in 2016 and then to 2nd in 2017. He took over at Nice in the summer and has had a reasonable start as his side sit in 7th place in Ligue 1.
When Harry Redknapp left Portsmouth to join Tottenham, Tony Adams first took over as caretaker manager, before he took the role full time. Whilst Adams enjoyed great success as a player with Arsenal, his first job as a manager was pretty much a disaster and he was sacked after Pompey picked up just ten points from 16 league games. In April 2017, Adams was named as manager of La Liga side Granada CF on a short-term basis with the aim of keeping them in the top flight. However, Adams lost all seven games as the club’s manager and was subsequently sacked.
After a successful spell in charge of Lyon, where he won the Coupe de France, Remi Garde landed the Aston Villa job, but he only lasted 147 days and was sacked with the club rooted to the bottom of the Premier League. He is currently in charge of Canadian-based MLS side Montreal Impact. A 1-0 loss to the New England Revolution on the final day of the MLS regular season meant that failed to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Paul Merson is more famous as a TV pundit these days but he did have a spell as a manager at Walsall. He was unable to keep the Saddlers in the Championship but he just about kept them in League One. However, the next season, he only lasted until February as he was sacked after a 5-0 defeat by Brentford which left the Saddlers in 19th place.
David Platt’s appointment at Sampdoria was met by a fierce criticism as other clubs protested that the ex-England star did not have the appropriate coaching qualifications to manage in Serie A. Platt did not last long and resigned just before Sampdoria were relegated.
Steve Morrow was named the interim head coach of FC Dallas in December 2006. The side did well under his guidance and he was named the full-time manager. However, Morrow was fired as coach in May 2008 as results and performances dipped to levels that the FC Dallas board thought were unacceptable.
Former England centre-back Sol Campbell has been appointed as manager of Macclesfield Town. He takes over with the Silkmen five points adrift at the foot of League Two and it’s his job to keep them in the Football League.
Nicolas Anelka had a brief stint as player/manager of Mumbai City but left after he failed to guide them into the knockout stage of the Indian Super League.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst
Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s time in charge at Feyenoord has gone really well. He’s guided his team to a league title and to two KNVB Cup wins.
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