By Tony Attwood
I wrote a brief piece today on the Arsenal History site (link below) concerning Dennis Bergkamp, in recognition of his appointment as assistant manager at Ajax.
The article got me thinking about two things:
First, how many other ex-Arsenal men are working in senior management at clubs? Remi Garde has just got the job as manager at Lyon, and Martin Hayes is at Dover Athletic. Pat Rice is at Arsenal, of course.
But who else? My mind has gone blank and I need your help. Can you tell me any others? I’d like to do a series on these players turned coaches, and I’d like to follow their exploits this coming season.
Second, writing about Dennis brought back the memories of the way in which Inter fans attempted to destroy him with their remorseless criticism. Indeed it is fair to say that had they not turned on Dennis as they did we would never have been able to sign him and have the benefit of the man who has been voted the second greatest Arsenal player ever.
With the under 10s division of the supporters clubs now going out to destroy most of the current Arsenal squad, I was also thinking of doing a piece or two on other players who have been destroyed by club’s resident moron community.
Again, can you help? Before the growth of what I used to call the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal (which started in 2000 – as the current series of articles on the History site shows) we had one or two such, but I can’t recall many. If you can help with information about players who have been vilified in the past that would be helpful.
If you are a regular reader you will know that I personally don’t agree with such behaviour of players, so my resultant article will be very much against such vilification. I think the fact that such behaviour lost Inter a man who could have been one of their greatest players ever says it all.
I know the under 10s will snigger at this, and I have already heard statements to the effect that “are you trying to say that Denilson is another Bergkamp”. These people are of course under 10s, so it is very hard for them to get even the slightest grasp of a simple idea, but to spell it out: to the Inter fans at the time, Dennis was a truly awful player. So bad that they got the media to run the Bergkamp of the Week award, for the worst player in the top division that weekend. The quality of the player is not the issue – it is the treatment of the player that then destroys the potential quality in the player. To the Inter fans of the time Dennis was a fourth division player. He wasn’t of course, but they so undermined his self-belief, that his performances dropped off, and they then were not treated to the performances that we later had the honour of watching.
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Just as their loss was our gain, because of the way in which these “supporters” have allied themselves with the media (always ready to knock anyone) we are likely now not only to lose some good players we are also likely not to be able to sign certain players because they don’t want to suffer the abuse either.
Do let me have your thoughts on Arsenal players turned senior management, and Arsenal players who have suffered abuse from people who call themselves Arsenal fans.