Stillness and Speed. The old boys want to return to Arsenal.

By Tony Attwood

For a while on the administrative front the story has been around that Liam Brady will leave Arsenal.

At the time of the announcement of his departure, Ivan Gazidis said,

“Liam has a deep understanding of what it takes to discover and develop a talented youngster into someone who can perform at the highest level.  He has made a massive contribution to Arsenal Football Club. It will be difficult to find a worthy successor but we will be looking for someone who can build on what Liam and his team have created.”

Who could he have been talking about?  Who could spot Zelalem and Gnabry in a role as Academy Director?

One rumour that has been around is that the Almighty Dennis Bergkamp is in the frame, but he has said that although he very much wants to return to Arsenal it is not for Liam’s job.

However although any negative from Dennis is a disappointment, in a recent interview with the Daily Telegraph he did say that he did want to return in a while as a coach to the players, but not as manager, and he also revealed who else among the old boys would also like to return.

And it is quite a list.

Here is how he broached the subject: “The feeling Johan Cruyff has had for Barcelona, I have the same with Arsenal.  At Arsenal it was a good click. I always enjoyed it. I never had a bad day there. It is always on my mind. It is part of my ambition to come back at some stage.

“I can’t really plan ahead. I know I will be at Ajax for at least another three or five years and then I don’t know. I don’t see myself being at Ajax for the rest of my coaching career. I don’t see myself as a manager.   I see myself as being part of the coaching staff. I really enjoy that role, especially the individual training with the strikers.

“I’ve spoken to or have heard about others who would also love to come back.  Steve Bould is there now which is excellent. I’ve spoken to Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry would love to come back to Arsenal one day. Tony [Adams] is a big option as well.”

On the issue of  Özil he said, “ We’re all unique. But I do understand the similarities people see [between him and me] and I believe he can be very important to the team.

“It is still early days. He is a tremendous player with a lot of effective skills like controlling the ball, making creative passes and assists, taking the right position in the field every time. And he’s extremely experienced.

“Putting all that together I think you’ve got a player who can be the missing link in the Arsenal team, a player who will make a striker score goals, who will link up in Arsenal’s position-game and who will score goals as well.

“Özil knows exactly how to control the ball in what kind of space to give himself time. That’s the difference between the players and great players. With his intelligence and his touch and his skills, he is trying to do something right with every ball.”

Speaking of the ball to Giroud which moved on to Wilshere’s goal at West Bromwich Albion Dennis said, “With that pass it seems like Özil was already calculating what the next pass should be. So he puts the ball on the side which means Giroud’s only option is to pass it to the third player. The point is that there is a thought behind that pass. You see that with his control and his movement and that’s what I like.

“With all the respect to the other Arsenal players, I think he is the one who can make a difference. The other players are good in midfield. But you need someone of a high-level you can be good in all areas of the pitch.”

Dennis’ theory is that players adapt their play according to those who are around him.  Vieira played in one way while Bergkamp was on the pitch, another way when not.  So now the new Arsenal team is adapting to Özil, and playing in a new way for him.

As a final comment in the interview, as you would expect, Dennis made his position on the AAA very clear saying, “The things some of the fans were saying to Wenger were quite shocking. Arsène is a decent, normal guy and I’m sure he’s the first one who wants to win trophies.”

So not the announcement about coming back to replace Liam, but perhaps something even more dramatic.   Henry as a forwards coach.  Vieira coaching the midfield.   Dennis coaching, well, stillness and speed.

(Stillness and speed is of Dennis’ autobiography)

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13 Replies to “Stillness and Speed. The old boys want to return to Arsenal.”

  1. It would be brilliant to have that trio back in some capacity
    at Arsenal . It would be great Public relations coup to have them . 2 more statues on the line ? Works for me!

  2. A tantalising glimpse of what may well be one day or when the great man calls it a day. But surprised DB did not mention the most illustrious of our ex players surely there is a place for the greatness that is Stewart robson?

  3. Football is a bit like golf…..a top class performer cannot always communicate his skills to others.
    Whereas DB10 presumably has his coaching badges by now, I’m not sure about the others.

  4. The way the ex-players of Liverpool rallied around Liverpool during the Suarez saga is something that is currently absent in Arsenal and worthy of envy. Indeed, one sometimes gets the impression that the opposite holds true with the majority of ex-Arsenal players, mangers and staff still active in the football world.

  5. Surely the DoF at Mancity is just a title and not a proper job, do they have an active academy or is it much like the Chelsea one?
    (I see a tumbleweed rolling past when thinking of their academy). I could be wrong I suppose, but Viera has been there a few years now and didn’t he take a swipe at us too, can’t remember what for though. I am all for ex-players being managers and/or coaching staff but not just purely cos of who they were and past glories.
    Give me a nobody manager just like AW was to us once upon a time, I don’t care as long as they are successful in playing attractive stuff, keeping our ethos and not sinking us.
    Only 1 week to go!!! This time next week I will have my Arsenal fix in me lets hope its a win!

  6. To be fair, I loved Stewart Robson as a player. Thought he was our best player before he got injured/left for his beloved West Ham (DNA ‘n all that). Although it wasn’t one of our greatest eras!

  7. Again…with patience we will receive a Bergkamp who will have learned how to coach. If this does come to pass…once again…thank you, Ajax.

  8. OT: operation costs

    The Chicago Tribune looks to be running a Forbes story, trying to explain to North Americans some of the costs associated with running an EPL club. They are using 1 year old data from the EPL, and they are ignoring “other games” costs. Other games are the league cup, the FA cup and the European leagues (Europa or Champions League). As an EPL season is 38 games, and some teams may have around (up to?) 60 games, I suspect ignoring these other games as insignificant isn’t quite fair. It also ignores any costs associated with internationals, where players return to teams with injuries and cannot play.,0,3346535.story

    Their conclusion was that Arsenal and Manchester United fans have the most to bitch about.

  9. Gord. It seems that your link is only possible in the States. Could you provide us lesser mortals with a resume of the article? thanks.

  10. Funny, I could have sworn that Sol Campbell was hanging around, running coaching sessions at the club whilst he works towards his Licenses. Super Bob too. Although it worries me that Sol was teaching wing play, does that mean Bob was educating in the fine art of ‘the reducer’ (although his tackle on Vieira in the Juventus match was hilarious.)

    Also, last time I heard, TH14 was still lighting up the MLS on a weekly basis.

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