Former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira was in the running for the Newcastle United job until the club opted to look elsewhere earlier this week, with Steve McLaren expected to be their choice. The interest of Vieira, who is in charge of Manchester City’s reserve team, is noteworthy as there hasn’t exactly been a wealth of Arsene Wenger’s former Gunners going into management, especially when compared to how many of fellow legendary gaffer Sir Alex Ferguson’s ex-players have done so, for instance. We’ve taken a look at the few of Wenger’s former players from his time at Arsenal and Monaco that have tried their hand at management and seen who has forged themselves a decent career in the dugout.
It’s been over a decade since Hoddle last sat in a managerial hotseat, but Hoddle had a fairly decent few years before and after retiring as a player. Hoddle spent four years under Wenger at Monaco before returning to England in 1991, where after a brief game-less spell with Chelsea he joined second tier side Swindon Town as player-manager. Hoddle led Swindon to the Premier League through the play-offs in 1993 but left for Chelsea before the top flight season began. In his three years in charge – two as player-manager – Hoddle led The Blues, who of course weren’t the force they are now, to a FA Cup Final, two Semi Finals and a Cup Winners’ Cup Semi Final, which proved enough to earn the England job in 1996. He led the Three Lions to the 1998 World Cup, losing in the Second Round to Argentina, but was dismissed in 1999 after some controversial remarks about the disabled in an interview. A spell at Southampton followed, where he was on course to lead The Saints to their highest Premier League finish before leaving for Tottenham Hotspur. Hoddle didn’t find great success there, though, and he was sacked in September 2003. Another unsuccessful job with Wolverhampton Wanderers followed before Hoddle left management, creating his Glenn Hoddle Academy in Spain before recently working as a coach at QPR. At the moment he’s most likely to be found working as a television pundit, but don’t be surprised to see him in the game again soon.
The German striker was at AS Monaco for two seasons, scoring plenty of goals but unable to help the club to anything more than a 1994 Champions League semi final. Retiring in 1998, Klinsmann entered the managerial fray six years later when he was surprisingly appointed as head of the German national team. Given two years to prepare the country for the 2006 World Cup, which they were hosting and therefore need not qualify for, Klinsmann led the Germans to an impressive – given it was their worst squad in years - semi final finish, in which they were eliminated by eventual winners Italy. After deciding not to stay on after the tournament it was another two years before we saw him again, taking charge of Bayern Munich in 2008 but poor results saw him leave after little more than a year with the Bundesliga giants. Klinsmann is currently in charge of the USA national team, which appears to suit him given that he has lived there with his family since retiring. Since his appointment in 2011, the US have won the Gold Cup and reached the last 16 of the 2014 World Cup.
Without doubt Wenger’s most successful managerial graduate, Ramon Diaz finished as the club’s top scorer in his first season at Monaco with Wenger before winning the French Cup with the club in 1991. The Argentine has had a glittering career in his homeland as a manager, winning titles and the Copa Libertadores acorss three spells with River Plate as well as a championship during one of two spells with San Lorenzo. Diaz has also spent time with Club America of Mexico and, most bizarrely, Oxford United – then of League Two – in 2004. Diaz is currently the head coach of the Paraguay national team, who he took charge of last year and is leading into this summer’s Copa America.
Midfielder Puel spent his entire senior playing career at Monaco, before becoming manager of the club in 1999. He won the title but wasn’t offered a new deal and so left for Lille in 2001, with whom he beat the likes of Manchester United and Milan in the Champions League during his six years with the club. Puel then joined Lyon in 2008 and led them to the Champions League semi final, a club record, in 2010. He has been manager of OGC Nice since 2012, who he has led to a top four finish, fourth from bottom finish and now mid table medicority in his time there.
The Arsenal legend had been retired as a player for almost two years when he took charge of third tier side Wycombe Wanderers. Joining in November 2003, Adams was unable to stop the slide down the table and the Chairboys were relegated to League Two. After a good start to the next season, results went sour and Adams resigned almost a year after joining the club. He then went into coaching before being promoted from assistant at Premier League side Portsmouth to the manager’s job in 2008, but lasted just 16 games before being sacked. Adams took a lucrative job at Azerbaijan side Gabala in 2010 but resigned due to family issues within a year, although a limp 7th place finish that season (despite the goals of a certain Deon Burton) can’t have helped. The former England and Gooners captain hasn’t been in management since.
After 12 years at Highbury, Paul Merson played for Middlesbrough and Aston Villa before a move to second tier Walsall. When Colin Lee was sacked as manager in 2004, Merson – then a year into his time at the Bescot Stadium – was appointed as player-manager, but the Saddlers were relegated on the final day of the season. Walsall continued to slide and after narrowly avoiding the drop another division the next season, he couldn’t improve upon results the next campaign and was sacked in February 2006. It remains Merson’s last crack at management, and he has instead chosen to carve out a career on Sky’s popular Soccer Saturday show.
The former Milan, Rangers and England forward, who spent three years with Wenger at Monaco, had a brief spell as player-manager at Hull City, then of the Third Division (League Two), at the end of his career. Despite an impressive two-legged League Cup scalp over Premier League side Crystal Palace, The Tigers finished 22nd his first season (1997-98), enough to be relegated in another division but at this time only one side went down into non-league. A poor start to the next season, though, saw Hateley sacked.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst has been appointed Feyenoord boss for next season, in what will be his first managerial job. An improvement on this year’s fourth position in the Eredivisie will be the Rotterdam club’s priority.