WTTGT Writer: Jake Harvey
Club legend Dennis Bergkamp was this week named as Assistant Manager at home town club Ajax. The 42-year-old who hit 87 goals in 316 goals appearances for the Gunners had been working with the prestigious youth academy at Ajax. However, head-coach, Frank De Boer has now moved to promote the Iceman to the position of Assistant Manager at the Dutch club.
Bergkamp has previously expressed his desire to return Arsenal in a coaching role on day saying: “I really love this club and the country and I love working here. I would advise everyone to work in England, as a player or a coach, it just breathes football. It is fantastic for the game.”
As Bergkamp moves up the managerial ladder, what other ex-Gunners have decided to cross the barrier from playing to staff?
The powerhouse centre-half will have probably gone off most fans’ radar of late after a dismal spell at Portsmouth ended in 2009, but Adams has since taken the reins at Azerbaijan club, Gabala FC.
Plying his trade in Azerbaijan does have its perks however, and a salary equating to £1m per annum will certainly have eased some concerns. In his first season in charge he led Gabala to 7th place in the first Division and to the Cup quarter-finals.
Although many will be unfamiliar with the minnow club, they do have some players with experience in England, including ex-Fulham man Collins John and journeyman striker Deon Burton.
Currently player-manager at League One side Oldham Athletic, Dickov has experienced a tough start to life in the dugout with The Latics finishing in a lowly 17th place.
Dickov’s spell at Boundary Park may not have started at its best but if the Scotsman’s on-field tenacity and energy can be transformed to off-field, then there could be a long career ahead for the man nicknamed ‘The Wasp.’
Dickov spend a total of six years at Highbury but was little more than a bit part player, scoring four times in 22 appearances for the club.
Hayes spent a total of seven years at Arsenal, playing in left midfield and as an optional striker as well. Hayes even finished the 1986/87 season as the club’s top-scorer notching up 24 goals.
Since retiring, Hayes has begun coaching in non-league, starting at Bishop’s Stortford before moving to Dover Athletic.
Hayes took the job at The Crabble succeeding current Gillingham boss, Andy Hessenthaler. The Whites finished 7th in the league missing out on the play-offs by two points last season and reached the FA Cup 3rd round where they were beaten by Huddersfield Town.
Dover’s Adam Birchall, once of Arsenal’s academy, made a lot of headlines during the season.
The former Arsenal left-back has yet to take a permanent managerial role, but has had two interim positions at Dynamo Kiev.
Luzhny recently took over in October 2010 at Kiev but left the club during the winter break, half-way through a season where the side finished second in the Ukrainian division.
Luzhny has been relatively successful in his temporary spells as manager, and is sure to attract some clubs from around Europe in the near future.
The Ukrainian played 75 times for the Gunners and seems to have the managerial talent to one day be in charge of a rival club at home or abroad.
Other ex-Arsenal players now in staff roles include; Anders Limpar, who is Assistant at Swedish club Sollentuna United and former goalkeeper Vince Bartrum, who is now first-team goalkeeping coach at Championship side Southampton.
Who do you think out of the current squad will go on to become a coach?