At the end of the season an Arsenal great may retire his name is Pat Rice. As a player he made over 400 appearances for Arsenal, winning the double .
After a long playing career Rice re-joined Arsenal in 1984 as youth team coach, a post he held for the next 12 years, winningthe FA youth cup twice in 1987 1988 and 1993-94.
In September 1996, Rice was briefly caretaker manager of the club after the resignation of Stewert Housten, who himself was caretaker after the sacking of Bruce Rioch. He managed the side for three Leauge matches. (all of which Arsenal won.)
Upon the arrival of Arsene Wenger at the end of the month, Rice became his assistant, and has since played a key role in helping the club to their success in the 1990s and 2000s, including the Doubles of 1997-1998 and 2001-2003 and Arsenal’s unbeaten League season of 2003-2004.
So who replaces this Arsenal great? a free agent? an Arsenal legend? One option is to look at the staff already at the club. Arsenal could promote reserve team manager Neil Banfield. Neil has never won a title as reserve coach; but is highly regarded by arsenal and is an expert at knowing when to bring young players into the first team.
But is he ready for the big time? And my question would be because he’s already part of the arsenal system would he make a difference that a new voice and a new personality would. Of course there is other options at the club Steve Bould would be a good shout so would Boro Primorac.
Another option is to look to former players two former players that would probably be the favourites would be Tony Adams and Dennis Bergkamp.
Tony has struggled in management being sacked but pomey and then proving rather unsuccessful in kazikstan but did prove to be a hit at pompey but in the assistant manager role under Harry Redknapp so he does have that experience and as arsenal captain became a club legend not just by how he played his football but the leadership he showed on it.
Which would certainly help Arsenal; not to mention how much he would help an arsenal defence that has leaked goals all season . But don’t rule out Dennis Berkamp who you feel would be more of a carming influence is the dressing room; currently working with Ajax to build his experience surely this former legend is an option.
As stated before arsenal need a new voice in the dressing room someone that will stand up to Arsene Wenger (not that it will make any difference ) so if we look at assistant bosses on the market the one that screams out is Ray Wilkins the experienced boss left Chelsea last season and ever since Chelsea haven’t really recovered.
There would be a question mark over if fans would take to the former Chelsea man taking the place of such a legend of the club but he would certainly do a job for the gunners. Pat Rice may stay on a few years but he may not and arsenal should be looking to get his replacement ready to move in arsenal fans are always hoping for signings this man’s replacement could be one of the most important.
Cameron Makeman for ThisIsFutbol.com
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