Keown hints at role as Wenger’s new No.2 at Arsenal

Who would you prefer as the new No.2 to Arsene Wenger at the Arsenal? Pat Rice is calling it a day as the manager’s right-hand man and a new assistant will be recruited in the summer.

It is generally accepted that Arsenal fans would prefer a former player, someone with a bond with the Gunners, as an ideal replacement for the stalwart Rice, who has been at the club – save for a spell at Watford– for 44 years.

Steve Bould – some supporters’ favourite for the role given his day to day involvement at the club in his job as youth team management at the Emirates – would seem to be a front-runner but there is also a chance that either Tony Adams or Dennis Bergkamp could be in the frame.

One Arsenal hero not so far mentioned too widely as a serious candidate is Martin Keown. Until now. For Keown is Arsenal through and through and is still employed as an ambassador for the club  and, indeed, flourished in that position recently when he travelled to Asia in an official capacity to help announce the summer tour of Hong Kong and China.

I think I am right in saying Keown had a spell in a coaching role drilling the back four but this only lasted a season for one reason or another.

I for one would applaud his appointment. Can you imagine the defence even daring not to carry out his instructions to the letter on match day? He would definitely instil discipline into the rearguard and we would certainly benefit hugely from that.

And Keown, currently finding work as a pundit for the BBC, dropped his guard on the situation during various interviews in Asia and judging from what he has said it doesn’t stretch the imagination too much to suggest he has at the very least hinted there is a chance of a return to football…and there is a vacant position coming up, of course.

I know this is supposition and a tenuous link but none the less worth repeating.

Asked specifically if he had plans to coach again at the Emirates, he said: “I’ve chosen a path at the moment but we will have to see what happens. I have been out of game now for a number of years so would have to be fast tracked back in someway.

“My footballing fix comes from talking about football and there is a certain tension with  live TV but we will see happens future because I love football. I enjoy talking about it but you can’t beat working with a team, there is ambition to achieve something proper so we will see what happens in the future.”

Keown as No.2? What do you reckon?

CARL ELDRIDGE Ignore me on twitter @eldomedia


Arsenal fan for 40 years. Schoolboys, North Bank, Clock End then East Upper. Then Emirates. AFC dream team: Wilson, Dixon, Sansom, Adams, Pates, Brady, Williams, Pires, Bergkamp, Henry, Wright. Subs: Seaman, Eldridge, Wilshere, RVP, Ball. Manager: Arsene Chapman.