Arsenal legends Dennis Bergkamp and Tony Adams are squaring up for a head-to-head clash – with the winner securing a coaching role at the Emirates.
The former Gunners are frontrunners to replace Steve Bould within the coaching staff at the club at the end of the season.
Bould is poised to replace the retiring Pat Rice as Arsene Wenger’s No.2 in the summer and his promotion to assistant manager will leave a void within the ranks. Bould was tipped to step up a year ago but AW persuaded Rice to stay another season. Now though he must find a replacement for the 62-year-old who is calling it a day after 43 years at the club.
Bould’s expected elevation gives AW the chance to shuffle his pack and perhaps, rather than a job coaching the kids as was Bouldy’s role, he can bring in a legendary former Gunner to offer specialised coaching to the first team squad.
And former team-mates Bergkamp and Adams have emerged as favourites for the position. Both are currently coaching and both have expressed a desire to return to north London to work under Wenger and to rejoin the Arsenal family.
Wenger has for some time toyed with the idea of bringing in specialist coaches for both the strikers and the defence and both candidates could certainly pass on huge experience in these roles. Martin Keown was drafted in for some coaching of the back four a few years back but for whatever reason he didn’t hang about more’s the pity.
Bergkamp is currently the assistant manager to Frank de Boer at Ajax at his former club back in Holland. He has gone on record stating he would return to N5 if the chance came up. He said, admittedly a couple of years ago: “I wouldn’t rule out working for Arsenal. I really love this club and the country.
“I want to work and train a team in England. Not as a head coach, but, instead, as a member of staff, where I could work specifically with the strikers.”
Meanwhile, Adams, who recently had a stint coaching in Azerbaijan, is preparing to manage one of the six teams set to form the new Indian Premier Soccer League, set to last six weeks.
Speaking after he had a statue unveiled at the Emirates, Adams said: “Coaching is what I love. But back in England? There is only one club I would want to go back to and be No.1 or even on the backroom staff – and that is Arsenal. If Arsene Wenger wanted me to join in some capacity, that would interest me a lot.”
It could be argued that the defence would benefit most from a new drill-master in the shape of Adams but, equally, imagine the Oxo Kid learning from one of the greatest players of all time.
However AW works it a return of either the Iceman or Ooh-ooh would give the club and fans a huge boost.
Me? I’d hire them both!