Dishy Arsenal legend Robert Pires admits that he does not know if he will remain a regular presence at London Colney in the wake of Arsene Wenger’s departure, but he will speak with new boss Unai Emery and is happy to continue to provide “a bridge” between the players and the manager if Emery is amenable.
The Frenchman, who played for the club for six years under Arsene Wenger, has trained regularly with the first team since his retirement from football two years ago. “I spent a lot of time with Arsene Wenger, I learned a lot when I used to play with the club. The last two seasons I was training with the first-team because I still have a good relationship with Arsene,” he told Arseblog News at the launch of the new away kit in London’s Leicester Square.
“For me it was very good, it was amazing. I keep fit, sometimes I can give some advice to the players. Now it’s finished because Arsene has left, so I need to talk to the new manager I don’t know what happens for the next season about me, but I know Unai Emery. I know he’s a great guy, he’s a great manager. So the most important thing is to talk to him. I will ask. If he says no, no problem. I will accept his decision.”
The two time Premier League winner says he is not interested in a coaching role at the club at this point. “Coaching, no,” he says assertively. “For the moment it’s very difficult, very tough. I know the manager has a lot of responsibility. The fans, the media put the pressure on, the sponsors, the CEO, the owner. But, if I can, I want to be part of the club with Unai Emery. I can learn, I can watch and maybe one day I can do my coaching badges. But for the moment, no.”
Whilst preparing for the match against Real Madrid legends at London Colney last week, Robert chanced upon new signing Stephan Lichtsteiner. Pires believes the Swiss is a good first purchase for Unai Emery, describing the player as ‘a warrior.’ “I met Stephan. I met him at the training ground, I’m training alone- the gate is always open for me!” he jokes. “I think this is a good player for Arsenal.
? @piresrobert7 x @LichtsteinerSte#WillkommenStephan pic.twitter.com/mQPCPGrO18
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) June 5, 2018
“Some people talk about the age, but I don’t care about age because if he’s ready, if he wants to help Arsenal, I think he is a good solution for Arsenal and of course for Unai Emery.” Pires played with one or two leaders during a glorious six year spell with the club and he thinks Lichtsteiner could provide some of the guidance the squad has missed in recent seasons.
“We need some players like him, he will bring a new spirit. He’s a good professional and I think he’s a good warrior on the field. That’s why I think it’s important to sign players like Lichtsteiner.” Pires met the Swiss by chance at London Colney, whilst preparing for the match against Real Madrid Legends last weekend.
Pires was speaking at the launch of Arsenal’s new away kit, which is available to purchase here.
With thanks to Charles Watts and Chris Wheatley.
Training alone during the off season. That’s the ingredients of an invincible.
Training alone in the off season more than ten years since he retired… Ooof!
Great guy is Pires. Hope he stays and there is a role for him.
Well, he’s pretty verbal about it.
So I guess, maybe, why not, perhaps, he should stay.
Hope he is allowed to be around the training ground, those videos floating around youtube with him giving one on one advice to Reiss Nelson highlight the more mentoring (as opposed to coaching) role he provides to players.
The fact he speaks Spanish (he grew up speaking it), might also be useful if we’re sticking with the likes of Bouldy and Jens as assistants.
That being said, I get the impression he wants Sanllehi job down the line, so he might be better off cosying up to both him and Ivan if that’s the goal.