Every team has their heroes on the pitch but not very many of them make the step up to manager. Those that do often favour a return to their former clubs. Which Premier League stars could be the managerial heroes of the future?
Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger is, at 62 years of age, not getting any younger. As one of the Premier League’s longest serving managers, and one of its’ most successful he’ll be a tough act to follow. Even if you are, say… Tony Adams.
The former Gunners’ captain spent his entire career playing for the club. Renowned as a dominant and vocal organizer of the Arsenal defence, he would surely make his mark on the team if he were to become a manager.
Unlike, former Arsenal hero Patrick Vieira who has somewhat dimmed his glow amongst the Arsenal faithful due to his position as Football Development Executive at Manchester City.
But Adams’ would likely face strong competition from a certain Dutch striker. No, not that one – the other one – Dennis Bergkamp who, coincidently serves as the Assistant Manager for Ajax. The striker was not only a favourite of the fans but also a favourite of Wenger who formed an excellent relationship and understanding with his first big name at the club. He’s certainly in with the best shout.
Chelsea have had their leadership problems in the dugout throughout the reign of owner Roman Abramovich – they have seen eight managers in nine years. But leadership on the field can be found in abundance at Stamford Bridge.
John Terry and Frank Lampard have led the club to glory – I would be inclined to suggest the latter’s more obvious intelligence and decorum would be enough to see him take the reigns when he retires.
Liverpool saw a number of their glory days under the guidance of Kenny Dalglish (the first time round, that is) – but there is one obvious managerial candidate amongst the Reds recent teams: current England skipper Steven Gerrard.
His leadership capabilities are practically unrivalled across the entire continent and his understanding of the game is fluent. The only other possibility would be Jamie Carragher who, whilst closer to retirement age, is, I reckon, more likely to go into punditry. All yours, Stevie G.
Many suspected former Manchester United captain Roy Keane would go in to management one day – and he did. Just, not with United. It’s not too late for Keane by any stretch but his diminishing relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson might see him overlooked as a potential replacement.
David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, and Paul Scholes could feasibly command the respect of the United dressing room but it’s probably too soon for any of them to make such a giant step up. Steve Bruce, anyone?
image: © Ben Sutherland