Arsenal turned down Robert Pires’ request to join the backroom staff on the basis that they already had Steve Bould working for them, according to the player himself.
Over the summer, Pires saw an opportunity to get a job in the Arsenal staff after the departure of Arsene Wenger. With a new manager coming in, the former Gunner explained that he thought he could help the transition from one era to the next, given how closely he worked with the players last season.
However, though Unai Emery initially seemed receptive to the idea, the club weren’t as keen. They argued that Bould was already there to help with the transition.
“My plan was to work with Emery on the staff because I know the club, I know the players and I know he is a very good manager,” Pires explained in quotes reported by the Daily Star on Sunday. “I want to learn. For now, I don’t want to be a manager because it is too tough. You have a lot of responsibility.
“Maybe a good start for me would be to work with him on the staff. That is why I sent a message to Unai Emery and he replied to me and said, ‘Yeah, but we need to talk with the club’.
“The club said, ‘Maybe it is a good idea but we already have Steve Bould’. So I said, ‘No problem, I respect your decision’. Maybe one day, I hope.”
It’s a shame that Arsenal didn’t want to keep Pires around, for now at least. The ex-winger clearly still has a lot of love for the club, and he’s never one to speak out against the manager or the players. So many other former club legends will say anything for a punditry paycheque, but Pires always backs the team.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like he’s managed to prove to the club he can provide a useful service to the players just yet. Hopefully, he finds his niche soon and can make a swift return.