- Dennis Bergkamp, dead-set legend and wannabe coach
Dennis Bergkamp wants to come back to England and coach. He completed his coaching qualifications in 2008. He was trained in the Ajax system. He has perfect technique and vision. He is a thorough professional.
I'm wondering how many great players become great coaches. I know there are very few great players who become great managers, but what's the strike-rate of great coaches? Off the top of my head, I can think of Martin Keown coming back to coach the Arsenal back-line to great success. Pat Rice has been at the club since forever, so he must be good. I remember from CM03-04 that Juventus has a couple of great coaches who were once great ex-players. But who else?
The hardest thing with a great player becoming a great coach must be the difficulty in conveying instinct to other people. As a player, Bergkamp would pass and move and shoot instinctively. He wouldn't have known why he did certain things until after he did them. Those awesome passes and goals just came naturally to him.
I can imagine him on his first day at London Colney, with an impressionable Theo Walcott and Carlos Vela in front of him:
"Now, when Fabregas hits a 60 yard ball at you from the halfway line, what you should do is control it with your ankle, then shimmy past the opposing full-back, then pause for a split-second to weigh up your options, and then score the goal by kicking it off the side of your right boot," Bergkamp says.
"Sorry Mr Bergkamp, but are you saying that you control a 60 yard pass with your ankle?" Theo asks.
"Yes, I don't believe in show-boating. Just trap it neatly first-time, don't expose the ball to the opponent," Bergkamp replies. "Now, when you're playing as the focal point of the 4-3-3, a common mistake is to only see moves two steps ahead of play. It's important to think three or four moves ahead, or otherwise you can't surprise your opponent."
"You want us to make passes that no one else can see?" Carlos Vela asks.
"Of course. Why else would you make them?" Bergkamp asks, perplexed.
Still, I think we should hire Bergkamp if we can. If anyone can make the leap from playing to coaching, Bergkamp can. It's a simple formula: Awesome player + awesome man = awesome coach.
You can't argue with maths.