My evening with David Dein – plus four massive legends (incl Henry’s favourite Arsenal goal)

Calling the Shots – An Evening with David Dein & Friends.

Part Two. by ken1945

Let’s hope this doesn’t cause as many problems as my article on David Dein’s sacking did!! I obviously cannot remember word for word what was said, and I will certainly miss some salient points, but will try to do my best.

First up onto the stage was Lee Dixon and he was asked about his thoughts on DD.

He told the audience how David would come into the dressing room, an hour before the kick off when the club was facing some of the “bigger” teams such as Man Utd, and go round to each player with words of encouragement.

When he got to Lee, he said “Its Ronaldo today then Lee, let’s try to stop him!!

To which he said to the audience. ”As if I needed reminding”. He was also very complimentary to DD, saying that he was always around, and his door was always open to any player needing a chat.

Second to be called up was Ian Wright and he didn’t disappoint, waving and laughing as the chant was bellowed out!!

What stood out for me, was when Ian was asked about his transfer request while Bruce Rioch was in charge.

He had gone to DD’s office and handed in his transfer request and gave the reasons why.

DD said that he knew that Rioch was on his way out, but couldn’t tell Wrighty this, so he told him to hang on in there, tore up the letter and the rest is history, as they say.

Ian also commented on how his transfer to our club was a dream come true, and mentioned the part David Rocastle played in him wanting to come to the club.

He did, however, say how the club has changed over the years, with regards to the way it is run, with the emphasise now on the corporate and commercial side of things, rather than all encompassing “family” atmosphere when he joined.

As Lee Dixon went back to the audience, up came Thierry Henry, with his chant being sung as loudly as Wrighty’s and to see these two strikers of such great ability sitting there, laughing and chatting was brilliant.

Thierry was asked what his favourite goal was – I expected it to be the one he scored against the Spuds, but his reply was this:

“The one I scored against Leeds, as this was my first goal after becoming a fan of the club and not just a player.” – I wonder how many of us would have guessed that.

As these two legends left the stage, it was the turn of Sven-Goran Eriksson to grace us with his presence.

I couldn’t understand why he was there, but it soon became clear that DD and he became close friends during Sven’s time as the England manager. He said that we should have won trophies while he was the England manager, but fate intervened. He had a good old dig at Alex Ferguson, saying that he was always moaning about Sven playing his players too much – that went down well with the crowd!!

Then David’s right-hand man was brought to the stage: The chant “One Arsene Wenger” was so loud and prolonged, it reminded me of the good old days and to hear it once again was electrifying.

DD, SE and AW talked about the managerial side of things and Sven was asked if he thought Arsene should have become an International manager.

Sven said that, in Sweden, they were brought up watching English football and, for him, it was the highest honour he ever achieved. But he thought Arsène’s love for the club stopped him from following the same route.

After Sven left the stage, it was just DD, AW alongside the two reporters left, and this was when we got an insight into their close partnership, how it all started, how they worked together and what happened when David was forced out of the club.

I’ll cover that in my third and final article and that will also include some of the players thoughts on those heady days when the Dein/Wenger duo ruled the roost.

Plus, of course, what David has been doing since he left The Arsenal.


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Tags Dein Henry Wenger Wrighty


  1. Both men lived very near me prior to 2006 when I moved to south Leicestershire and were frequently spotted in local restaurants together. It is hardly a surprise that they are still so closely linked. They definitely looked like friends. You would hardly be going openly out for a meal if you weren’t

  2. Always a pleasure getting an insight of Arsenal old stalwarts.
    But my appetite is huge, go ahead Ken and continue to make my day.

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