My evening with David Dein (Pt 3) and his chat with Arsene Wenger

So there we were, listening to David Dein and Arsene Wenger discussing their time together. by Ken1945

Now, some of what I’m going to say, most of you will already know,  but there are some who might not… so please bear with me.
David told how it was his wife who first met Arsene and introduced him to Le Prof later that evening.
Their friendship bloomed into something special and culminated in Arsene’s appointment as The Arsenal manager.
David told the audience that he got Arsene to buy a house as near to him as possible and he would call in whenever possible to discuss everything football.  Arsene commented that David’s wife said he saw more of him than she did!!
When the board decided to terminate David’s contract, Arsene was asked if he contemplated leaving, something he confirmed he discussed with David.
It was DD who persuaded him to stay… and we know the rest.
David was asked if Arsene should be part of the club today, and his answer was that if he’s good enough for FIFA, surely he was good enough for The Arsenal.
Arsene was asked if he had ever been back and would he consider taking a position at the club.
He said that he did not want to be around and be a distraction to his successor and that he still believes it to this day.
He was convinced that Mikel Arteta was doing a great job and could see no reason why top four, or even champions, couldn’t be possible.
He declared that no team was dominating the PL this season and he felt that MA was bringing a real sense of camaradery to the club.
Arsene left the stage and David was asked about his life after leaving the club.
He was totally involved with football and lost all of it when he was kicked out, including his roles within the FA etc.
He decided to do some community work, including the Twinning Project – local professional clubs being involved with the prisons and their inmates, trying to help them to not re – offend.
Then Alex announced that all the ex players who had attended the evening would come on the stage to show their support of David Dein.
Jens Lehmann, Sol Campbell, Gilberto, Kolo, Martin Keown, Vieira, Henry, Lauren, Wrighty, Arsene Wenger and Pat Rice all made their way up, and those first seven all spoke about their admiration for this great man.
Lehmann joked about the size of his lounge, Sol talked about all his trophies coming during his years at The Arsenal, Martin noted that he was the oldest player at the time and how, despite not seeing each other like this, it was like it was only yesterday.
Patrick dedicated his mic time to talk about how he so admired both David and Arsene, Gilberto and Kolo both spoke in the same vein of thought and Wrighty asked the audience to support David’s charity work… it was such a surreal end to the evening, seeing these legends together again.
Finally, as David and Arsene took centre stage while shaking hands, someone started the “What do you think of Tottenham” chant and the response was deafening!!!
I really recommend the book, it is a fantastic read and part of it goes into David selling his shares, the fact that he offered them, initially, to Kronkie, who turned them down, and why that made David look elsewhere. It also discussed the Danny Fizman shares.
That’s it folks, hope I’ve been able to give you a feeling of what the evening was like.
ken1945

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11 Comments

  1. KEN you do our history pieces like no one else can. Great and magnetic read.

    So grateful. More please, whenever you can! Whatever else we may not see eye to eye on, about DD we definitely do!

    1. Thanks Jon – I do believe that Mikel Arteta is also building the kind of relationship that Arsene had with his players – hardly surprising when you think about the fact that he was part of the building block that Wenger was so famous for.

      1. YES AGREED, Ken. I do think that one , among several reasons , for our top team spitit is the all for one, one for all dressing room spirit fostered when coasters were ousted and also Guendouzi.

        Besides the obvious need for ability, I saw MA look for quality CHARACTERS too from his early days and that is probably why I stayed loyal to him when I , like many others, harboured serious doubts about him while he changed our dressing room, both in personel and harmony. As he also made his many misjudgement and team shape errors The football for at least 18 months was certainly pedestrian.

        Speaking of characters I have to admit I am bowled over by thr strength of Xhaka’s commitment to our club and to helping younger players. Consequently , I am reforming my long held opinion about his worth to our club, which right now is CERTAINLY extremely positive and his experience is invaluable. I have alway said when thrfacts change, one eshould alter ones opinion. I had always admired his commitment, but not his lack of speed and mobility. However, his far better form since moving forward has made the equation a very different one from before.

        It was a close call TBH, Ken, but he has come through and I praise the KROENKES, unusually for me, in keeping him, when many would have changed manager.

        BTW, but for Emerys impossibility to overcome his language problem, I believe the Kroenkes may well have stuck with him too, but the fact his languageproblem effectively lost him the dressing room was always a bridge too far.
        Though, by the end , I also wanted him to go, eventually, I always thought then and now that he was a fine manager. Just the wrong fit at the wrong time. But it led to us getting Mikel. So a silver lining.

        Just as George Graham accepting that bung led us – a year or so later – to Arsene was another silver lining

        And it might well have been straight after, no Rioch in between either, had the prescient DD got his way, as we know.

        When Edward VIII abdicated back in 1936, we all had the biggest silver lining we could never have expected. SAME IN FOOTBALL.
        In fact Ken , while writing this, I have JUST realised I have an article on precisely this silver lining theme, forming in my head. And I might well also mention my new opinion about XHAKA.

        1. Jon, you would have loved the evening, it was a trip back to the “good old days”… I’m hoping MA will bring them back and I can see us as champions again, before I pop my clogs!!

      2. Ken I do agree and see that building dressing room relationships are one of MA ‘s strengths, despite some JA posts to the contrary. I have never seen MA as arrogant or having an ego or down on certain players, quite the reverse!

        What some have called his “agenda” with such as Ozil Guendouzi and Auba, I always saw as positive practicality , done entirely to get vital dressing room harmony and one for all , all for one type spirit , which I see in abundance now.
        I have always seen the key to any succesful side being that ALL players, plus manager and coaches are pulling mightily in thre same direction. It is when that DOES NOT happen that failure happens.

        I always liked and rated Emery and still do . BUT it must be said that his impossible difficulties with speaking English made dressing room harmony impossible and without proper and totally clear communication success is impossible.
        I felt Kroenke only reluctantly sacked him and that Kroenke is not, thankfully, like Abramovitch, a sacking owner. MA in his second full season must have been walking a tightrope and had a different owner been in charge he may well have gone by now.

        But we now have that silver lining , just as our beloved late Queen was a silver lining following the abdication of her uncle Edward VII, (allowing for the fact her father came in between of course, who was also a silver lining, compared with Edward)

        I am about to write an article on silver linings and that how when facts change, wiser fans change their minds accordingly.
        Which brings me to Xhaka, about whom the facts are changing very fast and regularly. His move forward has been a master stroke and he was once again yesterday one of the best players we had.

        He is now becoming very effective and not a defensive liability and less likely to be red carded. So I HAVE CHANGED MY MIND, simple as that. My article will be acknowledging that change of view.

        I much loved your fascinating three part article and think no one compares to your past knowledge and hope you will write more often therefore.

          1. Jon
            Fair point on Xhaka and being able to adjust one’s opinion.

            I find myself in a similar situation regarding a reappraisal of Xhaka and his performances. It was never anything personal against him, it was just the results on the pitch.

            His move forward seems to have found a new player, such is the level of his performances this year.

            I will go so far as to say that he is as vital now to our midfield as Partey. Just as Jesus has improved our attack, Saliba has improved our defense, so has Xhaka improved our midfield.

            His shift in midfield responsibilities has given rise to the play we are seeing from this squad, and long may it continue.

            Lastly, let’s not forget his character and how he stayed to prove the doubters like myself wrong. Arteta and his teammates clearly see something in him beyond merely a player, so I am happy to see both his and the teams overall improvement.

            1. DURAND AMAZINGLY, ESP FOR MYSELF, I find myself needing to change my long made up mind about Xhaka.

              Only a FOOL REFUSES TO CHANGE WHEN THE FACTS CHANGE AND EVIDENCE IS OVERWHELMING.
              I do perhaps flatter myself, but I HONESTLY DO NOT BELIEVE I am a fool.

              But only a fool would deny he is playing supremely well, ,sp since being further forward, courtesy of our resident genius manager, I MUST ADD!

  2. One other fact I didn’t mention, was George Graham not being at the evening, as was stated in the handouts.
    David announced that George was unable to attend due to illness, but I can’t find anytgung about this.
    Does anyone else know how he is by any chance?

    1. Ken, well GG would be about the same age as DD. Both born in 1944 I believe.

      Playing bowls as I so often do, I see older folk in their seventies and eighties dropping out, or worse still falling off their perch, very regularly.

      Worst fact about ageing, as we oldies all know. Hope GG is fine though.

  3. Wow, this make for a truly beautiful read and to top it all off the recognition and appreciation of Xhaka contribution.

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