Overmars: It could be Arsene’s time to become England manager
• Xavi: Guardiola can change the dynamics of English football
Marc Overmars has said that the time could be right for Arsene Wenger to leave Arsenal and become the England manager.
Overmars was speaking at the first day of the ASPIRE4SPORT and the Aspire Academy Global Summit on Football Performance & Science which is taking place at the iconic Amsterdam ArenA, home of AFC Ajax, today and tomorrow (Tuesday 4th October).
When asked whether Wenger could one day manage England, he said: “I think that he would be an excellent choice for the English. Maybe it’s time for him, if he has the energy for it.”
Overmars was answering questions alongside Ronald de Boer who agreed that Wenger could be headed for English football’s top job. De Boer added: “Wenger could finish with Arsenal as champions which would be a nice way of rounding off his time there and then take the England job.”
The Dutch duo’s Star Chat followed a Q&A with Xavi Hernandez and Carles Puyol at the event, which is one of the highest profile gatherings of world-leading experts in youth development and training methodology.
Asked about what impact Pep Guardiola could have on English football, Xavi said: “If there is somebody who can change the dynamics of English football or make a change to English football it is Pep Guardiola. I’m sure Manchester City will play great football and he will influence the players of Manchester City, you already see it through the attractive football, I’m in love with Barcelona but City are great.”
He continued: “Pep has a way of understanding football which is unique. He gives you in one or other way he let’s you understand how the play progresses. He changed the way of defending by attacking, it’s different it is a very specific way of understanding football. Besides Johan Cruyff, Pep is the most important person in football in the last 50 years.”
De Boer used the Q&A to pay tribute to Louis van Gaal. He said: “They call him my second dad. I was in the second team he was my manger I remember he said to me, Ronald you’re going to be a good football player, a top football player. And Louis said: I’m going to be a top manager.
“I always respected him because he was honest and straight, he always believed in me. He knew my qualities and my career took a high. I asked Louis to make me a right midfielder, and he put me there and my career really took a high. In the dressing room he was always they guy who asked everyone their opinion. Every week he did the same and was an incredible manager. If it wasn’t for Louis van Gaal, Rashford and Lingard wouldn’t have played because he gave them a chance. He’s not afraid to put boys on the big stage.”
The stars were joined by representatives from more than 50 of the world’s leading clubs, federations and leagues for the 3rd Edition of the Aspire Academy Global Summit on Football Performance & Science. Running in parallel is a networking event, ASPIRE4SPORT which brings European and Qatari sports industry professionals together to pave the way for future partnerships.
On Tuesday 4th October, Andre Villas-Boas and Edwin van der Sar will be speaking, whilst legendary manager and tactician, Marcelo Bielsa will give a second exclusive masterclass following his session today on Combinative Play Between 2 and 3 Players, Losing Your Marker and Positioning Patterns.
Held on the touchline of the Amsterdam ArenA, the home to AFC Ajax, the former Argentine and Chile manager explained how he has dedicated decades to thinking about how best to educate and train players.
He said: “In the past, many players learnt how to play by playing the game. And I think that football today asks for a bit more than that. Different players have different capacities. The very best players are exceptionally talented. But there is a large group of players who are less skilled, but are unable to demonstrate their talent because no one has taught them in the past.
“I have been thinking about this for more than 25 years as a trainers and player. I’ve been trying to educate and train players. Ideally, I would like to try and start training a player at the age of 13 and then work with him throughout his career, over a period of 10 to 15 years. I love football, the game, I adore it, but I really love the essence of it – the nature of the game is the most important thing. Those that aren’t able to invent or look for solutions are the ones I want to help.”
Also on the opening day, Marco Brunelli, the General Director of Serie A today expressed his excitement at the announcement that the Italian Super Cup will be played in Qatar for the second time. League Champions Juventus will meet AC Milan in Qatar on December 23rd, two years after Juventus lost to Napoli on penalties at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.
Speaking alongside Mansoor Al Ansari, General Secretary of the QFA, Marco Brunelli said he was thrilled that the game was returning to Qatar.
“The game is currently broadcast in more than 200 territories, and the Middle East is one of the most important for us. I would like to thank the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy – we are absolutely proud to be part of the road to Qatar 2022,“ he said.
Al Ansari added: “This is the second time that the game will be held in Qatar. It was one of the most amazing experiences two years ago, the fans really enjoyed it because it is such a competitive fixture and we are looking forward to same opportunity this year. Hosting the game provides a good opportunity to promote the sport we love in the region and we look forward to further developing our relationship with Italian football.”
Notes to editors
Please find the preliminary program attached. For updates and news on the event, please visit: www.aspire4sport.com
About the events
The two-day event ASPIRE4SPORT networking session brings European and Qatari sports industry professionals together to pave the way for future partnerships. In parallel, Aspire Academy is hosting the “Global Summit” on ‘Football Performance & Science’ to share ideas and approaches and discuss how science, technology and cutting-edge coaching techniques positively influence the game.
More than 160 representatives from clubs including FC Barcelona, Manchester United, AC Milan and Juventus take part in the Global Summit, making it one of the largest gatherings of its kind anywhere in the world. Together they will review and examine the latest training methods and approaches designed to nurture championship potential and support elite performance.
This group of experts – known as the “Aspire in the World Fellows” community – has developed rapidly since it was established in 2014. As well as regular gatherings in Doha and events in Europe to develop their ideas, members are supported by a cutting-edge online portal enabling the spread of best practice, trends and the latest thinking. Taken together, the various elements of the community’s activity provide a powerful platform to support the broader development of football around the world.
Since it was launched, the community has continued to grow and develop, and for the first time this year the original members of the “Aspire in the World Fellows” were invited to extend invitations to affiliate clubs, meaning up to 80 football clubs are expected to attend the summit.
ASPIRE4SPORT also features a business-to-business exhibition that will create a wide range of networking opportunities for European and Qatari sport industry professionals. A large number of Qatari and Middle Eastern government organisations and companies will attend the event to meet representatives from across Europe’s leading sports business sectors including construction, sports medicine, logistics, event management, communication and technology. Last year’s ASPIRE4SPORT resulted in face-to-face talks between 148 international suppliers and 19 exhibitors resulting in 988 scheduled business meetings.
About Aspire Academy:
Since opening its doors in 2004, Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence has become one of the foremost national sports academies in the world. Working as part of the Aspire Zone Foundation - an international sport destination – Aspire Academy is at the heart of a sporting revolution currently taking place in Qatar and around the region. The Academy is conceiving, promoting and implementing game-changing excellence in sports training and elite athlete development that is enabling an entire generation of talented, disciplined and committed individuals, both Qataris and internationals to pursue their sports dreams. Together with the other members of the Aspire Zone Foundation (Aspire Logistics and ASPETAR Qatar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital), the Aspire Academy is developing sports champions, promoting healthy lifestyles and galvanizing the sports economy of today, and the future.