Former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires says that he is open working with Unai Emery’s first-team squad.
The 45-year-old, who says he has an ambassador-like role with the Gunners, has maintained close connections with the club despite leaving for Villarreal in 2006 and is keen to get involved with coaching.
Euro United reported over the summer that Pires had been approached by Arsenal to join their staff next season, but nothing official was announced.
Fellow ‘Invincibles’ Freddie Ljungberg and Steve Bould were promoted to first-team assistant coach and Under-23s manager respectively in the summer, while Edu became Arsenal’s technical director and while Pires does not fancy full-time management, he’s certainly eager to get on the coaching staff.
Pires told Reuters: “For the moment, no. It’s not in my plans. I think it’s a great job, a fantastic job, but it’s so difficult, so hard every day with the players, with the fans, with the media, with the owner.
“For the moment I’m involved with Arsenal, like an ambassador, and believe me it’s more relaxing and more quiet. For me it’s perfect.
“I love Arsenal, I’m open to work with the first team, with (manager) Unai Emery maybe one day but for the moment it’s not in the Arsenal plans and I respect the decision.”
It’s not the first time that Pires has touted himself for a job at the club. I the summer of 2018, he told ESPN: “If I join Unai Emery’s staff, I think it should be good for me, and I hope it should be good for Unai Emery.
“I could be like a bridge between him and the players. Because I know the players. For two years I have trained with the guys. So all of them, they respect me.
“And I respect the players, I was an ex-player. So the relationship between the players and me is good. That’s why I think I can help Unai Emery.”
Pires, who spent six years with the Gunners, has also said that Arsenal fans need to give Nicolas Pepe time to settle in.
“With Lille, he was fantastic. Last season he was one of the best players, he scored 21 or 22 goals,” said Pires. “He’s a great player.
“Now he’s playing for Arsenal in the Premier League and he needs to adapt. It’s so difficult, very tough. So I want to say to the fans you need to be patient with Pepe.”