Arsene Wenger Patrick Vieira.

Emmanuel Petit claims Patrick Vieira is disgusted with Arsene Wenger

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Arsene Wenger's decision to keep legendary figures out of the club's coaching system has been met with disgust by some of those involved, according to Emmanuel Petit.

The French midfielder was present at Highbury through some of their most successful years, enjoying Premier League triumph alongside the likes of Patrick Vieira, Tony Adams and Dennis Bergkamp.

But despite playing influential roles at the club, all three have been forced to find other clubs in which to start their coaching careers. Vieira now manages MLS side New York City FC while Adams has had to go as far afield as Azerbaijan and China. Meanwhile, Bergkamp remains the assistant manager at Ajax.

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Arsenal fans were given another example when Thierry Henry turned down the chance to coach the Under-18 side earlier this summer. The club's all-time top goalscorer was hoping to complete his coaching qualifications with the Gunners but was told he could only do it if he quit his punditry role with Sky Sports by Wenger.

There are suggestions that the manager was unhappy with the criticism Henry had levied on him and wanted to guard against further objection by ending his association with the television channel.

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According to Petit, it is no coincidence that Henry chose to leave north London. There appears to be an effort by Wenger to keep control of the club and is adverse to anyone who may question his methods.

Speaking to SFR, he said: "Why didn't Arsene open the door to Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira or Tony Adams? Arsene couldn't imagine that anyone would criticise him openly on television, never mind a former Arsenal player.

"It is good to build statues to commemorate history. but at some point you have to open the doors to help them. When I see Dennis Bergkamp on Ajax's bench, it doesn't bother me, but I remember Dennis has a son in Arsenal's academy.

"I was with Patrick two days before he went to the USA. There was an event organized by Manchester City in January, and I was one of four players invited by Patrick. I spoke with Patrick for two hours and I can say — and maybe he will not be happy that I am saying this in public — he is really disgusted by Arsenal and Arsene's attitude."

Dennis Bergkamp (top L) of Arsenal is gr

Legends match

There is likely to be a fair bit of tension at the Emirates this weekend when a number of the legends take part in a charity match against AC Milan.

However, Vieira, Bergkamp, Adams and Henry won't be there. Henry reportedly pulled out at late notice having originally been expected to play. While his fall out with Wenger is thought to be part of the reason, his new coaching role with Belgium means he now has other commitments.


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Thierry Henry
Patrick Vieira
Jack Wilshere
Theo Walcott
Premier League
Arsene Wenger
Patrick Vieira

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