Remi Garde has revealed that the first instruction he was ever given by Arsene Wenger was not to let Patrick Vieira get lost on his way to training, shortly after the two midfielders had moved to Arsenal.
At the time, Wenger was still coaching in Japan, but was keeping tabs on the north London club before his impending arrival in the summer of 1996.
Garde and Vieira were his first two signings for the Gunners but the new Aston Villa manager was entrusted with looking after the latter and ensuring that he knew how to get to the club’s training ground.
Speaking to L’Equipe - and relayed by the Daily Mirror - ahead of his first head-to-head against Wenger as a manager, the former France international reminisced about his first stint in England.
Garde said: “The first few weeks were special. He [Wenger] used to call me from Japan to know how things were going and sometimes, I even believe that he forgot the time difference.
“He told me above all to take him to the training ground because Pat [Vieira] kept getting lost! But I was not only there for that but it was necessary also that I watched over him at the start.”
"It was 20 years ago, the opening up of borders, English football was completely English.”
Despite his sense of direction not being the best, Vieira then went on to become one of the Gunners’ greatest ever player, making 279 league appearances and winning three league titles and four FA Cups.
The Premier League has changed a lot over the last two decades, but the Arsenal manager is the only constant still going strong. He will be hoping for a victory over his former player that would take
his side to the top of the table.
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