'He had all the attributes to be a top, top manager' – Ray Parlour reveals the Arsenal Invincibles team-mate he was sure would become a successful gaffer

Ray Parlour chooses Arsenal team-mate that should have been a manager
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Arsenal's Invincibles had it all. They could outplay opponents with ease but, when things didn't click, they were more than happy to get physical if it meant sealing three points. 

Indeed, members of the greatest-ever Arsenal side were admired as much for their mentality and tactical intelligence as they were for their divine technique. 

Arsene Wenger chats to Martin Keown

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"Martin was the sort of guy who would be talking to Arsene Wenger a lot. And he was a big influence in the dressing room. He was the oldest player in the Invincibles team and the most experience player. I was probably second at the time. Martin was always the one who would say something in the dressing room at half-time if things weren't going well. Even if he wasn't playing. He was busy, but in a positive way – always for the right reasons."

Parlour also expressed surprise that arguably the most technically-gifted member of that Arsenal team didn't go into coaching.

"You might have argued that Dennis Bergkamp would be an obvious choice," explains Parlour. "But Dennis was quite quiet at times. So whether he'd have been suited to be a manager is a tricky one."

Parlour also claims never to have been seriously interested in football management himself. 

"I never even did my coaching badges," he tells FFT. "I could still put a decent session on though, I think, because I know what I used to enjoy as a player in training. I think I'd be more like a Harry Redknapp type of manager – an arm around the shoulder and try and get the lads on side. Make them feel good, like top players. Man management is probably the most important skill these days. I'd try and get that part right."

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