Where are They Now?

I always enjoy researching the fate of players who have retired or left Arsenal. So many descend into depression, addiction and financially destitution. This is understandable because for most players the knowledge that the pinnacle of their lives is in the past is too heavy a burden. No more adulation, no more dressing room comraderie, no more endorphin-inducing physical training, no more highs of performing in front of thousands of adoring fans, and there is no way back. The bell has rung for you.

For most people their middle to late 30’s is a time of job advancement or life development. For football players, particularly in the less well paid lower leagues, it is a time to re-start life and for many this is an challenge they struggle to meet.

Damn it …. this is not what I set out to write, this is meant to be a post about Kieron Gibbs!

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Kieron’s career path was a meteoric rise into the Arsenal first team and then an England shirt. Where is he now? West Brom via Norwich City.

Arriving at AFC as 1 5 y.o. his dreams were fulfilled early. An injury, a loss of form, the arrival of Nacho, led to him being given the Spanish Archer (El Bow). It must have been devastating., imagine his thoughts when he walked out of Mr. Wenger’s office. Thankfully, Kieron seems to have adapted to his new life but how must he have felt on his first week at WBA.? And then relegation? From Arsenal captain (when Kos was injured) and the England team to the Championship in just 2 years.

However, compared to, let us say, Abou Diaby, he has been fortunate. Diaby had the potential to be a world superstar but despite his very best efforts injuries took their toll – he is a free agent today.

I heard a podcast with Tony Cotteee talking about his post-football career and his slide into gambling addiction, which thanks to the wonderful Tony Adams Sporting Chance clinic, he has overcome. Tony said, “how in the remainder of his life will he ever re-create the feeling of scoring a goal in front of tens of thousands (and millions at home)”? He won’t, so how does he come to terms with it and find a purpose for the next 50 years? For Cotteee it has been a job in media but few can achieve this, for others it is coaching at club or ground level.

Damn it – I am back to the “what next” theme! Must be the grey skies above.

This could, and perhaps should, have been a post about the off-field shenanigans at Arsenal, or about the effect of Brexit upon the club but I will leave that for next time. Be thankful it is not another post about Mr. Ozil 😀

written by BR

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40 Responses to Where are They Now?

  1. chas says:

    Cheers, BR.

    Had a look for strange professions ex-footballers have chosen after their on-field careers ended. Here are a few…..

    Ray Wilson (1966 WC winner) – Undertaker

    Lee Bowyer (the living embodiment of a rat) – runs a Carp Fishing Lake in france

    John Chiedozie (ex spud with 4 years service – honours = none) – Bouncy Castle Rental Business

    David Hillier (Arsenal’s 90s midfielder who established glorious partnerships with John Jensen and Steve Morrow) – firefighter and airport luggage porter

    Thomas Gravesen (Everton, Real Madrid and Denmark) – Poker player – estimated worth £80 million

    Gavin Peacock (ex chav from before their history started) – preacher

    George Weah (surrogate son of Arsene Wenger) – President of Liberia

    What a curious world we live in!

  2. LBG says:

    Thanks Raddy
    I’m a bit confused but who cares……one thing’s for sure why would you ask the opinion of a long haired, blond Frenchman having retired from a footie career that concluded with an average spell with the Chavs, about behind the scenes at the Arse, about Dick, about Mesut our God……unless of course you are John Cross, “Chief Football idiot”.
    Morning all. Roll on Saturday.

  3. RC78 says:

    I liked the post – something different. It is usual for many men/women to feel at loss once they retire. Work gives them purpose and structures their lives for many years – when this is out of the equation? People can be a bit disoriented. So if you are not one of the big stars of the EPL and do not have an instant fan-pull factor to become a TV Pundit, what are the options:

    – Stay in Football and become a coach;
    – Focus on a charity that you have established;
    – Find another job/profession/interest

    For most, it will be the 3rd and hardest option…not easy

    Talking about EPL stars of the 90s gone into TV Pundits, who is your favorite and least favorite?

    – I like Alan Shearer because he is very consistent;
    – I dislike Gary Neville

  4. LBG says:

    Dislike Sheared, because he is consistently an arrogant knobhead. Dislike almost all ex- Liverpool players, Paul Merson, Alan Smith, Phil Neville, Keane
    Have time for Gary Neville, Arsenal Ladies right back whose name escapes me, Spuds tall midfield player whose name escapes me…..perhaps my earlier confusion is dementia……God save the Queen!

  5. Big Raddy says:

    Of the 500+ posts I have written this is the one I like least. Sorry.

    RC. I enjoy Lee Dixon, Jenas and Ian Wright. Occasionally Gary Neville and Danny Murphy.

    As LBG says “God save the Queen”

  6. RA says:

    Thanks, BR,

    A melancholic stroll through the short playing timescale of footballers and their inevitable meanderings through the real world in the aftermath of their careers.

    Nothing quite like it to cheer us all up. 😂

  7. RA says:

    There is an alternate view of the lives of footballers, of course, BR.

    In this era of amazing salaries, the equivalent of a king’s ransom to all of us who blog, even pretty ordinary players get signed up by clubs all over the world in the hope that they will ‘come good’, and within a very short space of time they end up being millionaires when they are still youths.

    For the genuinely skilled players with extraordinary talent, the above palls into insignificance, and they are soon catapulted onto the road to a cornucopia of riches and fame, which, even after retirement sees them being revered and welcomed into the highest reaches of society.

    For many (and not just the gifted) their careers open up their lives to fabulous cars, stunning women (loads of them), fantastic holiday homes in some of the most wonderful parts of the world, and a lifestyle of luxury after their careers end, and which they would never have dreamed of if someone had not said ‘He might be worth having a look at – sign him up’ — and thus saved from a 9 to 5 job slaving for wealthy owners was instead launched into a life wonders.

    Must be an awful career and subsequent retirement — but as a gesture of solidarity, I would find myself forced to say – I’ll swap with any of them – and reluctantly allow myself to be swallowed up in the misery of riches.

    I will stand in line behind you tho’ Raddy, as I know that was what you really meant. 🤪

  8. LBG says:

    We all love you and your posts Raddy. This one is at least a 4.5.
    Ooooooh like Lee Dixon and Jenas occasionally. Laugh at Ian Wright, Wright, Wright, and that’s what we need.

  9. RC78 says:

    Emery press conference was really poor with all the focus on Ozil…
    It s like the press has found a bone and don’t want to let go and forgot the rest of the team…

  10. GunnerN5 says:

    Aaron Ramsey has signed a pre-contract agreement to join Juventus from Arsenal in the summer, according to Sky in Italy.

    The Midfielder completed his Juventus medical over the weekend, and Sky Sports News understands the move will be made official in February.

  11. RC78 says:

    Ramsey will be like Van Gogh for us – we will only value him once he is gone…poor poor contract management

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    “For most people their middle to late 30’s is a time of job advancement or life development. For football players, particularly in the less well paid lower leagues, it is a time to re-start life and for many this is an challenge they struggle to meet.”

    BR, this is a very fine observation and shows your wisdom of life. So football players experience the double hit of early retirement in the only job they have ever done and the realisation they will probably never reach such career-heights anymore in whatever they are going to do next. For born winners that is a lot to deal with.

    One of the exceptions will undoubtedly be Matthieu Flamini who will save the world with his levulinic acid! 😀

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathieu_Flamini

    Cheers BR for (actually) one of your best blogs in recent times!. The footie is shite, Ozil’s exclusion the highest treason and the lack of funds now that Wenger has finally left pure comedy, so why not write about anything that comes to mind, hey?! Love it. 🙂

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Ramsey = Van Gogh Hahahaha! Fecking love it.

  14. RA says:

    Hi ya, TA

    You are right about the football being not too good.

    Looking back to the downward slide of Arsenal, both as a club and as a footballing oasis seems to have coincided with the clubs’s acquisition by Kroenke.

    When a similar buy-out happened to Manure their fans went ape because they feared the worst.

    In the event, the Glazers threw money at getting the best players available, and continued to do so, and with Fergie they went on to win trophy after trophy which made them into arguably the biggest football club in the world, and quadrupled the Glazer’s investment.

    For those who were around, about the time AA started, I forecast that. 😀

  15. GunnerN5 says:

    I just got to read your fine post Raddy.

    I feel the problem of the “football after life” is a bigger issue for the players in the lower leagues than the high paid PL players. Those in the lower leagues have not had the opportunity to build a nest egg to support them and their families but in their early to mid thirties than have to figure out how to re-boot their lives.

    It would be interesting to research the after life of some lower league players. Maybe I will.

    Thanks for the post.

  16. LBG says:

    Never liked Van Gogh. Too many sunflowers

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Redders 🙂

    Under Red Nose they thrived but now they are in the same boat as Arsenal, it seems. Makes you wonder what would have happened had Arsenal not opted for building a new stadium and spending the money on players instead.

  18. GunnerN5 says:

    RA – Kronke first bought shares in April 2007.

    In the past 12 seasons we have won 3 FA Cups and 4 Charity Shields and finished 4,3.4,3,4,3.4,4,3,2,5,6 for an average position of 3.7. For most teams in the EPL that would have been an excellent set of results – but AW had set the bar so high that it was deemed to be unacceptable for Arsenal.

    Kronke is not known as a big spender and in today’s market that could well mean that City, Man U, Liverpool and Chelsea will dominate the league leaving the rest to scrap over the Europa League places.

    Very sad……………

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    I put a fiver on Rambrandt painting bubbles at Stratford from Aug 2020 onwards.

  20. GunnerN5 says:

    TA, I think that would have meant that we lost out on the lucrative stadium revenues, and would still not have the funds available for the top players..

  21. LB says:

    Just read the post properly, thanks for taking the time it really is a good read.

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi GN5, yes we would but in the meantime the TV money has also become a big factor on available budgets and we are now competing against sugar-daddy clubs who blow away our stadium income advantage. It was a good plan in the early noughties though.

  23. GunnerN5 says:

    So true TA.

  24. GunnerN5 says:

    Unless you support one of those sugar daddy clubs a lot of the excitement and hopeful anticipation has disappeared from the game. It seems like it’s gone back to my early day’s when all we could hope for was a cup win.

  25. RC78 says:

    I think that with Emery, the club’s focus is to qualify for Champions League through:
    – Top 4 Finish
    – UEFA Cup Win

    I am sure that the club owners do not expect the team to win the league in the next 2 and 1/2 years. As a result, do not expect big transfers (more than 50 Mln).

    After this period and if we have qualified for the CL, the Club may invest big again so as of Summer 2022. Until then, let us aim to recruit:

    – Promising players like Guendouzi
    – Solid performers like Torreira and Lacazette

  26. LBG says:

    Recruit and hone the young diamonds we already have.
    I would prefer to support a non- league local part-time club than be associated with a Manshitty or Chelski. And Manure and the Scouse are just as bad.

    Dick wants “consistency” from Mesut. We know what you can do. How about lifting us out of the gloom, young man and sh****** on Chelski from a great height on Saturday.

  27. GunnerN5 says:

    I just read about a gang that stole a shipment of Viagra – the police believe that they are hardened criminals.

  28. Big Raddy says:

    TA. Thank yo for the kind words.

    LBG. Dick should be more concerned about the consistency of Mustafi because even when Ozil is anonymous he doesn’t cost us games.

  29. LBG says:

    Raddy
    And his Swiss love child!

  30. LBG says:

    Gran….Litch is a mere bagatelle to Dick.

  31. chas says:

  32. Was just about to post that …… my baby spuds will not be happy

  33. Neither were involved as one is injured and the other is in the first team now. I was all set to go but it was sooooo cold. Bet it was fun 😉

  34. omgarsenal says:

    Keep in mind that the majority of Footballers start their professional careers at a very young age and are often away from their families, support groups and friends. They also aren’t renown for achieving a lot educationally and few have anything past high school. They are often ill-prepared for life after Football and poorly prepared to manage the considerable financial resources they earn. As well, they pick up bad habits (alcohol,drugs, the high life) and without counseling and guidance, quickly fall into depression and despair. There are many statistics and life stories out there about stars burning out far too soon and being humbled by circumstances. It is tragic and unnecessary and finally the Football authorities are b eginning to realize their part in creating such circumstances but as usual, they are slow to react and reticent to admit a problem that brings the game into disrepute!

  35. LBG says:

    Peaches
    I knew that kick under the table would work!

  36. mickydidit89 says:

    OMG

    “As well, they pick up bad habits (alcohol,drugs, the high life)”

    Bet you voted to buy a defender 🙂

    Thanks for post Erik. Interesting topic when you chuck in what they used to earn. Love Chas’ list at 9:16am

    Must dash

  37. chas says:

    NEW POST

  38. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    “bagatelle”. Lovely word – not used enough. I used to have a bagatelle but doubt they are popular anymore

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