The new Swansea boss is looking forward to taking on the Gunners boss and believes the Frenchman’s impact on football is as large as the late icon
Arsene Wenger’s influence throughout his 20 years in charge of Arsenal is akin to the effect Johan Cruyff had at Barcelona, according to new Swansea manager Bob Bradley.
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Cruyff, who died in March this year, is largely recognised as the figure who has had the biggest impact on the modern game through his time as a player and coach with Ajax, Barcelona and Netherlands.
The iconic figure guided Barca to four Spanish league titles and their first European Cup and UEFA Super Cup among others in a period in which he helped shape the futures of Pep Guardiola and others.
Guardiola paid tribute to Cruyff at the launch of the Dutchman’s recent book, stating that his importance to football stretches well beyond the titles he won.
And Bradley feels a similar thing can be said about Wenger, who introduced his own style and ideas to revolutionise Arsenal over the last two decades, stating that he is looking forward to facing him for the first time when Swansea visit the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
“This is up there for me. I don’t usually look back on those things and I’ve had the chance to coach against some pretty big names – Fabio Capello, Vicente del Bosque – but Arsene is right up there with the top managers,” he told reporters.
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“To be at a club for 20 years where the football is such a reflection of the man is a fantastic thing.
“Pep Guardiola was speaking about Johan Cruyff last week and his influence about being more than trophies, and if you look at what has happened over 20 years at Arsenal it’s the same kind of influence.”
The match is the ex-USA boss’s first in charge of the Premier League side and he is happy that it takes place against such a big club.
“I will take a few seconds to look into the stands and then very quickly get my mind back on the game,” he added.
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“I won’t take a long time on that stuff but, without a doubt. I will take it in. I’ve done that before.
“When you lead your team onto the field in a World Cup you have to take a second to look around.
“I tell the players that, then you make sure you put that away and get yourself ready for the whistle.”