Mikel Arteta becomes latest former player to take over at Arsenal

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Mikel Arteta has returned to his former club as head coach.

Here, the PA news agency looks back at the other ex-Arsenal players who went on to manage the club.

Tom Whittaker, 1947-56

Tom Whittaker
Tom Whittaker was Arsenal’s first player-turned-manager (PA)

A career as a wing-half was ended early by a knee injury but after many years as a trainer and physio, initially under Herbert Chapman’s management, Whittaker was appointed manager shortly after the Second World War. He led them to two league titles and an FA Cup and managed them until his death from a heart attack aged 58.

Jack Crayston, 1956-58

Trophies as player: 3
Trophies as manager: 0

Whittaker’s death saw his assistant Crayston elevated to the top job, initially on a caretaker basis before being permanently appointed two months later. He resigned after less than two seasons in charge, failing to win a trophy and suffering a shock FA Cup defeat to third-tier Northampton.

George Swindin, 1958-62

Trophies as player: 4
Trophies as manager: 0

The goalkeeper spent the bulk of his playing career with the Gunners, winning three league titles and an FA Cup, before moving on to Peterborough where he also began his managerial career. He returned to Highbury in 1958, but his four years in charge peaked with a third-placed finish as they were left in the shadow of rivals Tottenham.

Terry Neill, 1976-83

Terry Neill
Terry Neill in his playing days with Arsenal (PA)

Over a decade as an Arsenal player ended with 1970’s Inter-City Fairs Cup win, with Neill featuring in the early rounds, before he became player-manager of Hull and later Northern Ireland. After a spell with Spurs he returned to Arsenal in 1976 and won the 1979 FA Cup, reaching two more finals and another in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.

Don Howe, 1983-86

Trophies as player: 0
Trophies as manager: 0

The former England right-back spent his last two seasons as a player with Arsenal and later returned to manage them for three trophyless years in the mid-1980s, though he contributed as a coach or assistant to Neill and Bertie Mee’s successes and later returned to lead them to two FA Youth Cups as head youth coach.

George Graham, 1986-95

George Graham, centre, parades the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup with Arsenal captain Tony Adams, left, and Alan Smith
George Graham, centre, parades the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup with Arsenal captain Tony Adams, left, and Alan Smith (John Stillwell/PA)

The most successful name on the list, the Scot played in the 1970 Fairs Cup success and the following season’s league and FA Cup double but amassed most of his trophies as manager. He won the first of his two League Cups in his first season in charge, the other paired with the FA Cup in 1992-93, won two league titles including the dramatic 1989 triumph and added the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1993-94 before his controversial departure.

Mikel Arteta, 2019

Trophies as player: 2

The Spanish midfielder collected a pair of FA Cup medals as he spent the final five years of his playing career at the Emirates Stadium – but he will have his work cut out to bring immediate success as manager.

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