Remi Garde

Remi Garde is perhaps best known for being the 'support act' to Patrick Vieira.

The experienced Frenchman arrived at Highbury alongside his compatriot in August 1996 after both players were recommended by Arsène Wenger, soon to take over as manager. And although Vieira's instant impact left Garde somewhat in the shade, the versatile veteran was a fine player in his own right.

Garde was ostensibly a centre back, and an assured one at that. But over the course of his career he also impressed at full-back and in midfield. That versatility no doubt helped him earn his six caps for France and a call-up to the national squad for Euro '92.

It also made him a valuable squad member at Arsenal. Garde was 30 when he moved from Strasbourg to north London and made his debut as a substitute against Leeds United. He made his first start in a defeat at Nottingham Forest and looked neat, tidy and technically excellent whether he was deputising for Vieira or Emmanuel Petit in midfield or filling in across the defence.

Garde made enough appearances to earn a Premier League winner's medal in 1997/98 and also played his part in the FA Cup run which completed that season's Double. Garde was often used at right-back that term with Lee Dixon sidelined by injury for a chunk of the campaign. As ever, the deputy filled in with a minimum of fuss and plenty of assurance.

Following 43 appearances for Arsenal - with 16 of those from the bench - Garde retired from the game in June 1999. After working as a football pundit on French TV, he rejoined his old club Lyon as a coach in 2003 and contributed to their run of six successive League titles.

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