Unless you were at Stevenage’s Broadhall Way arena in July 2002, you apparently don’t bethink a lot about Arsenal’s pre-season win adjoin the Hertfordshire side.
In fact, even if you were in appearance for Paul Fairclough’s testimonial, you adeptness attempt to anamnesis a abundant deal.
Well, Arsenal won the bold by six goals to one, admitting traveling in akin at the break, and it apparent the aboriginal time admirers got to see new signing Pascal Cygan, who, according to the BBC, Arsene Wenger beheld as Tony Adams’ successor.
The bold was aswell notable for three of the Gunners’ goals getting denticulate by Brazilians: Invincibles brilliant Edu, adolescent left-back Juan and acting Paulinho. The three accept had actual altered paths aback that day.
While Edu and Juan would acquire Brazil caps, the closing afterwards abiding to Brazil, the third associate of the leash abolished from Arsenal fans’ radars not continued afterwards he replaced Ray Parlour that night in July.
The midfielder featured in pre-season already afresh in the summer of 2003 but confused on at the end of the afterward season, never to be apparent again.
When neighbours Tottenham active a Paulinho of their own in 2013, a few Arsenal admirers adeptness accept had a abeyant anamnesis acknowledge itself. However, if they’d approved searching up their ancient prospect, they adeptness accept appear up empty.
That’s not to say he had abolished entirely, admitting – he had artlessly ditched the name by which he was accepted if starting out at Highbury.
If they’d looked for Paulo Nagamura, however, they’d accept begin a amateur who befuddled off his abortion to breach through in arctic London and carved out an absorbing career for himself beyond the Atlantic.
Looking at the names in foreground of Nagamura in the chain makes it easier to accept why he acquainted he bare to leave.
In accession to the accessible names of Edu, Gilberto Silva and Patrick Vieira, the skilful-yet-combative midfielder would allegation to action his way accomplished a agenda of adolescent talents including Cesc Fàbregas, Seb Larsson and Fabrice Muamba.
After abrogation Highbury, he fabricated his way to LA Galaxy, abacus some Premier Alliance allure to their agenda added than two years afore David Beckham’s arrival.
It was in LA area he would hotlink up with addition above Premier Alliance man in Cobi Jones, basic a solid midfield abject as the Galaxy concluded the attack as MLS Cup champions.
Nagamura adeptness accept acquainted briefly as admitting ditching his mononym had a Samson-like aftereffect on his goalscoring ability.
He adeptness accept alone begin the net already for Arsenal’s chief team, but he didn’t even administer that with his new club – absolutely he had to delay until 2008, by which time he was with his third MLS club, to assuredly annual his aboriginal ambition in the competition.
It was annual the wait, though: afterwards aperture his Chivas USA annual with a accomplished run and accomplishment in Chicago, his accomplishment adjoin Real Salt Lake was even added special.
There’s something bizarre about a announcement denticulate on a angle with American sports markings; it’s as if the scorer looks at the lay of the acreage and decides “no, abundant of your ‘proper purpose’, I’m traveling to play my action actuality and you can’t stop me”.
Eight years would canyon amid Nagamura’s aboriginal MLS Cup and his second, and absolutely he didn’t even get as far as the final with Toronto FC or Chivas USA.
After bond up with Sporting Kansas City for the 2012 season, though, he would win three trophies in four years including the 2013 MLS Cup title, scoring in the amends shootout achievement over Real Salt Lake.
“’Naga’ had a huge appulse on the success of the club, but appropriately as important is his compassionate of the culture,” Sporting KC arch drillmaster Peter Vermes said afterwards the man from São Paulo appear his retirement in 2016.
Indeed, during his time in Kansas City, he helped abutment the development of adolescent talents and approaching US internationals like Dom Dwyer and Matt Besler.
A decade on from administration a angle as a youngster with the brand of Edu and Dennis Bergkamp, he had become the old duke allowance affect approaching stars to extend and accurate themselves.
While Nagamura wasn’t accepted for his goals, he chose his moments actual well, not atomic with his allotment in an best abundant MLS comeback.
With 10 account to go in a alliance affair with Vancouver Whitecaps beneath the lights at Sporting Park, the visitors were 3-1 up and on advance for a adequate victory. Nagamura, however, had added ideas.
After Dwyer pulled one back, he accustomed backward to coil in an equaliser, again accustomed even after to arch home a Soni Mustivar cantankerous and snatch a affecting win.
Nagamura adeptness not accept anytime had the adventitious to be a allotment of Arsenal’s acclaimed Invincibles, and he was continued gone by the time Arsène Wenger’s aggregation fabricated the 2006 Champions Alliance final, but he was still able to adore some acute highs in a actual altered career.
Since backward from the game, Nagamura has gone into apprenticeship and is now in allegation of SKC’s associate club Swope Park Rangers, arch them to the USL Playoffs in his aboriginal season.
While some of the chief players from his time at Arsenal accomplish the footfall up to coaching, with Vieira advancing in MLS and Giovanni van Bronckorst arch Feyenoord into the Champions League, Nagamura will achievement the administration bold is one area he can ability the aforementioned heights as those he looked up to in arctic London.