'He was very, very much appreciated here. He did an excellent job.'
These were the words of Arsene Wenger about Dermot Drummy, the former Crawley Town boss who died on Monday.
In an article for the Mirror Online, football writer John Cross, who was a friend of Drummy, wrote a personal tribute to the former Chelsea and Arsenal youth coach, including quotes from Antonio Conte and Arsene Wenger. You can read the full article here
Both Arsenal and Chelsea will wear black armbands in their matches against Huddersfield and Swansea tonight as a tribute to the well-respected coach.
In the article, Wenger said: "It’s very sad. He was very, very much appreciated here. He did an excellent job. He left us for Chelsea at the time at the time because he had a good proposal there.
“He was a sensitive man as well, it’s very difficult to understand what happened. His life was on the pitch and certainly he was very unhappy not to be on it any more. He had an outstanding record as youth coach here and after.
“We are all very sad here and certainly can only say all the people, all the young players he coached here and at Chelsea are certainly very sad today because he gave them a lot and contributed a lot to many of their careers.”
Conte said: "I want to pass my condolences to his family and his friends.
"It is a great importance to have this type of person, this type of figure to work for Chelsea in the academy to develop the young players and for sure this is a big loss. I think this for sure, we are sorry because this person was very important for this club."
Journalist Cross, who is a regular on Sky Sports' Sunday Supplement, knew Drummy well and said in his piece: "He was desperate to get back into management but was applying for jobs and not even getting replies — shameful considering his reputation and proven track record.
"Drummy was doing a management course at St George’s Park and was hopeful of getting back into the game before his sudden death on Monday. He even spent three days last week at Chelsea’s training ground."