Arsenal double-winner Giovanni van Bronckhorst appointed Feyenoord manager earlier than planned

Former Arsenal defender Giovanni van Bronckhorst has taken over the reins at Feyenoord earlier than planned following the departure of Fred Rutten on Sunday night.

Van Bronckhorst made 42 appearances for Arsenal during a three-year spell under Arsene Wenger, in which the Dutchman won an FA Cup and Premier League double during the 2001-02 season before lifting the Cup again the following campaign.

The 40-year-old has been working as Feyenoord’s assistant manager for the past four seasons and was due to take over the helm in time for next season.

But following defeat to PEC Zwolle on Sunday, Feyenoord are now no longer certain of qualifying for next season’s Europa League, and must enter an Eredivisie play-off having missed out on a top-three finish.

Defeat saw coach Rutten leave the club with immediate effect, and Van Bronckhorst will now take charge of the two-legged tie against Heerenveen on Thursday, while Vitesse take on Zwolle in the other tie.

After leaving Arsenal in 2004, the Dutchman went on to play Barcelona – winning the Champions League in the 2005-6 season – before finishing his career at Feyendoord and retiring at the end of the 2009-10 campaign.

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