Red Bulls’ Petke, Roxburgh to visit Wenger, Mourinho, Villas-Boas next week

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

HOBOKEN, N.J. – New York Red Bulls Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh isn’t just working his connections on the transfer market this offseason – he is calling in favors for his staff as well.

Following Robin Fraser’s week-long stay at Everton, Roxburgh has arranged a special trip with Red Bull coach Mike Petke. The duo are set to take in training with Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham next week. Moreover, the rookie head coach will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with big name European coaches Arsene Wenger, André Villas-Boas and “The Special One” Jose Mourinho to talk shop.

“It’s all part of refreshing ideas, refreshing your thoughts, not to copy anybody, but to stimulate our thoughts in training and message and so on,” Roxburgh explained. “I have worked a lot with Jose Mourinho and André Villas-Boas, trained in Scotland as coaches and Arsene has worked with me in Scotland as well.

“The Scottish connection was there.”

The duo begin their trip this Sunday with a light affair, joining Wenger, Red Bulls Global Director of Football Gerard Houllier and Thierry Henry at a colleague’s birthday party. From the social setting, Petke will meet Wenger on the field, taking in Arsenal practice on Tuesday and Wednesday and meeting the coach afterwards.

Wednesday, they head out to Tottenham to witness their Capital One Cup fifth round showdown with West Ham.

Thursday, the observations continue as Petke and Roxburgh trek out to Chelsea to take in practice and meet with Mourinho.

“It will give Mike and I a nice topic of discussion to watch them training – not watch our own training but watch somebody else doing the work,” Roxburgh quipped.

The week ends with Petke returning to New York while Roxburgh heads off to his primary residence in Switzerland.