Recruitment is the flavour of the month at Arsenal – or pretty much every European club given that it is the summer transfer window – but it isn’t just player recruitment that Arsenal need to concentrate on.
Our Director of High Performance, Darren Burgess, is set to leave the club. Burgess has quite the stock in his chosen profession, and signing him to the club was quite the coup, but his stay is set to be cut to just two years – and is the latest in a succession of changes in backroom staff since Arsene Wenger and Ivan Giazidis left.
Coaches Boro Primorac, Neil Banfield, Gerry Peyton and Tony Colbert have departed, and physio Colin Lewin has also gone from the club in the last year.
Perhaps the most alarming development is that we still haven’t filled the space left by Sven Mislintat’s leaving in January – although former Gunner Edu is reported to be taking the position when the Copa America concludes.
Burgess leaving Arsenal may well be good news for one member of the Gunners staff – and that is Shad Forsythe. The fitness guru, who was part of Germany’s World Cup winning team, may well be asked to step up to the plate with the Aussie now not at the club.
Burgess has been part of Liverpool and Aussie staff teams, and is thought to be one of the best in the business, so losing him prematurely is a blow, but it is thought to be down to Unai Emery investigating Arsenal’s fall in the last stages of the season. From a top4 spot to a slide down the table thanks to a truly dismal run that saw us drop points to Crystal Palace and Brighton – games that if either had been maximised, would have seen us qualify for the Champions League.
Was it down to a lack of vitality and fitness that saw us slump? Emery seems to think this, and Burgess is being given the elbow – leaving room for Forsythe to show his worth.
All the movements at Arsenal will be here on The Arsenal Review, so keep them peeled.