In the dark late season months preceding the formation alteration inspired recovery, we heard Ivan Gazidis talk of ‘catalyst for change’, leading to even further speculation regarding the manager and who might appear above or beside him in the managerial structure.
Now that the future of the manager and that of a Director of Football have both been decided, with the status quo prevailing, it appears that changes being catalysed were less dramatic than first envisaged.
That said, we have seen some notable additions to the Arsenal internal set-up.
First it was announced that Darren Burgess will be arriving from his role as ‘High Performance Manager’ at AFL club Port Adelaide to take on a wide-ranging brief including overall control of medical, fitness, psychology and performance analysis at the club, as well as working with the academy.
He was the highest paid fitness coach in the AFL and had long been targeted by US and European sports teams alike, having previously worked with Liverpool and before that three years as the head of fitness for Football Federation Australia and helping the Socceroos in their 2010 World Cup campaign.
He is known for his meticulous planning and attention to detail. He will be working alongside Shad Forsythe, and hopefully will help build on the American’s positive impact on the club’s level of soft-tissue injuries.
Tony Colbert has had his brief changed to take on a more technical role.
Next, we had the confirmation of the appointment of professional cycling giants Team Sky’s legal and commercial expert Huss Fahmy to work on player contracts.
He had been there since 2010, and before that had worked in the City for the multinational law firm Herbert Smith.
Not an exciting hire, but probably a useful one, particularly due his experience in handling image rights and his position as a director of the British Association for Sport and Law.
He will work alongside the appropriately named incumbent Dick Law who will be freed up to concentrate more on the recruitment side of things.
The latest change to be announced will probably be the easiest to understand and to see the benefit of.
Andy Woodman, father of England U20’s World Cup hero Freddie, will join as a goalkeeping coach, primarily in charge of the u23 squad, but also helping out with the first team.
This will help take the pressure off Gerry Peyton who has received a fair amount of external criticism.
Woodman arrives with good credentials, having been main goalkeeping coach at both Newcastle United and Crystal Palace before managerial changes at both forced him out.
His most recent role was a short-term gig saving Whitehawk FC from relegation from the National League South.
As well as boosting Arsenal’s coaching team’s experience and depth, this move has also lead to immediate online speculation about the future of his talented son.
Given that, as things stand, Arsenal currently have a surplus of goalkeepers, I think Newcastle fans on social media can relax for the time being.