Damien Comolli thinks that Arsenal’s changes in coaching staff helped them win against Tottenham in the North London derby.
Comolli is a former coach, scout and director of football who has worked with the Gunners in the past, as well as Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool. He spoke to SFR Sport after the North London derby, and told them he could see a big change in the Gunners’ physicality and fitness, reports GFFN.
“I thought Arsenal were really good and the other thing that impressed me during this match was the physical levels of Arsenal. They changed fitness coach this summer, they have an Australian who has arrived who is responsible for their performance, and it is a long time since I have seen an Arsenal side dominate a game physically against another top-6 side.”
Darren Burgess is the Australian Comolli is referring to. He joined Arsenal over the summer. Supporters tend to think of fitness coaches as purely being responsible for preventing injuries and aiding recovery from them. However, another big part of their job is to get the Gunners performing well physically for the full 90 minutes.
The difference is apparent when Arsenal play against a club from a lower league. Although they can often match the Gunners in terms of stifling their threat, eventually they can no longer keep up with the pace and start making mistakes. Norwich City discovered recently that it’s not enough to be up for it for 80 minutes and take the last 10 off.
Hopefully, Burgess has helped the team to catch up with the other top sides, who were starting to dominate physically against the Gunners at times. But we’ll have to wait a bit longer before we see the full effects of his work.