Even though they are interested in signing Andy Woodman’s son, Arsenal have reportedly told their Head of Goalkeeping that he can leave the club in the summer after Bernd Leno complained about Mikel Arteta’s coach, Inaki Cana Pavon.
Andy Woodman is Arsenal’s head of goalkeeping but is out of contract in the summer. According to a report on Football Insider, Woodman was told in February that his Arsenal contract wouldn’t be renewed at the end of the current campaign. Their source informed them this was due to “the growing Spanish influence at the club and on the coaching staff.”
Woodman was put in charge of the goalkeeping department in 2018 when Gerry Peyton left the club. Inaki Cana Pavon then joined in 2019 and it seems his relationship with Mikel Arteta could be pivotal in the decisions being made.
It is now being claimed that the decision to let Woodman go was made after Bernd Leno complained about Pavon, asking for Woodman to be allowed to coach him. Their source said that the German keeper ‘does not rate’ Pavon.
Footballer Insider add, “Leno is believed to be a fan of Woodman’s methods and wanted to work with him on a daily basis.”
Why Inaki Pavon and not Andy Woodman?
“When it comes down to the goalkeeper, he [Cana] has a big say on how we are going to implement our methodology,” Arteta said in September. “How we are going to train them and how we are going to treat the goalkeeping position in the short, medium and long term.
“Obviously at the end it will be me who makes the decision [who to buy]. But is very important that the people around me, who have on many occasions a much clearer criteria and specificity than me, that I really listen to them and try to follow what their feelings are.
“I have big faith in Inaki as I do with the rest of the staff that are here.”
Arsenal signed Cana from Brentford. He has previously worked for Barcelona’s academy and set up a goalkeeping academy of his own in Spain.
Cana was mainly responsible for Arsenal signing Alex Runarsson, recently sidelined with a knee injury much to the relief of Arsenal fans everywhere.
The coach worked with the keeper when they were both in Denmark and said in 2017 about Runarsson, “As soon as he arrived at the club I saw his potential.
“We must not forget that he is only 22 years old (he turned 26 in February 2021) and that he still has a lot of room for improvement, he is a goalkeeper who will have a great future.”
Cana certainly wasn’t wrong about that as Runarsson is now at Arsenal, with a five-year contract in his pocket despite looking severely out of his depth on the few occasions he’s been called upon.
Freddie Woodman, meanwhile, is Andy Woodman’s son and, while a Newcastle player, is currently on loan with Swansea. Arsenal were heavily linked with him during the January window and it is rumoured they are considering a move for him in the summer with Runarsson possibly on his way out of the club if Arsenal can find a buyer.
Woodman has kept 17 cleansheets in his 33 league games (and has conceded 24) while in total he has 18 cleansheets in 37 games (30 conceded) and we know Arsenal are looking to make changes this summer.
Whether that means signing Mat Ryan on a permanent deal or looking elsewhere, it remains to be seen.
Getting rid of Woodman’s dad, however, is unlikely to do much to help Arsenal’s case.
Gerry Peyton replaced as interim head coach with just 1 game left
At the start of February, Indian Super League club Odisha FC announced the hiring of former Arsenal goalkeeper coach Gerry Peyton as their Interim Head Coach until the end of the season but he was replaced after five games with only one remaining to play.
Odisha FC announced at the start of February 2021 that Gerry Peyton, former Arsenal goalkeeper coach and Assistant Coach at the Indian Super League club until recently, would take over as Interim Head Coach until the end of the current season.
Now, however, he seems to be back as their assistant manager with Steven Dias listed as the interim head coach, appointed two weeks after that initial announcement.
Peyton’s replacement said that personal reasons were behind the change, however it came after Odisha lost to Mumbai City, making it four defeats and one draw for Peyton in charge.
“I’m very excited as well as a little nervous,” Dias said when he was appointed. “I discussed with the team about Gerry leaving because of his personal reasons. All the players, foreigners as well as Indian players, are supporting me. So it’s a good sign and we are ready for the next match.”
Peyton worked at Arsenal from 2003 to 2018, though he was never particularly popular with the fans. When you look at some of the club’s goalkeepers during that time and the way they progressed (or didn’t), that’s not exactly surprising.
“I have agreed to become the Odisha FC Interim Head Coach for the rest of the games, we have six games left,” Peyton said at the time he was promoted, albeit temporarily. “I am going to go with a lot of hard work that’s been done already by myself and Stuart (Baxter).
“I am going to carry on and try and win as many games as possible with the young players, with the team that we have, and the way we have been playing. My job is to make sure that we show fight, resolve, and pride every time we step onto that pitch.
“Hopefully, we can give the fans a lot of good things to be proud of as we have been grateful for their support so far.”
The club sacked former Head Coach Stuart Baxter after he made offensive comments in a post match interview. Baxter said “one of my players would have to rape someone or get raped himself if he was going to get a penalty”.
Odisha issued a swift condemnation of the comments and announced his termination with immediate effect the next day.
The 11-team league finished at the end of February but does not have promotion or relegation.
Odisha are finished bottom of the table, five points below Kerala Blaster with 12 points from 20 games.
Mumbai City topped the table on goal difference from ATK Mohun Bagan, with both on 40 points. Mumbai, who are managed by former Barcelona assistant manager Sergio Lobera, had a +4 advantage over their rivals.
About Odisha FC
Initially called Delhi Dynamos FC, Odisha FC was only founded in July 2014, changing their name at the end of August, 2019.
They play in the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha, the 8th largest state in the country.
Odisha FC, in both its iterations, had a total of six coaches before Peyton took temporary charge, including Roberto Carlos, the legendary Brazilian left-back who managed the Delhi Dynamos in the 2015 season when they reached the semi-finals of the Indian Super League for the first time.
Carlos was reportedly unhappy with the management at the club with money, as it tends to be, the core issue.