The Arsenal academy received a double blow this week, with Dan Micciche joining Kevin Betsy in leaving the club for Crawley Town.
On Monday, Arsenal confirmed reports that u23 head coach Kevin Betsy would be leaving the club to join Crawley Town. Whilst disappointing, this wasn’t a huge surprise, as various media outlets had already covered the move.
What was surprising was Arsenal’s announcement that u18 head coach Dan Micciche would follow Betsy to Crawley to work as his assistant manager.
The general expectation from followers of the Arsenal academy was that Micciche would step up into Betsy’s job.
It’s somewhat inevitable that strong youth coaches like Betsy won’t stick around long, but the hope is that you have a conveyor belt of coaching talent ready to promote and fill the gap.
Instead, Arsenal have to fill both of their top managerial academy roles at once.
The Gunners do have other options. The fact that Micciche is working as Betsy’s assistant means Arsenal’s current academy assistants are hopefully free to stay.
That includes Mehmet Ali, who joined Arsenal as an u23 assistant in January after working as the head coach of the Reading u23s. So he has experience of the top job elsewhere, and he’s had six months to get to know his new club.
But Arsenal haven’t made an announcement yet, so it seems they’re still deliberating on a decision. With two jobs to fill, it’s very possible they look for an external candidate for at least one of the positions.
Betsy and Micciche both did an excellent job with Arsenal this season, so there are big boots to fill. Academy manager Per Mertesacker has his work cut out for him.