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Football News: Arsenal - How Many Assistant Managers??

Arsenal - How Many Assistant Managers??
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Arsenal's Back Room Staff

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07 Jul 2021 08:14:54
Good Morning Ed001, I think this is best directed at you but correct me if I'm wrong. Of course, any of the Eds insights would be greatly appreciated. I was listening to TalkSport this morning and they were discussing the England coaching staff and their roles. Chris Powell was highlighted in particular for his high level of enthusiasm and the general positive mood that he brings to the camp. It got me thinking about the Arsenal coaching team and how very little I actually know about Arteta's back room staff. Who are they? Where have they come from? Have they been successful or are they new to role like MA? Would it be possible for you to give us an insight as to who they are and their backgrounds please? I appreciate that there are a few but I would certainly be interested in having a read! Thank you :) - Glenn1308


I can see why you were a little confused Glenn, there are a whole bunch of people listed as assistant managers, with no clear job definitions!

Steve Round - Assistant Manager (Technical)

A fairly experienced assistant now, after retiring young due to injury he began coaching at Derby County, then went with Steve McClaren to Middlesbrough and England. After that came to an end, David Moyes took him to Everton as the replacement for Alan Irvine, which is where Arteta knew him from, and went with Moyes to Manchester United. After that, he spent a couple of years as technical director (some termed him director of football) but they were not impressed with his recruitment.

Round is very much about the technical side and likes to work with the analysts, sports scientist and nutritionists. He is, in essence, filling the old role of assistant manager, overseeing the coaching and liasing with the analysts. He clearly impressed Arteta when at Everton, but seems to be a bit like Arteta and lacking in man-management skills, preferring to bury himself in stats. To me, I would say that he is not the right choice because of that, as a good assistant, in my opinion, should be filling the gaps in the manager's expertise, rather than just being someone who thinks along the exact same lines.


Albert Stuivenberg - Assistant Manager (Coaching)

Worked his way up the Dutch youth coaching ranks, working with their national teams up to under-21 level, where he met Louis van Gaal. Van Gaal took him under his wing and became his mentor, taking him to Man Utd with him, where he was almost de facto head coach. He took charge of coaching sessions, did team talks and would also give individual talks to players, under van Gaal's oversight. Went on to become Genk head coach, though lasted less than a year there before being sacked. He obviously did enough at United to impress Ryan Giggs though, as Giggs took him to the Welsh set up, where he is one of the main coaches still, as well as coaching at Arsenal.

He is very much a coach, though he is inexperienced at the top level, Stuivenberg is not shy of saying what he thinks. Should be a complimentary skillset to Round, except his man-management is again something that seems to be lacking, judging by his time at United and Genk.


Andreas Georgson (last season) - Nicolas Jover (this season) - Set Piece Coach

Oddly enough, Georgson was the man who replaced Jover at Brentford. To get a job with them, you have to match the statistical profile they look for, so his previous team, Montpellier, must have excelled statistically at set pieces for them to sign him. He was certainly highly rated by the Bees and that is why Manchester City swooped in for him. City certainly looked to have improved in organisation during set pieces under him. The problem with a specialist role like this is knowing exactly how much time they are getting to work with the players, which makes it difficult to judge how much effect they actually have.


Miguel Molina - Tactical Analysis

Only 28, one of the Spanish group, came from Atletico Madrid where he had been working for 4 years. Was very highly rated in Spain, Arteta certainly listens to him, but he does lack experience.


Carlos Cuesta - Individual Development Coach

Another young Spaniard, just 25 years old, but very highly rated. Already has his Pro License and can speak 6 languages, which helps in communicating with the players. Most of the time he is able to talk to them and pass on ideas in their own language. He was also at Atleti previously, working with their youth set up, then worked with Juventus's Under-17s before Arteta brought him in. The worry is that footballers can be an arrogant bunch and do not like to listen to someone who has not had a professional career telling them how they can improve, no matter if he is right or not.


Inaki Cana Pavon - Goalkeeping Coach

Another of the Spanish group and was previously at Brentford also. There are issues with him, though they seem to mainly stem from the players being unhappy with the Spanish influence at the club as a whole. He just seems to be getting the brunt of it and Bernd Leno's struggles are often attributed to a clash with him. He has the ear of Arteta, recommended the signing of Runarsson, and is very much involved in the playing out from the back style, which is something Leno seems to hate doing.


There are also a number of fitness coaches etc, but they all have roles that are easy to figure out, so I will not get into all them.

Looking at what Arteta has surrounded himself with, it seems to be a bunch of like-minded people but with a lack of an experienced older head. There is a very strong Spanish influence among them and a massive lack of man-management. It is one of those set ups that will struggle to turn it around if things turn against them, as there is no one to present different options and no one to lift the players.

It is little wonder that there are a lot of players who are unhappy, the set up is intractable, just fully focused on one ideal that very few of the players actually believe is the right way to go. The set up is geared to telling players what to do, rather than working with the players to get them to buy into what Arteta is looking to do first. He seems to have missed that Pep spent his first pre-season working with the players as people, getting them to buy into what he wanted to do, and just sees how Pep can now tell people 'this is how it is'. Pep can do that now because he had such great success and so people want to play his way as they see it brings success.

Instead of doing that, the way Pep got Messi and a few senior players onside first, Arteta has alienated the likes of Aubameyang and Lacazatte, the likes of Guendouzi and Saliba were desperate to move and there is little sign of Arteta adapting to win the rest over. If he continues to alienate senior players, while still picking them, it is going to end up backfiring. If he is not going to win them over, then he needs to remove them from the picture and go for the youth that are just desperate to impress, as they showed when given the chance.


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Written by Tris Burke July 07 2021 14:08:50


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