According to Football.London, Arsenal have informed three long-standing coaches that their services will not be required once Arsene Wenger leaves the club.
The Frenchman’s 22-year tenure in N5 will come to an end on Sunday when he takes charge of his final Gunners game against Huddersfield at the Kirklees Stadium.
In preparation for the arrival of a new head coach, it looks as though Wenger-stalwarts Gerry Peyton, Neil Banfield and Boro Primorac will also move on.
Peyton, the goalkeeper coach, joined the Gunners in 2003, while Banfield and Primorac joined the coaching set-up in 1997, soon after Wenger’s arrival from Japan. Primorac had worked with Wenger at Nagoya Grampus Eight for three seasons.
Given their close association with the boss, questions about their future at London Colney were/are inevitable. They may well have been preparing to walk away of their own accord.
While Arsene Wenger’s replacement is likely to bring in their own staff, wholesale changes in backroom departments are not expected. Darren Burgess’ appointment as Director of High Performance last summer was one taken with an eye on the future. Moreover, the likes of Shad Forsythe, Head of Performance, and the medical staff under Colin Lewin’s stewardship seem set to stay. Vik Akers’ retirement as kitman should see his son Paul Akers take over.
It remains to be seen what assistant manager Steve Bould will do. He’s been at Wenger’s side since 2012 when he took over from Pat Rice and prior to that coached in the Academy. And will Jens Lehmann stick around to continue his coaching education? He only arrived last summer. One to keep an eye on, for sure.
In separate news, Arsenal confirmed today that Steve Gatting, Head Coach of the U23s, and his assistant Carl Laraman, have been suspended pending an investigation into allegation of bullying.