Arsenal have confirmed that Shad Forsythe, the head of performance, will leave the club this summer after eight years of service.
Recruited by Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis, the American arrived with a wealth of experience and having been part of the backroom team that prepared Germany for their World Cup success in Brazil in 2014.
Armed with a Masters degree in biomechanics, he was tasked, along with the medical team and fitness coaches, with improving the Gunners’ injury record after a comprehensive review into the issues that all too often hampered Wenger’s squads.
“He would not be here if I was not impressed,” said Wenger not long after the appointment of Forsythe. “We are trying to be as good as we can everywhere.”
When Wenger appointed Darren Burgess to a similar position in 2017, Forsythe’s position at London Colney looked complicated. Ultimately, he outlasted both. Wenger left in 2018 and Burgess, who ruffled a lot of feathers, was sacked a year later as the cracks appeared in Unai Emery’s setup.
At that point, Forsythe was tantalisingly close to joining forces with Gazidis at AC Milan but was persuaded to stick around to fill the vacuum left by Burgess.
His expertise was vital during the height of the pandemic when several injured players had to be remotely marshalled through their rehab. He’s clearly a popular figure at the club – Martinelli made a beeline for the American after scoring yesterday’s opener against Everton – so his departure comes as something of a surprise. We can only assume he wants to do something new.
Forsythe isn’t the only member of staff departing; Paul Akers, who inherited the first team kit manager role from father Vic, will also be leaving after 21 years at the club.
Best of luck to both of them for the future.
Hope we get quality replacements.
Good luck to both, hope they find good roles and happiness.
It’s impossible to find a good kit man in this day & age.
We’ll end up paying over the odds on a high contract & be forced to let them leave for free when Barcelona come knocking.
Surely there’s a 16 year old we can find in North London for a trial run?
It’ll be shad to see him leave.
Hopefully they’ve had the Forsythe to get a quality replacement already lined up
When the replacement arrives, it’ll be nice to see them, to see them nice.
Well, if the price is right I’m sure we’ll be alright! 🙂
Yes, we wouldn’t want the recruitment process to drag on like some sort of Forsythe saga..
I Dunno, it just seems like a game to this generation
It might be, I guess, though if he goes to Sp*rs and fails miserably we can all enjoy a bit of Shadenfreude.
Top pun marks all round!!
A few players that seemed indestructible before arriving at Arsenal appear to have become extremely brittle since. I don’t know how good Shad Forsythe is, but it would be a great Brucie-bonus if his replacement can take care of that problem.
No idea, to be honest.
Partey is particularly weird, he didn’t get injured before he came to us. Maybe he’s playing more games, but still, it seems pretty unfortunate
Didn’t he do well…?
The lack of Forsythe when it comes to staff planning may come back to bite us next season.
The point at which I knew I consume too much Arsenal content was when I recognized him jogging around my neighborhood in East London on the morning of a match at West Ham. There is truly no reason I should be able to identify a football team’s performance coach 😂
Best of luck to him!
Given the number of muscular injuries we seem to get, I’ve been thinking the training facility must be built on an ancient, cursed Roman burial ground.
Aside from that, seems kind of hard to feel like he’s done a great job.
So the Forsythe saga is over.
Here’s wishing them all the best in their future endeavours.
I was happy when Shad came in, as the team seemed to be having alot of injury issues with long absences of players. I’m not sure anything really changed, though. Maybe it’s just the English game being so fast paced? I don’t know. Dammit Jim, I’m not the Head of Performance.
So many injuries with just one game a week. Hopefully the injury record improves under the next head of performance