A year ago, following his decision to sack Steve Bould, Arsenal academy manager Per Mertrsacker was faced with the task of finding a new U23s coach for the club.
Mertesacker now finds himself in the same situation after the man that he appointed, Kevin Betsy, was named as the new manager of Crawley Town.
Given that Betsy has taken Dan Micciche with him to Crawley, Arsenal will also be on the lookout for a new U18s coach. The main focus, though, will be on who is chosen to coach the older age group.
After a thorough search, Mertesacker struck gold last year when he identified Betsy as the best candidate to replace Bould.
Betsy is very much a modern coach and he helped Arsenal U23s to produce some impressive performances while playing out from the back. There was also frequent interchanging of positions and a lot of effective pressing.
It wasn’t all plain sailing as some players took time to adapt to Betsy’s rather complicated methods, but overall it worked very well and Arsenal U23s were a significantly more impressive team than they were in the previous campaign.
Betsy deserves the chance to coach in first-team football and it will be interesting to see how he fares at Crawley.
Now, though, Arsenal need to focus on who will replace him and ideally they need somebody with a similar philosophy who can get Arsenal’s talented crop of youngsters playing dynamic football.
Mehmet Ali has been working as Betsy’s assistant in recent months after joining from Reading and could be a candidate to step up.
Whoever is chosen, Arsenal will hope that they can have a similar impact to Betsy.