Mikel Arteta’s long-standing assistant Steve Round has left Arsenal by mutual consent, reports Charles Watts.
Staff at the club were made aware of the news this afternoon via an email from Sporting Director Edu, who wrote: “As preparations for the new men’s season get underway we can confirm Steve Round has left the club by mutual agreement’.
“During his time with us, Steve played an integral role working with our men’s first team players and helping the significant progress which we have made in recent season.
“We thank Steve for his contribution to Arsenal and which him and his family all the best of health and happiness.”
The 52-year-old was the Spaniard’s first appointment when he took over as head coach at Emirates Stadium in November 2019 and brought a wealth of experience having held roles with the likes of England, Newcastle United, Everton, Manchester United and Aston Villa.
While Round has been a visible presence on the bench on matchdays, he’s mostly kept a low profile in the last three and a half years and rarely spoke to the media.
When he did, he was effusive in his praise of Arteta, whom he first met when he was part of David Moyes’ staff at Everton.
In April last year, he told Arsenal.com: “In Mikel Arteta we’ve got an exceptional manager – there’s no doubt about that. And an incredible person too, the sky’s the limit for him.
“The job he’s done over the past couple of years is amazing – the changes he’s made and how he’s started to develop this exciting, fresh new team. He’s building a real togetherness and spirit, not only with the players, but within the whole club.
“It’s difficult to compare any manager I have worked with, because they are all different people with different styles and philosophies, but at Arsenal right now, with this group of people, we’re definitely moving in the right direction.”
Round sat at the same level in the hierarchy as Dutchman Albert Stuivenberg who also joined at the outset of Arteta’s tenure.
The team has expanded, via a few ins and outs, to include keeper coach Inaki Cana, set piece maestro Nicolas Jover and young assistants, Miguel Molina and Carlos Cuesta. They are joined by a host of sports scientists, a strength and conditioning team and medical support led by Dr Gary O’Driscoll.
It’ll be interesting to see if Arteta brings in a direct replacement for Round, whose departure appears to have been quite sudden, or if he promotes from within and hires another position.
Best of luck to Steve who has played an integral role in getting the club back on track.