With the season over and just player and staff movement on the agenda, there’s not going to much to talk about so posts won’t be as frequent. If any of you who read HH have a topic you’d like discussed on here, please feel free to email me. It doesn’t have to be lengthy, just a question would suffice, just to get us talking.
Arsenal sacking Steve Bould is something I find not only strange in itself but the way Arsenal fans have heard about it. As yet, I’ve seen nothing official from the club, just a social media comment which kicked the whole sorry story off.
Being an under 23 manager/coach can’t be easy. Each season it’s likely to lose players as they go out on loan to gain experience. Also, with Arsenal having been in the Europa Cup for the last few years, the early group fixtures have often seen Mikel Arteta and Unai Emery before him, call upon some of the younger players to make up the squad. Great for them, not so great for Steve Bould who might then find himself without Two, three or four of his better players for the next under 23 fixture.
Imagine if a first team manager/coach, lets us Arteta as an example, had a Sunday fixture away at St Mary’s but couldn’t select Partey, Xhaka, Holding and Tierney because they’d played the day before. Even if they’d not actually played but had travelled to another country to sit on the bench, they’d still not be ready to play I’m sure.
But that’s the life for an under 23 manager/coach isn’t it? Ten under 23 players are out on loan, Daniel Ballard, Tyreece John-Jules, Mark McGuinness, Harry Clarke, Jordi Osei-Tutu, Zech Medley, Ben Sheaf, Matt Smith, James Olayinka and Joseph Olowu. Does anyone honestly believe Steve Bould and his players would have needed the right result on the final day of the season in order to avoid relegation had they been in the the team? Being without the likes of Folarin Balogun, Miguel Azeez and one or two others who were part of the Europa League campaign, certainly pre Christmas and it’s easy to understand how Steve Bould struggled this season.
Of course younger players need a loan to gain experience just like they need to be involved with the first team when they’re ready but sometimes, it’s not about who goes out of a squad, it’s who comes in to replace them.
It’s easy to sack a manager when things go wrong, but what about the person responsible for the academy? The person who swooped up a few freebies last summer, who thought it wise to deplete an under 23 squad to the extent he did. Is he not accountable for the under 23’s disappointing season too?
What are your thoughts?