John Cross of The Daily Mirror is reporting that Liam Brady, former head of the Arsenal academy set-up, is rejoining the club as an ambassador. Less than two years after leaving the club, Brady has returned with his focus again set on youth football.
Cross reports that Brady will monitor Arsenal's loanees, recruit promising talent in the United Kingdom, and help with player retention.
The move strikes me as strange for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, what must Andreis Jonker, Brady's replacement, think about his predecessor being brought back into the fold? Struggles last year in the academy resulted in a shakeup shown through an aggressive loan policy as well as a number of expensive youth signings. This year, however, the results at the U18, U19, and U21 level have been great so far. The timing of this move seems to indicate some tension in the Arsenal youth set-up. Considering Brady had been in charge for nearly two decades prior, it would not be surprising if Jonker ran into institutional speed bumps when implementing a new modus operandi.
Furthermore, Brady listed a lot of aspects of his old gig that he no longer enjoyed, chief among them being the recruitment of children and the decision to retain a youngster or let him go. Seems odd that the portions of his former job that burnt him out most are the responsibilities he will have in his new role.
Regardless, Brady is a club legend and I'm certainly all more adding to the focus Arsenal give to their youth set-up. It will be interest to watch this situation develop to see if Jonker actually is in any sort of danger.