I’m not a big fan of cliches. There are usually a lot better and more interesting ways to say things you want to say than using a phrase that’s been around for decades if not longer. That said, sometimes, a cliche gets the job done - after all, they’re not widely used for no reason.
The cliche of today? “The only thing that’s constant is change”. That was the first thing that jumped to mind when I read this:
Great scoop by @charles_watts. Hearing (unconfirmed) Burgess was sacked and that the decision was taken shortly after the Europa League final. Meanwhile head of performance Shad Forsythe, who had been close to joining AC Milan, will now remain at Arsenal in elevated position #AFC https://t.co/1HRWCuPB8V— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) June 12, 2019
Yep. It’s yet another shakeup in the front office staff at Arsenal. I am going to preface everything following this sentence by saying that I have literally zero idea what Darren Burgess did at Arsenal - “director of high performance” could describe anything from how to work out more efficiently to how to play while smoking weed, just looking at the job title, and Arsenal, like most clubs, is deliberately opaque about what their coaching staff actually does on the day to day responsibilities level.
The goal dot com article that is linked in that tweet says that Burgess was responsible for “medical, fitness, psychology and performance analysis at the club”, and also did work with the Arsenal Academy. But again, what that means, I have no idea. What I do know is that Burgess was picked by Arsene Wenger, and is now gone - which, given the “he was sacked” language, could mean anything, ranging from “this is just another Wenger hire that’s being purged following the mass exodus of Wenger people last summer” to “he was crap at his job”.
What’s more likely, reading through that article, is that Burgess was finding holding two jobs to be too much. He was working in an “advisory capacity” with an Australian club, and it is possible that his divided attention was affecting his performance (no pun intended) at Arsenal to the point where his bosses probably had no choice but to let him go.
But that’s all speculation, and I honestly have no actual idea what’s going on. What I do know, though, is that in Burgess’ absence, Shad Forsythe is going to have an “elevated role” on the performance staff at the club. What I don’t know, alongside all the other things I don’t know here, is what that means for Arsenal.
I know that performance coaching is becoming, if it isn’t already, one of the main difference makers in high-level sport, and it’s another area where Arsenal need to continually get better, since they aren’t competing financially with their theoretical rivals. Whether this move makes them better, I’m not sure - I just want some stability in the front office, even just for a season or two.