Burton departure could signal further changes

Media reports yesterday suggested that Terry Burton will leave his position as Arsenal’s Head of Academy Coaching at the end of the season, with the 61 year old following Liam Brady in departing the club.

Burton was initially appointed as the club’s U21 and Head Development Coach following the promotion of Neil Banfield and Steve Bould to the first-team coaching staff in the summer of 2012. He impressed with his coaching methods, especially in the run to the Semi-Finals of the NextGen Series, but has played a less active part in the development of the youngsters since it was revealed last year that Brady was to leave.

Burton emerged as one of the key candidates to replace Brady, and, despite Steve Gatting taking over his duties as coach of the U21 side, Burton remained at the club, casting a keen eye over the development of the club’s youngsters and continuing to be of use in training sessions.

He was overlooked for the position, however, with the club eventually deciding to appoint current Wolfsburg assistant manager Andries Jonker as Brady’s replacement instead. Burton has subsequently elected to leave the club at the end of the campaign, which is something of a shame given his impressive coaching methods.

It will be especially interesting to see what implications Jonker’s arrival will have on the futures of U21 and U18 coaches Gatting and Carl Laraman, who, despite guiding their respective sides to the latter stages of cup competitions, have struggled for results in league matches.

It is quite possible that Jonker could orchestrate yet another overhaul of the Academy  coaching staff, although not much will be known about the Dutchman’s intentions until he officially starts work on July 1st.




  1. I hope Jonker will bring in our academy his compatriot Dennis Bergkamp as u21 coach.It would be a dream for the youngsters to work with DB10 and knowing that DB has been assistant-coach in Ajax I think he has a lot to give to them…

  2. Don’t be surprised if Levy tries to bring him in at Spurs. A reportedly good coach of ours becoming available is bound to pique his interest.

  3. Not concerned about Burton leaving, the standards of the academy have slipped since wilshere’s group came through. Also Brady’s overall track record was poor. I have heard that our u15-u12 are good though, so I hope that Brady started righting the ship before he left. If not, it’ll be a long time before we start getting players thru.

  4. Burton leaving is a big mistake he’s a very talented coach, when he first joined at the start of last season and in that pre-season I was very impressed by him giving young players a chance. The U21s which he was the coach for at the time were playing very well and he took the U19s to the last four in the NextGen Series narrowly losing to Chelsea.

    Gatting has done reasonably well since taking over the U21s from Burton last season. With Jonker coming in the summer will he change the whole coaching set-up, by bringing in his own coaches?

    1. Knew about Moore, didn’t think Maitland-Niles was in squad. That means we’re without those two, Zelalem and Pleguezuelo for first leg of youth semi. Really leaves us short.

      Not great scheduling from the FA there. I’m still wondering if they’ll change their mind and push it all back a couple of weeks. Can’t see a reason not to. Anyone got an update on whether that match is kicking off at 3 on sat afternoon. Stupid in my opinion to play it immediately after what could be a bad-blooded affair with same senior teams. Surely can’t be at Stamford Bridge as originally planned.

  5. I am pretty sure Jonker will be very good but the academy needs to up their game. Hopefully also loaning players to Holland rather than England league 1,2 and championship. I am really disappointed of the quality of the U18 team. A win means less than the overall play in this level but when you can’t even win, thats when you need to worry.

  6. Terry Burton may have been a very good coach, but his role encompassed more than coaching. It was about giving a football identity/style to all the group ages and make sure that the same high standard applied across the entire academy.
    The threat by the FA of demoting the academy answers the question whether he and Liam Brady failed from that perspective.
    Maybe it is a shame that the academy could not give him back an active coaching role with the reserve or the U21. However we do not know if such offer was made and rejected by Burton.
    Other academy such as Manchester City, Southampton are motoring ahead while AFC academy seems to have rested on its laurel. For example, some academies have better technical drill exercises, better positional awareness (bar Kyle Barkley who does not play, Arsenal has not produced a single premiership defender since Ashley Cole), better tactical preparation (some academies require their youth to learn about different formations), better physical conditioning (a recurrent problem is that our loanees are not lower league match fit).

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