Arsenal head of performance Darren Burgess to depart after club’s dismal end to the season


Arsenal’s head of performance Darren Burgess heads a mini-cull of backroom staff following the club’s failure to qualify for the Champions League.

Sportsmail understands the Gunners have told Burgess his services are no longer required and extended an offer to end his employment with the club.

Elsewhere, it is understood long-serving masseuse Darren Page, who’s worked with the England senior team, has also left the club – a decision sources claim has been taken by Burgess. 

Page, a popular member of the backroom set-up had been at Arsenal since 2009.

Sportsmail revealed last week how manager Unai Emery had launched an end of season inquest into why the team slumped so drastically at the end of the season and it appears Burgess is paying the price for the club’s failure to secure Champions League football.

The Australian, formerly of Liverpool, is still to have his departure officially ratified but that is believed to be a formality.

Burgess arrived at the Emirates at the start of the 2017/18 season, after then chief executive Ivan Gazidis handpicked the performance expert to help galvanise a team that was stuttering under Arsene Wenger.

At the time, the Arsenal hierarchy considered a backroom shake-up which would have left long-term coaches Neil Banfield, Tony Colbert and Gerry Peyton in danger – but Wenger – in a show of strength – sought to protect his trusted aides following their FA Cup win over Chelsea at the end of the 2016-17 season.  

So Gazidis, as an alternative, appointed Burgess – an addition that was agreed by Wenger.

But since then the coach has struggled to assert his authority, particularly during his first season at the club given Wenger’s notorious stranglehold over the footballing operation.

However, last summer following Wenger’s departure, Burgess was central in the decision to axe a number of key members of the legendary manager’s long-serving backroom team.

Sportsmail understands the decision to get rid of lead physio Colin Lewin – who was hugely popular and respected at the club’s London Colney base – particularly irked existing staff and players, who’d grown close to Lewin.

Indeed, training ground sources claim Burgess’ popularity behind the scenes has dwindled this season – with some even privately questioning his methods at the club’s training HQ.

And the decision has now been made for Burgess to leave ahead of next season.


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