Arsenal to release head goalkeeping coach, replacement already at club

Arsenal have reportedly told Andy Woodman that he can leave the club in the summer even though they are interested in signing his son.

Andy Woodman is Arsenal’s head of goalkeeping but is out of contract in the summer.

According to a report on Football Insider, Woodman has been told that his Arsenal contract won’t be renewed at the end of the current campaign. Their source informs them this is due to “the growing Spanish influence at the club and on the coaching staff.”

Woodman was put in charge of the goalkeeping department in 2018 when Gerry Peyton left the club. Inaki Cana Pavon then joined in 2019 and it seems his relationship with Mikel Arteta could be pivotal in the decisions being made.

“When it comes down to the goalkeeper, he [Cana] has a big say on how we are going to implement our methodology,” Arteta said in September. “How we are going to train them and how we are going to treat the goalkeeping position in the short, medium and long term.

“Obviously at the end it will be me who makes the decision [who to buy]. But is very important that the people around me, who have on many occasions a much clearer criteria and specificity than me, that I really listen to them and try to follow what their feelings are.

“I have big faith in Inaki as I do with the rest of the staff that are here.”

Arsenal signed Cana from Brentford. He has previously worked for Barcelona’s academy and set up a goalkeeping academy of his own in Spain.

Cana was mainly responsible for Arsenal signing Alex Runarsson, currently sidelined with a knee injury much to the relief of Arsenal fans everywhere.

The coach worked with the keeper when they were both in Denmark and said in 2017 about Runarsson, “As soon as he arrived at the club I saw his potential.

“We must not forget that he is only 22 years old (he turned 26 in February 2021) and that he still has a lot of room for improvement, he is a goalkeeper who will have a great future.”

Cana certainly wasn’t wrong about that as Runarsson is now at Arsenal, with a five-year contract in his pocket despite looking severely out of his depth on the few occasions he’s been called upon.

Freddie Woodman, meanwhile, is Andy’s son and, while a Newcastle player, is currently on loan with Swansea. Arsenal were heavily linked with him during the January window and it is rumoured they are considering a move for him in the summer with Runarsson possibly on his way out of the club if Arsenal can find a buyer.

Woodman has kept 17 cleansheets in his 29 league games (and has only conceded 18) while in total he has 18 cleansheets in 33 games (24 conceded) and we know Arsenal are looking to make changes this summer.

Whether that means signing Mat Ryan on a permanent deal or looking elsewhere, it remains to be seen.

Getting rid of Woodman’s dad, however, is unlikely to do much to help Arsenal’s case.

Odisha FC hire Gerry Peyton as head coach

At the start of February, Indian Super League club Odisha FC announced the hiring of former Arsenal goalkeeper coach Gerry Peyton as their Interim Head Coach.

Odisha FC announced at the start of February 2021 that Gerry Peyton, former Arsenal goalkeeper coach and Assistant Coach at the Indian Super League club until recently, would take over as Interim Head Coach until the end of the current season.

Peyton worked at Arsenal from 2003 to 2018, though he was never particularly popular with the fans. When you look at some of the club’s goalkeepers during that time and the way they progressed (or didn’t), that’s not exactly surprising.

Sadly, with an average of just 0.25 points from his four games in charge so far, he doesn’t seem to be fairing any better in management.

“I have agreed to become the Odisha FC Interim Head Coach for the rest of the games, we have six games left,” Peyton said. “I am going to go with a lot of hard work that’s been done already by myself and Stuart (Baxter).

“I am going to carry on and try and win as many games as possible with the young players, with the team that we have, and the way we have been playing. My job is to make sure that we show fight, resolve, and pride every time we step onto that pitch.

“Hopefully, we can give the fans a lot of good things to be proud of as we have been grateful for their support so far.”

The club sacked former Head Coach Stuart Baxter after he made offensive comments in a post match interview. Baxter said “one of my players would have to rape someone or get raped himself if he was going to get a penalty”.

Odisha issued a swift condemnation of the comments and announced his termination with immediate effect the next day.

We’ll see whether Peyton does enough to get the coaching job on a permanent basis after the season is over. So far, with Odisha rooted to the bottom of the Indian Super League with nine points from 19 games and some 12 points from the two teams immediately above them, it’s not looking great for Peyton.

The 11-team league finishes in March but does not have promotion or relegation.

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