Wenger pleased by Jonker Academy appointment


Arsenal have confirmed that Dutch coach Andries Jonker will take over from Liam Brady as the club’s new head of the Academy.

News circulated on Friday night that the 51-year-old, who currently holds a role at Bundesliga side Wolfsburg, was the standout candidate for a position for which the club have been interviewing candidates for quite some time.

Reflecting on the appointment Arsene Wenger took time to thank Liam Brady, who has been in the role since the boss joined in 1996, and spoke warmly of Jonker’s qualities.

“I am very pleased that Andries is joining us. He has a big reputation in the game and was a key part of the team which developed the structures which are now producing such strong young players in Holland.

“I look forward to working with him. I would also like to thank Liam for his work which has been outstanding over many years.”

Ivan Gazidis, who has been leading the hunt for Brady’s successor, added:

“Youth development is a key part of our philosophy at Arsenal and I am delighted that Andries is joining us. He has an outstanding track record in developing and identifying young players and creating systems to bring the best out of them.

“I know he will build on the tremendous work which has been done by Liam and his team over many years.”

Arseblog News welcomes Jonker to the club. We trust he’s good at polishing diamonds…


  1. Hopefully he can bring on the youth players a lot quicker, and help them continue playing the sexy football we all love and enjoy watching. Welcome. COYG

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    • I think that part of the problem in the past is that we’be brought in youth players too quickly and seen them fall to too many injuries. Obviously it’s only speculation, but maybe the likes of Jack and Diaby wouldn’t be so injury-prone if they had been slowly nursed into the team rather than rushed in to fill gaps left due to a parsimonious transfer budget.

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      • That rushing players into the team was caused by our straitened circumstances, not our Youth training policy. Don’t be so quick to blame the people who were doing the best they could within our 8-9 years of financial restrictions.

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      • I’m annoyed with myself for even responding to something this petty in the first place, but I think it’s very likely that was an iphone/ipad autocorrect and not someone confusing “we’re” and “were.”

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        • I felt a desperate need not to comment on any of this… But I failed.

          I do hope Liam Brady can be given some other role at Arsenal. He is Arsenal through-and-through, like Thierry Henry, Pat Rice, George Armstrong.. the list of true Arsenal men goes back 128 years.

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  2. Nice to have someone who knows the Dutch league inside-out and experience in the German league. Brady is an absolute legend though don’t get me wrong

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    • Yep, hopefully he has a few connections and can get some of our youth players some experience in Netherlands or Germany. See how the other half lives, and get a bit of a broadening of their football education, maybe. I’m a great believer in experience. You have to be when you reach my age.

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  3. As a Dutchman, i’m very surprised by this news. Back in Holland the guy is a laughing stock.. There’s little to nothing respect for him in the media here. He failed misserably as a trainer himself, after which he just followed Van Gaal around. Let’s just hope that i’m wrong…

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    • I’ve noticed the Dutch response. But I was thinking, Brady’s done great work with Arsenal but had a dreadful management record beforehand. And vice versa; lots of very able assistants, highly valued at their clubs have then turned out to be awful managers. Some people just aren’t comfortable as leaders and need to shine within a framework. I guess we’ll have to see.

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    • Really? At Bayern Munich he was highly thought of. He stayed after they fired Van Gaal and became interim first team coach until Heynckes arrived. After that he stayed as youth coordinator. Van Gaal and Jonker really set the foundations of the machine that Bayern Munich has become. Failing as a manager doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not fit to be assistand manager or as in this case youth coordinator.

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  4. Andries comes from Amsterdam so should know a thing or two about polishing diamonds! Wecome en het allerbeste Andries.

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    • And I take it did it reward you with an deafening avalanche of Silverware that your PS is still busy cataloguing 18-something months later ;•)

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  5. It’s good to see the continued effort being put back into reinvigorating the academy. I have a soft spot for that part of the club, I love the fact that we have to potential to unearth footballing gems, then raise and mould them into Arsenal’s future crown jewels.

    It needed a new injection, after what felt like half a decade with a stale spell. Now we’re getting back on track with new and exciting youth players, the results to show more regularly, and intention with what appears to be quite experienced personnel.

    The club is looking like it’s not stopping in the near future in it’s overall curve.

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  6. Does anyone think this guy might eventually take over once Wenger retires? This appointment to me has a lot of future planning in more than one sense.

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  7. I pray that Bergkamp and Henry will return to the club for some sort of role, can you imagine the lift in that dressing room if the legends came back?

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  8. Wuuhuu, a signing at last!
    Kidding, but this is good news, let’s hope he helps us bring out the next golden generation so we don’t have to cough up 42.5 million for one of them 😉

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  9. “I look forward to working with him.”

    Since Jonker isn’t starting until July, I’m going to read way to far into that comment and say Arsene is signing the extension.

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  10. For one very strange moment I was under the impression we had hired the Joker to coach the youth team, this is probably better

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  11. Blogs, he will not merely polishing diamonds, but unearthing them from the sea of talents like a hound smells out the Truffels in the Piemontese soil.

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  12. Actually, Arsenal is the top producer of talent in England Ahead of Man Utd on second. A study looked at which Clubs produce the most first team players in the top 5 divisions of Europe currently playing. Barcelona is at the top With 44 players, followed by Lyon and Real Madrid with 31, Rennes with 28 and first PL club Is Arsenal with 27 and Man Utd with 25.

    http://Www.Sportingintelligence.com published this study.

    Hopefully Jonker can boost our talent output Even more and push us to the top of Europe, and not just best in England 🙂 cheers

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