Arsenal have completed their summer reshuffle of the coaching staff this week, with the appointment of Pat Holland as the club’s new Under-18’s coach.
After Steve Bould and Neil Banfield were promoted to first-team coaching duty at the end of the season, Arsenal have been looking for experience to fill the voids of reserves and Under-18’s head coaches.
Former Gunner Terry Burton has arrived to work with the reserves, and after a protracted search, I’m told 61-year-old West Ham legend Holland will take charge of the academy team. He has already met the players.
London-born Holland brings with him a wealth of experience. He played 245 times for West Ham between 1969 and 1981, and apart from a brief loan period at Bournemouth, he was a one club man.
In terms of coaching, Holland has experience at both youth and first-team level. He has worked as a youth team coach at Tottenham, but also enjoyed a spell as manager of Leyton Orient.
In recent years, Holland has been working as a chief scout. He spent many years working for Championship side Millwall, before helping MK Dons’ rise as a trusted member of Roberto Di Matteo’s recruitment team.
I’m told Holland is already proving to be a popular figure around the club, and is expected to take charge of Saturday’s academy league opener against Bolton.