Dan bounces back to land elite Arsenal coaching role

Dan Micciche says spell as MK Dons manager has made him a better coach.

Photo taken by MK Dons

Dan Micciche insists his three-month spell as MK Dons manager last season will stand him in good stead for his new job as head coach of Arsenal Under 15s.

The 39-year-old had been weighing up a number of job offers but opted to join Per Mertesacker’s staff at the Gunners’ academy due to the size of the club and the huge potential of Arsenal’s elite youth programme.

Dan was nominated for the League One manager of the month award in March after replacing Robbie Neilson in the Dons’ hot-seat in January for his first managerial role.

But he was dismissed in April as the injury-hit Dons – who were a lowly 21st when Dan joined – were unable to escape relegation without the likes of Alex Gilbey and Joe Walsh available for long spells.

And Dan believes the baptism of fire he faced in management will serve him well in his new job.

The former England, Spurs and MK Dons youth coach said: “The experience I had with the first team will stand me in good stead going back into youth coaching at Arsenal because I have a broader perspective now.

“I’ve got more understanding of what managers want, the demands physically of playing every Saturday and Tuesday and the information the players have to be able to take on board. I’m a better coach now than I was 12 months ago.”

The Broughton resident still looks back on his time at the Dons with fondness. He said: “Wherever my coaching career takes me, I’ll never forget the opportunity and grounding given to me at MK Dons within the academy and then first team environment.

“Although we didn’t get the points our performances deserved, I’m grateful to still have a lot of friends at the club and I appreciate the support I was given and continue to receive from the fans.”

Dan, who starts his new role on January 1st, joked that news of his move was difficult to break to his protégé Dele Alli, who plays for arch rivals Tottenham.

He said: “I’ve had a bit of banter with Dele about it. I think that relationship is obviously ruined now!”

This feature was published in the January 2019 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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