Sven Mislintat raids Dortmund with Sébastien Squillaci like move

by & filed under News Review.

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Reports coming out of Germany today that the club is looking to bolster experience in defence again with the signing of 29-year-old Dortmund centre-back, Sokratis. I can’t say this signing makes me weak at knees, and I’m not really sure he’s adding levels to our game. I keep looking at the signings we’re making through the prism of culture building, versus seeing them purely as elite level talent hires.

The club appear to be looking beyond just the on-the-field dimensions with these names, they’re signing parts that they’re missing from a culture/leadership perspective. Now, it’s pretty clear that the Greek isn’t a world class addition, so he must be bringing something else to the table? Maybe he’s a solid leader, maybe he’s good with young players, maybe he’s a Remi Garde like signing? The more seasoned Frenchman was brought to Arsenal to help the young French players at the club acclimate. He was like a mentor type figure in a largely English setup.

The Greek is he looks every inch like we’ve signed Squillaci MKII. He’s bit of a journeyman, he’ll be 30 by the start of the season, he’s being signed as an experienced stop gap.

It’s very hard for players to adapt to the rigours of the Premier League, especially when they’ve come over from a slower league with a winter break. The Greek is a ball playing defender who was listed as one of the best in the Bundesliga in January 2017 by Kicker. Tuchel liked him because he could play the ball and extinguish problems early (a bit like peak Koscielny would do), so it’s clear Arsenal are opting for a technical defender who can help us play out of the back, I’d also say they fear that Koscielny won’t be back for quite a while.

The comparison to old Seb reads unfair, but ultimately, he was a good player who’d played a CL final and for a top France team 21 times. One that was used to playing in proper systems and failed because Arsene didn’t protect defenders.

“You can see that from before my time and after my time. The style of play was a bit like Spain’s. It was very open, and often we found ourselves defending in the middle one on one with the opposition attackers. It was never easy. It was very attacking. But that was the club’s philosophy.

“I talked about it with coach Wenger. He told me, ‘I know it’s difficult, but I want us to play like this, I want the attacking players to have more freedom and less defensive work’.”

Emery is going to give everyone a chance to survive at Arsenal, because he’ll give the defence more structure and purpose, and he’ll also make sure the rest of the team is working for them. The setup might become more than the sum of its parts under the new regime.

Also, when you read around the background of the player, he has a lot of very good press. He’s played under Klopp, Tuchel and Allegri. So he knows how to play in a fluid system. He was also chosen to be the captain of Athens at 19 years old, before being picked out as a bit of a warrior at Dortmund. This extract from the Bundesliga magazine was also pretty hopeful.

Though he did not fully establish himself as first-choice until Thomas Tuchel’s arrival in 2015, his first two campaigns with Die Schwarzgelben still brought 43 starts and a formidable 66 percent of challenges won. His promotion came at the expense of Subotic, and since the 2016 departure of Hummels for Bayern, Sokratis has been the undisputed general of Dortmund’s rearguard action, a billing he has lived up to famously.

His 69 percent ‘challenges won’ ratio this season has been a major part in helping BVB enjoy a clean sheet tally in double figures, an admirable achievement given the gung-ho nature of his team, particularly under Peter Bosz. In the top 10 for touches this season — level with Naldo and just behind Hummels — Sokratis’ 90 percent pass completion means he is just as important in getting his own side moving forward as he is in stopping BVB’s rivals doing the same. And it is not just because referees fear writing his full name — Sokratis Papastathopoulos — that he has received just three five cards this season as his play includes more finesse than his nightclub doorman 6’1″ frame would suggest.

If we’re bringing in a younger player to bring a bit of wow (Caglar Soyuncu), then I can live with this signing. I just hope the extent of Diamond Eyes talent isn’t rooting out deals from Dortmund. It looks like comfort behaviour or a lack confidence in new decisions. We’ve signed Auba, Mikki and likely Sokratis. Even Mavrapanos was a signing he identifiued at his old club. Time to remove ourselves from the soft teet of the German club and move in on a new chapter…

UNLESS THAT NEW CHAPTER INVOLVES DEMBELE.

So far it seems we’re getting our less than spectacular signings out the way first. Lichensteiner and Sokratis are squad filler, versus players we’re going to truly build around, but if they have the right attitude, combined with a fighting spirit, it certainly gives us a little more balance at the back experience wise.

Also, regardless of what you think of the quality of the names, we’re doing business quickly for once. I don’t think we’ll be looking at our squad at the end of July wondering what the f*cking going on. We have a plan, we’re going hard at it, and there will be no excuses centred around the terrors of money and modern football come the start of the season.

Hopefully, Sven brings a little more creativity to some of the additional signings.

340 Responses to “Sven Mislintat raids Dortmund with Sébastien Squillaci like move”

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  1. Marko

    I’d much rather Arsenal buy what they need for Emery than try and impress numpties like you with flash names.

    We need a DM though and that’s my point arguably the best available one was just signed by someone else.

  2. Ankit_gooner

    Emery won’t even be getting much of a chance to show how good/bad he is,our recruitment will affect him negatively.SIgning 29 yr old and above players who are in decline when the club desperately needs a rebuild.Post era wenger is going to be much worse.

  3. Guns of Sf

    Sokratis might have a good year or 2. I agree that we need a younger rebuild. Im on about Nzonzi as he has Emery experience and will not break our budget. Its a stop gap measure to help the team build . A good first step. He also has prem exp.

  4. Guns of Sf

    liverpool just made the CL final and got beat. Today they sign 2 players.
    Talk bout being prepared.
    We exited a few weeks back. Come on…
    Too fucking slow for me. A main target should have been bought by now. It we have 70M fuck me…. im getting the one player asap that we need. Possibly 2.
    Sokratis is sounding more confusing. I know the team thinks we need more “Experience in defense, but you dont need a 34 or 29 year old for that all the time. I also am worried we are going to have to address this same problem years moving forward. It needs to be addressed now. younger top class players…. especially in Defense

  5. Dissenter

    From the mirror
    ‘Jose Mourinho fears Gareth Bale would cost a staggering £335million to sign from Real Madrid.

    The freshly-crowned European champions are making it clear they would want an incredible £200m for Bale and the Welsh superstar — whose two goals, one a stunning bicycle kick, beat Liverpool in Saturday’s final — is on £650,000-a-week at the Bernabeu.

    Poor united. They really should’ve let City take Alexis and kept all the money for Gareth Bale. Even they can’t afford Bale.
    It c an’t be true that he earns 650k weekly.

  6. Guns of Sf

    Bales best days are behind him. He will get crocked in the EPL again.
    United have Sanchez to figure out…. he has another bad season and I can see him being sold.

  7. Emiratesstroller

    The real question which needs to be asked of Kroenke and the current management is are the club going for short term solutions by bringing in players like Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan and possibly Sokratis all mature players who were 28/29 at point of transfer or does the club go for acquisitions in the 23-26 age group with better long term potential?

    The latter is the route that most of our competitors in EPL have adopted.

    What does concern me is that Liverpool have recruited two young defensive/
    central midfielders at moderate transfer fees who are the type of players Arsenal should be recruiting.

    Liverpool may have some pedigree, but realistically Arsenal with the right
    management in recent years should have been more than capable of competing with them financially.

    Clearly that has not been the case and I think that we will find it increasingly difficult to break into top 4 unless our transfer budget is increased dramatically. The two Manchester clubs and Liverpool are clearly well ahead of us in
    the player acquisition stakes.

  8. Guns of SF

    That’s what the frustrating part is is that we had the resources to go after those players but we did not .then we try to do this late bid to get it over the line which is so typical Arsene Wenger

  9. Dissenter

    Emirates,
    “Liverpool may have some pedigree, but realistically Arsenal with the right
    management in recent years should have been more than capable of competing with them financially”
    This saith the sage of Legrove who actively advocated that we keep Sanchez and Ozil against their wills.
    Liverpool are still spending the proceeds of their Coutinho sale.
    We are paying for out poor planning under Wenger. Not buying good talent, being insular in scouting, overpaying dross and not being decisive in selling players who refuse to extend contracts.

  10. Emiratesstroller

    Dissenter

    The issue is not “management and retention” of current players, but the acquisition of new players.

    You do not sell your best players unless you replace them with an upgrade.

  11. Bishop

    It’s beginning to show how much damage Wenger did.
    We have had no real good players in sensitive positions for too long. Goalkeeper[Cech was a fluke but ended up being shit], Defedner to really compliment Lolo, DM. We have good attackers but even now no real winger.

    This just shows why we have been dogshit cos we’ve had no real spine lately.

  12. Emiratesstroller

    Dissenter

    The real problem at Arsenal was not so much keeping players against their will, but the lack of ambition and failure to improve the team by Wenger and his team of coaches.

    Also as one competing manager pointed out recently “the slowness” of Arsenal’s transfer negotiations, which resulted too often in losing out to more proactive clubs.

  13. mysticleaves

    Emirates

    in that case you should start pining for Usmanov who you have a low opinion of. We spend what we get under Kroenke remember?

  14. Emiratesstroller

    mysticleaves

    I am certainly not pining over Usmanov. Arsenal does not need another Roger
    Levitt situation.

  15. Emiratesstroller

    Usmanov may well find himself in a similar situation to Abramovich with potential delay or rejection of visa application.

    The difference is that Abramovich has now secured Israeli nationality, which now allows him to enter UK on short term basis up to 6 months without visa.

    Usmanov does not have that opportunity and for the record is prevented from entering the USA.

  16. TonyD

    ES
    “You do not sell your best players unless you replace them with an upgrade.”

    Look how that worked out for us!

    We should have sold both Sanchez & Ozil when we first realised that they were not going to be renewing their contracts, then we would have had Coutinho money to spend.

    So far I’m not impressed with the Ivan, Sven & Raul show (the latter 2 who were fired from their last jobs) when you compare them to their Liverpool counterparts.

    I’m not swooning here, just royally pissed off.

    If the incoming manager was never going to have a real say in transfers, the above should be bringing in players for the future, that’s what rebuilding is all about.

    It just smacks of the past with the club trying to spend just enough to keep the money rolling in and just maybe get CL qualification for the money it brings.

    As much as I understand the thought process of buying the 2 aging defenders, I think they will need too long to adjust to the speed of the PL and will be further past their sell by date when they have bedded in.

    People here talk about buying them for their experience to help younger players, but we have coaches for that.

    I really hope Emery realises what he’s up against with the task at hand, especially understanding how to deal with Mr. Lip Service Ivan.

    As I’ve said before Ivan is a lawyer and you can see how good he is at being a lawyer with past and current contract turmoil we have and the money we’ve lost because of it.

    As a CEO, well His sanctioning Ozil a club, financially crippling contract does not give any confidence for the future of the club hierarchy.

    Ivan has been punching above his weight for far too long, but at least one more knock down should be His last, and we can get a real football man as CEO with successful managerial experience at the top level of PL football or conglomerate.

    I’m fully behind Emery and will wait to see what he can bring over the next season, but I worry about the shackles Ivan, Sven and Raul are going to hold him back with.

    At least SK has sanctioned more money and we should be able to add at least £70million to the war chest.

    I think June and July are going to be very frustrating months for many of us – more for the waiting to see than what Emery wants to do and the players we get landed with.

    For me excitement is being outweighed by trepidation.

    Welcome back CA, good to read your posts again.

  17. Guns of SF

    Always nice to have your home team do well! congrats to my golden state warriors making the nba finals 4’years in a row!
    Go dubs!

  18. Moray

    Nice post, Tony. The goings on behind the scenes at the club have been opaque at best these last few years. We can only look at what has been happening on the pitch and financially, and both have been underwhelming.

    Ivan now has the club on his shoulders, so he will now live or die by what we achieve over the next couple of seasons.

    I think most people are underestimating the work needed with the squad after the mess Wenger left. Our most remunerated player is at best flaky and unreliable, our midfield shockingly lame and our defence Championship material. As for our goalkeepers, both need replaced.

    On top of that, our entire squad need properly coached and tactics are something they pick up at the checkout. Our young players like Bellerin and Chambers (and Ox before them) are over confident but unreliable and again poorly coached.

    We are also now realising the damage done by our poor transfer policy over the last decade. In a rising market, we overpaid for mediocre young talent like Chambers, we also overpaid for mediocre journeymen like Xhaka and Mustafi. We didn’t play it clever like Chelski, Liverpool and even the Spuds. As a result we have very little in the way of assets to release funds for the new manager. Our culture of overpaying on salaries also means that those assets we do have are unlikely to fetch anything near their value if we did sell them.

    I think the tactics and strategy Emery pitched to Ivan will start to become clear over the coming months, though the signing of mature, experienced players does make some sense, particularly considering the finite nature of our available transfer kitty and the urgent need to get back into the CL places (which provides financial rewards as well as the increased attractiveness of the club for new signings). If one looks at the average age of our first XV, together with the long term building job needed to make us competitive again, then there are concerns. I hope there will be more investment coming in the younger bracket too, to provide the pipeline of talent we need. This will show the true value of our head scout and DoF in the longer term. Let’s just hope a) the club find the cash we desperately need to fix the spine b) We get back in the CL as quickly as possible and c) The manager can make something of this hodge podge he has inherited.

    Wenger should not be commemorated by the club after leaving us in this shape. Trepidatious excitement is normal at this time.

    And, Pedro, “acclimate” really? Remember your roots…a word so horrible it sounds like someone taking a shit.

  19. Aubergine14

    Carts

    ‘I’d have to disagree on Lo Celso being the most attacking from MF. Imo, that person was Draxler.’

    Draxler was nowhere near a 1st choice this year. He rarely played and had to settle for been a sub.

  20. Aubergine14

    Guns of shit crack

    ‘just read that Nzonzi is 6’5
    Damn’

    You read that he’s 6’5? Haven’t you got eyes or seen him play? Where have you been? He fucking massive.

  21. Steiner

    Nothing wrong with these signings, they are very astute.
    Both players instantly add experience and a solid back line.
    Lichtenstein will be a mentor and cover for Belerin, Sokratis is the mentor for Dinos, and possibly Soyuncu, if he signs.
    A 6’2″ and 6’3″ CB pairing mentored by an old pro and refined by Emery.
    This is a calculated plan to progress our young players and give them years of experience.
    This is a wonder move for the club.

  22. Pierre

    Though on paper the Liverpool signings look decent, I feel that we have been here many times previously when other teams have made signings and you get the usual Posters on here building up teams like spurs when they used the bale money and bought a pile of crap, man Utd buying Di Maria, de pay, martial, Shaw, fellaini… Flopped…… Liverpool when they spent the saurez money…. Flopped.

    Let’s wait and see… To me, it’s the teams that have a bottomless pit of money who will always succeed because they can afford to make mistakes in the transfer market.. Over the years Chelsea and City have made many mistakes in the transfer market but they just brush them aside and go and spend another 50+ million without a second thought… Chelsea have reduced their spending but in recent years have still reaped the benefit of stockpiling players and selling them on to bring in new players and though they have made mistakes in selling de bruyne, Lukaku and salah it hasn’t stopped them competing.

    Liverpool, spurs and Arsenal are basically in the same position in that they are on the 2nd tier financially when recruiting…. Liverpool are using the Coutinho money to find their rebuild otherwise they wouldn’t be able to spend 75 million on Van Dyke… Spurs have had many academy players come through which have helped the rebuild plus a few decent signings but they really cant afford to make too many mistakes in the transfer market.. Jansen and llorente are failures but they were not top end of the market signings.
    Arsenal have at last acquired a very good attacking third, not since Van persie and ade have we had such a potent goal threat.
    It remains to be seen how much money we have to spend on our midfield but again, we are in a position where we can’t really make any mistakes in the market unlike city and united… It looks to me like we are going for the experienced safe options in defence which is fair enough but it will probably be the midfield area where we spend big…. Nzonzi (despite his age) has always been my choice and maybe try and nick wanyama from spurs as he seems to have fallen out of favour with Pochettino and could be on his way out of the club.

  23. Dream10

    Pierre

    Our lack of sales is coming bite us in the backside. Its something we always did well. Could have sold Alexis for ~80m in summer of 2016, got decent fees for Ox, Jack in same summer. The Chilean is a very good player, but he wasn’t going to win us the title. The two English we’re fringe players for us. Imagine recouping twice the Chamberlain fee Pool paid last summer for the both of them? That would have given us 150m to spend. I know it’s only a couple of yrs ago, but that was big money back then.

  24. Chika

    Dysentery

    “Can you imagine if the manager were …Mikel Arteta strutting around London Colney with Pep’s blessings?”

    But we didn’t, give it a rest dude. You were the same idiot you claimed no top coach would agree to work with the ‘untested/inexperienced’ trio of Ivan, Sven and Raul. LoL

  25. Chika

    We now have sleeves sponsor which is more money for the club but some clueless bitches are moaning they don’t find “Visit Rwanda” fancy enough. Oh dear!

  26. Emiratesstroller

    Tony D

    I cannot disagree with concerns about the age of players being recruited, because I expressed similar concerns in January with recruitment of two players aged 28 and 29 respectively who will have no resale value.

    However, I accepted at the time that Arsenal were over a barrel last season with 4 players leaving potentially in summer on Bosman and we had little
    option in the matter.

    The current negotiations for Sokratis and Lichtensteiner do concern me because we are recruiting again players with no resale value in contrast to most
    of our competitors who are buying younger players.

    The Fabinho story raises three issues for me. Firstly it suggests that Arsenal’s
    budget is not limited to £50 million net. Second why has the club left it until
    last minute to try and buy him and thirdly we are once again losing out to one
    of our competitors in transfer market.

    The real concern is actually highlighted by Transfermarket who have just completed revaluations for players and clubs. Our squad is now valued well
    below that of the top 5 teams in the EPL and that is now a reflection of our
    current status.

    If we are going to close the gap Arsenal do need to invest properly in the team
    this summer. The minimum budget should be at least £100 million and any additional purchases apart from Sokratis needs to be on players who are likely to be long term additions in 23-26 age group.

    The additional £50 million should be available from new sponsorship [£20 million], surplus from sales made last season [£40 million], further sales [£20 million] and any additional money needed from bank balance which is still over
    £100 million.

    This may result in a one off trading loss, but an absolute necessity if we are to close the gap.

  27. Emiratesstroller

    To clarify the monies which I believe are available.

    1. Lacazette was covered last summer by our annual sponsorship budget.
    2. We sold players in last financial period for approximately £108 million and
    spent just under £60 million on Aubameyang and Mavropanos. That leaves
    around £40 million.
    3. Our commercial sponsorship from Emirates and new sleeve sponsor adds
    around £20 million per year to club revenues.

  28. Pierre

    Dream 10
    I can see what you’re getting at but your figures are way off.

    Getting over 40 million for ox was good business, getting 80 million for him was not plausible.
    Jack, because of his injuries, maybe 10 million we could have got for him.
    Only time will tell but the sanchez /mihkatarhan deal may prove to be a great swap for us.. Admittedly we could have received a big fee for sanchez,maybe 60 million, but we would have still had to replace him with a big signing… Mkhitarayan may prove to be a great signing, I like him a lot.. Play him as the CAM and he will give you goals, assists and do his fair share of defensive work plus he is very good at at transformation from defence to attack and rarely takes the easy option.

  29. Terraloon

    Pierre
    Interesting post at 7.44am.
    I started to draughtba comment yesterday and couldn’t get the wording to reflect my thoughts your post for me near enough hits the nail on the head.
    The only point I would make is that it’s a bit of a myth to suggest that Spurs have numbers of academy products in their first team , indeed last season by my reconning that had just 3 academy players feature in league games. Kane who started 35 games, Winks, 9 and Walker Davis 2. Some would claim the likes of Danny Rose were academy products but he only joined them at age 17 from Leeds

  30. Carts

    Aubergine

    Draxler made about the same appearances as Lo Celso did.

    If we’re to say that then the next question is who played as the more attacking player from the 3man midfielders?

  31. Pierre

    Dream 10
    “Our lack of sales is coming bite us in the backside. Its something we always did well”

    Our lack of sale have been very poor for 6/7 years that is why our net spend looks so poor…. Spurs, Liverpool and Chelsea I believe have spent more but their net spend is lower due to out going transfer fees.

    Only time will tell who is to blame for the poor transfer activity and contract negotiations….
    If Wenger was allowed all the power regarding transfer and negotiations the blame should still party lie with the owner /board give for allowing Wenger to have so much power….
    Maybe they thought he still had the midas touch as he had in the early years with his dealings… Once rvp, nasri, ces, ade were sold, that was it regarding outgoings.

  32. Carts

    Good post, Tony.

    You raised some valid points there.

    Similarly to you, fully behind Emery – just hope our transfer approach isn’t being considered using a broader perspective

  33. Receding hairline

    Once I saw the fabinho thing I knew some on here will find a way to moan about it.

    Yea Liverpool are signing players…good for them. Just take your eyes off the fence and focus on what is happening here in our team. If at the end of the season you do not feel any real progress has been made..and yes the word is progress not trophies.. Liverpool who you admire have not won any either nor has Spurs…then you can moan.

    Fabinho is not the only midfielder in world football. We can always sign others. Kante didn’t arrive in this league with any fanfare.

  34. Pierre

    Terraloon
    You’re right… Kyle walker, dier, deli Alli, Rose all arrived at the club as teenagers so spurs must have had a very good scouting system at that time…. Pochettino was fortunate that someone before him had put the wheels in motion though I will say that Pochettino deserves some credit for his part in developing those players.

  35. Emiratesstroller

    Pierre

    As I wrote earlier today are Arsenal going for short term solutions by bringing
    in players like Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan, Sokratis and Lichtensteiner who are
    all good player, but with limited shelf life and no resale value beyond current
    contract.

    Or do you buy players who have proven themselves in the age group 23-26
    and will be improvable and have a resale value?

    Personally I am not enthusiastic in spending mega bucks on teenagers. There
    are very few who justify the transfer fee some clubs are prepared to pay. It
    is often pure speculation.

    I do think that Messrs Gazidis, Sanllehi and Mislintat made the right decisions
    in January, but it remains to be see whether they are successful this summer.

  36. Cesc Appeal

    The links to players like Praet and Forsberg are interesting.

    Clearly from our efforts at stealing Fabinho we want a CDM, and Seri and Pellegrini also are not really creative types in the same way as Praet and Forsberg, so is there something big happening in terms of an outgoing that we don’t know about?

    Mkhitaryan has talked up Emery and seems an Emery player, could it be Ozil then leaving and a reshaping of the team?

    I want to see how Ramsey does under Emery, but losing Ozil would be great.

  37. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Can’t see the logic in signing many oap s

    Bit of a desperate move imo

    Still tho to early to judge .

    I. Sure there’s a plan

  38. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Cesc

    Would the club know how many teams were intrestered in ozil when his previous contract was coming to an end…

    So if they signed him up on massive contract they would know if he was sellable

    Personally I can’t see anyone paying big money first for him an then his wages

    It’s a dream but he will stay

  39. Do One Gambon

    Bit late… Been out of wifi on hold.

    Anyways how can you call sokratis ‘bit of s journeyman’ when he’s been at Dortmund for about 8 years?…

    Sort it out pedders