Forget Stan. What are Sven, Raul and Vinai bringing to Arsenal in 2019?

by .

Well, yesterday’s post certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons. I think a lot of people felt that was mostly aimed at Emery. It wasn’t, I think the challenges we have with the club moving forward are about the whole team. A few people screamed that I’d always straight up blame Wenger for what happened on the pitch back in the day, but was affording Emery different treatment. That’s because Emery is a coach, not a demigod.

The biggest concern that all Arsenal fans should have moving into this year is the lasting impact of the Ivan Gazidis signings in the club. He’d been making face-saving decisions all over the football club because his MO was about self-preservation. Don’t rock the boat. Do enough to get you by. Go with the mainstream view of what looks good, never put your neck on the line.

The big question is this: Who will put their neck on the line to move Arsenal forward?

Think about how easy it is to take the job at Arsenal. We have a bigger turnover than Liverpool, one that is about to get bigger, without any real success to talk about. The fans still pay for the season tickets, Adidas are about to pay out a fortune on a new shirt deal, the Premier League gravy train just keeps on rolling on, and we’re doing all this without Champions League football. Incredible.

Stan has two big clubs on his books. Arsenal, arguably one the greatest brands in European football… and the LA Rams, a nothing team that moved from St. Louis. The Kroenke’s invested mega money into the American club. One of their guys is on record as saying something to the tune of ‘we knew we had to invest, because folk from LA aren’t going to pay to watch a substandard product.’

So what did they do? They hired in a bright young innovative coach to lead the team. They’ve made powerful backroom hires. They’re adding big names and excitement to their team sheet. They are making an unbelievable effort to make that team the crown jewel. It’s an absolute investment, because they know that there’s no history there like there is in North London.

Meanwhile, over here, there’s Arsenal. The MO has been keeping the trains running. He will never invest a penny of his own into taking us to the next level because there’s no benefit to him. The big question then becomes this: What is the expectation of his staff?

Will he have Raul and Vinai banging down the door for LA like investment? Or, like we’ve seen with Ivan, will it be a put up and shut up? If the person that runs the show has no desire to dominate, rewards a culture of low risk and obedience, what hope do we have?

Well, the hope goes back to what we spoke about yesterday. We need to accept that we’re tier two. We need to be grateful that at the very least, Stan allows the club to put back in what we earn. We need to try something new. The approach at the moment feels like we’re waiting for a miracle to happen, instead of making our own miracles come to fruition.

This point becomes even more important now David Ornstein confirmed the ‘we’re skint’ intel I shared 6 weeks ago.

We need to make our way back the Champions League. We’re not going to do that hiring in hacks that are past their prime. We’re not going to do that blowing huge amounts of money on players that don’t fit the mold. Again, I ask this question, if the club truly believed in Mesut Ozil, why is Unai Emery alienating him? Not that I disagree, I’ve never thought he was fit for purpose, but what was the football strategy that allowed us to get to that point?

Anyway, the thing to watch for next year is whether the new management are for real. Raul has come from the most prestigious club in the world. A nasty club. A club that does dirty things to get whatever they want. Their wage bill is hideous, almost double that of Manchester City. No wonder they dominate, they can have whoever they want. The manager is almost an irrelevance, even Enrique won the Champions League there. Raul is not a tried and true scrapper like the Dortmund CEO. He’s never had to properly hire a manager before. He hasn’t had to innovate, so what is he going to do at Arsenal to help us out think, scout and perform our much smaller resource pool?

Sven for all intents and purposes was exactly the sort of hire we wanted. In charge of ferreting out some of the roughest diamonds in world football and turning in De Beers profits. We know he has it in him to bring all the boys to the yard, but the question remains is this: What is his remit? I can get on-board with Matty G and Torriera like signings, but what is going on with Gary Cahill and Ever Banega? Are those guys kicking us onto the next level? I highly doubt it, so wouldn’t it be worth investing our limited budget in players that have room to grow like Dortmund did so well? Should we be planning for next season this January, versus making average crap shots with players that really aren’t that great?

Then there’s Vinai. Clearly a very talented man, but he’s 37 years old. He has been gifted an outrageous opp at Arsenal. It is unheard of to give someone that young so much power. But at what cost to Arsenal fans? Is he an Ivan protegé? What did he agree to land the job? Will he have the guts to move us forward, or will he be preaching self-sustaining as a football strategy for the next ten years.

Arsenal need to wake up. They need to focus on a way forward. They need to be bold. The problem statement is simple: how do Arsenal succeed with the resources on offer?

Remember the resources are MASSIVE. 3rd highest net spenders in the league (bigger net spend than Madrid since 2010). 9th largest wage bill in Europe. Growing turnover. We have a huge stadium, mostly full attendance, unreal training facilities and the backdrop of the greatest city in the world. If Atleti, Roma, Juve and Liverpool can make CL finals, so can we. No more excuses. No more mediocrity.

The answer to the problem statement cannot be the direction we’re heading right now. It’s not innovative, it’s not bearing fruit (nor will it), and it’s a very long way off being sustainable.

Happy New Year, enjoy the Fulham game. 🔴⚪️

582 Responses to “Forget Stan. What are Sven, Raul and Vinai bringing to Arsenal in 2019?”

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  1. gambon


    We are just as bad defensively as before…but Emery has sucked the flair and creativity out.

    We are playing like Stoke or Bolton with £50m players.


  2. DaleDaGooner

    Bamford, do we have a creative player in the side? Seems like you have little clue…. Iwobi isn’t your cup of tea, but have some sense

  3. Marko

    And there’s Kolasinac seeing Sessegnon and allowing him to nearly score. So it’s dumb, nervous, scared shitless and shy away from responsibility defenders we have. I’m sure the running commentary is annoying but what I hope I’m highlighting is rather than any real issue of defensive shape or poor tactics is rather just poor individuals who are costing us

  4. Dissenter

    gambon is right to say we are very bad defensively. That’s obvious to anyone who still draws a breath.
    gambon is very fickle and clueless regarding his conclusion that Emery needs to be fired to address the poor defense.

  5. Dream10

    Good goal

    Awful passing from Mustafi.
    Koscielny can’t. Looks awful. He’s finished.

    We have two total shots in 30 minutes.
    A lack of any offensive patterns from us.
    Usually our strength over the years

  6. Globalgunner

    “I’m convinced Mustafi and Xhaka are afraid of the dark. Absolutely scared shitless at times and continuously pass it back to the keeper.”

    Those 2 muppets are even afraid of the light.

    We are so open, Fulham could have scored 3

  7. Bamford10


    Iwobi is fucking gash. Give me a break. It’s true that Emery doesn’t have a lot of creative options, and it’s true that his options aren’t optimal, but I’d still probably try to find a place for Ramsey or Ozil in the side if I were him.

  8. Dissenter

    Ramsey can’t play this month because he’s conferencing with all the big clubs in Europe as we speak about his Bosman move.
    That is if you believe the tabloids

  9. Chika

    Marko was the fool who defended Emery by saying he ain’t a defensive coach, therefore, expecting him to improve our defence is fanciful.

    What a fucking idiot.

  10. China1

    Outside of a well timed run for his goal, this is probably the worst ever xhaka arsenal performance and I don’t say that lightly

    Without torreira he doesn’t even look like he’s played football before

  11. Marko

    Just bad defenders. I swear you get in one proper leader in there and a top quality CB the players trust and you’ll see confidence build in the backline. Nobody trusts Mustafi, Koscielny or Sokratis.

  12. Dissenter

    Un na
    New year’s day games are typically dull because the players are tired and the fans are still sleepy from the night’s celebration.

  13. jasongms

    has there ever been a worse midfielder in the arsenal first 11 than Xhaka, I don’t think so and that’s saying something…

  14. Marko

    Marko was the fool who defended Emery by saying he ain’t a defensive coach, therefore, expecting him to improve our defence is fanciful.

    That’s right. Expecting him to improve shit defenders is fanciful at best. The only way in my opinion we address the defence is by getting in defenders who can defend properly. You look at the defences he had at Valencia and Sevilla and the amount of goals they conceded and then you look at him at PSG with the defenders he inherited like Thiago Silva and Marquinhos and Kimpembe. So yeah for me it’s not going to be Emery who improves our defence it’s going to be Sven and Raul and who they bring in

  15. Dissenter

    El nene will do a better job than Xhaka any this stage
    Rest Torreira and play Elneny, he can’t do any worse.

  16. azed

    Our defense has been poor all season and Emery as coach should shoulder some of the blame but it would be nice to know what he can do about Xhaka’s misplaced passes or Kolasinac sleeping on a cross.

  17. Wenker-wanger

    Iwobi is a good footballer. His end product sometimes isn’t good and I think he needs to look up quicker and see a pass.
    However there aren’t many arsenal players that can receive an awkward ball at speed, control it and beat a man or two.
    I played at county level, I know a footballer when I see one.
    Not saying my opinion is any more valid…just that I really believe some fans don’t seem to appreciate iwobi s strengths on the ball.
    It’s a shame that iwobi just has to have a bad game or two and he is shit….torreira had a bad game at Liverpool and we all agree he certainly isn’t shit.

  18. Un na naai


    Fuck off you melon

    Chelsea won the champions league with Cahill and Bertrand as part of their meanest defence.

    Look at jose’s Defence at Porto. Bunch of nobodies apart from carvalho.

    Look at our defence in 06 champions league or during the 90s. Apart from seaman and Adams they couldn’t get near the england team

    If you really mean that then you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    If you don’t then you’re a snake, serving some bullshit agenda

    He is responsible for this defence. He’s made it worse since he’s joined. It was already awful and he’s made it worse

  19. Batistuta

    Such fickle and over pampered fan base, almost similar to Inter fans over here, overrated sense of entitlement

  20. Dream10

    Maitland Niles is better on the ball than Hector. He can come inside and link with the right sided midfielder and forward.

  21. Wenker-wanger

    @ global…no I wouldn’t take the risk of actually buying iwobi…..but I feel that he could push on and become a very useful and valuable player.

  22. Micheal

    The slow, tippy-tappy build-up is counter-productive. Fulham have all the time in the world to get into shape. Get the ball forward quicker – use the pace and movement of Auba, Laca, AMN and Kola, ffs !

  23. Danny

    January 1, 2019 15:57:00
    Danny , explain….
    If we offered him for free to the other top 6 teams, none of them would take him.

  24. Dissenter

    Lacazette’s first half performance was dismal. It has to be said since he’s been throwing tantrums when pulled off. Iwobi just showed why he’s had more playing time than him.

  25. Danny

    Maitland Niles is better on the ball than Hector.
    Our token englishman, who can’t defend, who can’t cross, exactly what can he do?

  26. Nelson

    I think Xhaka is tired. He also had a knock on his knee. He should be replaced by Elneny.
    Kola’s defense is terrible. The player ran past him before he noticed. They could have scored before us.
    Mustafi’s forward passes go nowhere.
    We started with a high defensive line. We gave up a few chances.
    After the initial 20 minutes, the team starts to play with more confidence.

  27. Freddie Ljungberg

    Lucky we’re only playing Fulham or Xhaka could have been responsible for a couple of goals already.
    I used to think he was terrible under pressure but he’s just terrible. Lost the ball 3 times in dangerous situation just by being sloppy.

  28. Globalgunner

    For me the basis of assessing good players is if you would want him in your team if they were playing for a rival. Rashford, Martial, Sane or Iwobi. Those are the players he has to match up with and he is way below those 3. If your team is full of below par players, then expect below par results.

    Back in the day, who wouldn’t want, Henry, Pires, Ljungberg, Bergkamp in their team?, even SAF would have wanted these players, now its Iwobi is good, he is an ok player.

  29. Batistuta

    We do need to get a least 3 defensive players be it this month or in the Summer, forget about every other position and shore up the defense

  30. Wenker-wanger

    Danny….you could say that about the rest of our. Team then…except auba, Laca guen and torreira….you could say that about many prem players.
    Strangely iwobi looks like being man of the match here.

  31. Chika

    So Marko we shouldn’t expect any defensive improvement whatsoever from Emery until we sign “World Class Defenders” right?

  32. Marko

    Chelsea won the champions league with Cahill and Bertrand as part of their meanest defence.

    Also had Terry, Ivanovic, Luiz, Ashley Cole, Bosingwa and Paulo Ferreira. Had some handy DM’s too. Also Cahill for Chelsea compared to Koscielny for Arsenal was a much better signing

  33. Wenker-wanger

    I will go further…against Liverpool he was one player that could get away from Liverpool’s tight pressing. To shine in that poor arsenal team at anfield really proves a point.

  34. Dissenter

    Emery isn’t using his squad well
    Why all the over-reliance on Torriera. Why not play Elneny in that role today?

  35. Freddie Ljungberg

    For those complaining about the lack of creativity, no shit, we have no creative players.

    For those complaining about our shit defence, no shit, we have shit defenders.
    Compounded by the fact we have no wingers so our fullbacks have to constantly bomb forwards.

    What are you expecting with this garbage squad?

  36. Danny

    January 1, 2019 16:04:54
    I’m pleased you’re happy with him, as he gives the ball away yet again……….

  37. Marko

    So Marko we shouldn’t expect any defensive improvement whatsoever from Emery until we sign “World Class Defenders” right?

    No there should be some improvements but the defence is always going to be shit as long as we have shit defenders. It doesn’t get addressed with the same personnel and hoping a new manager can work wonders. You get me

  38. DaleDaGooner

    Wenger, well said R.E. Iwobi. Again, Iwobi isn’t the Arsenal superstar player, he’s a squad player, sort of like how City has Delph…..would Delph really excite you if he were offered to us? I don’t mean they play same position but just squad profile….

  39. gambon


    I would expect Arsenal to have a better defence than Palace, Brighton, Leicester, West Ham etc.

    I would would not expect us to be allowing the 13th least shots in the PL

  40. Marko

    I will say this though we should absolutely never be seeing Torreira, Xhaka and Guendouzi on the pitch at the same time. No need for that it’s boring

  41. Un na naai

    No terry was out for the final and Ferreira wasn’t palying either
    Bosimgwa wasn’t as good as Bellerin and David Luis is pony. Utter dog shit. Part of the infamous brazilian defence that let 8 goals in v Germany at the World Cup!!!

    Cahill was and is a shadow without terry

    The only reason this lot were able to defeat Bayern was not because they are all work class individuals (lols) but because of their organization and tactical discipline

    You really know so very little about football marko

  42. Wenker-wanger

    I’ve spoken with Leicester fans….I live close by….they said iwobi is no worse than any other arsenal player. They all said our defense has always been shit for 10: years….no surprise there…

  43. jasongms

    On Iwobi,

    Ultimately I don’t think he’s good enough for arsenal, not if we have ambitions of challenging for the title and winning European cups.
    In saying that he does have attributes, obvious physicality, he’s a decent dribbler and he does have a ceiling of sorts.

    but he’s too deficient in so many areas, short passing is off , decision making is average at best and doesn’t have the ability to beat his marker one on one (maybe it’s a confidence thing). Not to mention he doesn’t get enough assists and he doesn’t score.. I think the real issue for him is that he’s not quick over a short distance, which is an absolute necessity to play as a winger.

    Overall I don’t see him as a winger, he’s more of an AM and as an attacking midfielder he’s not good enough.

  44. gambon


    It’s not my job to find a new manager.

    If you tell me that a car is shit, I wouldn’t ask you to design a new one.

    You are getting so angry about any Emery criticism it’s hilarious.

  45. TheLegendaryDB10

    Goal nicely set up! Come on Arsenal. And let’s keep a clean sheet if we can. Would make a good start to the year.

  46. TheLegendaryDB10

    Looks like we are pushing for a third goal. Let’s try and not forget our defensive duties in the process.

  47. Jamie

    Kola is a decent WB, it has to be said. Questionable defending, but solid going forward, nice vision in the box, and a good final ball.

    We need 3 great CBs by the end of the summer window.

  48. gambon

    Iwobi is fine as a squad player.

    He’s probably on 60k pw and home grown.

    Arsenals problem in recent years can be defined as having a first team full of squad players.

  49. Marko

    I would expect Arsenal to have a better defence than Palace, Brighton, Leicester, West Ham etc.

    Palace have scored 17 goals Brighton 22 goals Leicester 25 goals and West Ham 27 compared to our now 44 goals in the premier league I do agree with you but perhaps you’re not offering up the whole picture. I’ve no doubt if we were to perhaps maybe adopt the same mentality some of these teams have we’d probably concede a little less (still have a bad defence mind you) but at the expense of attacking and goals

  50. Wenker-wanger

    @ global yes he certainly has deficiencies, but short passing , focus and decision making can be improved. What he has is an amazing burst of speed with control and he gets crosses in and cutbacks. The nickname iwobinho shows that fans have seen that control with speed, although I think that’s way too much praise…however he will improve and I hope to be discussing that improvement in a few months time.

  51. Un na naai


    Seeing as you mentioned Ashley Cole

    He was converted from a forward into a left back.

    World class or coached???

  52. Dissenter

    ‘It’s not my job to find a new manager.

    Yes we all know that. Talk is cheap.
    You want a manager sacked 6 months into a two-year contract and can’t suggest a replacement that will do better at short notice.
    You ought to audition for a role in the muppet show.

  53. Wenker-wanger

    I would love diving to be criminalised……. Personally whoever dives and proven by video panel should be fined a week’s wage and banned for 3 games…?cut the fckin cheating out.
    Mane, Salah are repeat offenders…shame as I prefer pool to win the prem.

  54. Globalgunner

    Salah gets breathed upon and its a pen. Laca gets turned upside down and its just a coming together…….Ok

  55. jasongms

    Yeah, how is that any different from the two Liverpool pens ?

    Yeah bring on the seventeen-year-old, I want to see this kid in action

  56. Marko

    You are getting so angry about any Emery criticism it’s hilarious.

    I’m not really but all you’re doing the past few days is complain and moan without offering up a single solution or idea. It’s protests and sacking without a thought as to who replaces him. I’m getting the sense with you that if things aren’t going well from the off that we’ll be replacing the manager inside every 6 months. You’re far too hysterical for a grown man. I personally wouldn’t give a shit if he was shit canned in the morning I’ve got no affiliation with a single manager in world football I support Arsenal first and foremost and that’s that. Now I’ve asked you about who we replace him with and you’ve yet to give an answer because you don’t have a single one

  57. Wenker-wanger

    Aftv and in particular kelechi called him iwobinho…. Yeah like I said not my opinion…but a reflection on his early season skills.

  58. useroz

    Always fucking self inflict.

    Spuds, manure, pool, city all go for goals and down let up.

    WE are so fucking elegant and fuck around in our own background dilly dally

    Who fucking started the side and back passes should be shot.

  59. Dissenter

    “Lets be honest here. We really don’t deserve to be winning this. Fulham have had more chances”
    I don’t disagree. They deserve something from the game