I don’t really want to talk about Spurs beating my German team, so let’s get knee deep in the Technical Director role that is open at Arsenal.
As I mentioned yesterday, I truly hope the execs approach this role with an open mind. We were supposed to move into a new era of smarts when Wenger left. Proper search and select, rigorous interview processes and smart decisions based on the needs of the club.
Arsenal did well at this with the vacant manager role, but I think they slipped at the last minute with Emery. Firstly, he was a late entrant, so the club wouldn’t have done due diligence. Secondly, I have my doubts we vetted his backroom team, and now we’re shipping in more of his mates. Great if he’s the next Arsene Wenger, not so great if things don’t evolve.
That’s why the idea of Monchi is a little worrying. Sure, he’s a sexy signing, but is he the best on offer? Who knows. I just hope Arsenal do a deeper dive than a browse of Emery’s WhatsApp contacts list before we invest in a hire that could change the face of the club for the next decade.
I don’t have the job spec for the technical director, but I assume it’s a powerful position that requires a broad understanding of many different disciplines that go into making a football club tick. It’s basically the Chief Operations Officer role of the football side of the business, with Raul as the CEO.
The name doesn’t have to be explayer, it doesn’t have to be a chief scout, but I don’t know the industry well enough to talk about non-footballing folk that could do it, so I’ll mostly be running profiles on people at clubs doing interesting things.
Andrea Berta – Atletico Madrid
His start was at Parma, then Genoa where he gained an education in scouting. This area is the background of most of the names that would look to move into a technical role. He moved to Atletico in 2013 to look after international scouting, he then moved into the technical side of things before taking over the Sports Management role in 2017 where he looked after 5 groups: the first team’s coaching staff, assistants of the coaching staff, the first team’s area of coordination, Atlético de Madrid B and the scouting and analysis team (I think this is close to what the Arsenal role will look like).
He’s had quite a ride if you look at his numbers from 2013-14 season. The club has finished in the top 3 every season, finishing 2nd once and winning the league in 2013-14, they’ve averaged 84.2 points a season, conceding 24.2 (avg) goals, as well as dropping 67 goals (avg). They’ve been in 2 Champions League finals which they lost, won a UEFA Super Copa twice, and triumphed in the Europa League last season at our expense. Obviously, a lot of that goes to the managers credit, but the reason I mention this is because Atleti are not a big club and they’ve been brutalised in the transfer market with big names leaving on the regular.
From an outlay perspective, they have achieved all of the above on an average spend of 13m euros a season. Their total net spend since 2013 is 91m euros. They have spent 603m and recouped 512m. Think about that number for just a second…
Berta has spent net £79m since 2012.
Arsenal spent £73m in one summer.
Some highlights in that time are Mr Griezmann for 30m euros, Oblak for 16m euros from Benfica. Even the flops are good, Jackson Martinez for 37m, sold for 42m to China!
Think of the players they’ve had to deal with Losing. Falcao, Alderweirald, Diego Costa, Turan, Mandzukic… it never affects them. I mean, in the sense that they compete at the highest level. Hard to outmuscle Barca and Madrid every year.
Even their wage bill is low. In 2017 they were at £156m. Ours was £199m in the same year and we finished 5th. They finished 3rd and made the UCL semi-final.
Atleti are just a consistent flow of great players in and out. Every time you think it’s over, they pull in another gem. The Atleti story is all the more incredible because it all happened under the backdrop of them moving stadium for the 2017-18 season.
Back to Berta, the man knows how to work with a top manager. Apparently, Simeone was very upset when it was rumoured he was off to United. It’s a small thing, but remember Sven was banned from the training ground by the now PSG manager.
It hasn’t all been gravy, Atleti were dinged with a transfer ban for making illegal approaches for academy kids, but be real, we have Huss Fahmy from Team Sky and Raul wasn’t exactly nowhere near that Neymar deal. Also worth remembering a technical director sets the tone for theb football, and Atleti isn’t exactly joga bonito
Still, he’d suit Raul, he’s very chummy with the super agents, and interestingly for Arsenal, he has a real edge in the South American market. Somewhere we’ve struggled, and a market that will likely open up post-Brexit.
He’s hot property, but the sort of talent that can really change the mindset of the club. PSG, United, Milan and Inter have all tapped him for his services, but he’s resisted so far. At 47, he’s still very young, but there’s surely a move in him at some point. There are rumours that the salary to move him is £12.2m a year (£234k a week)… I know that’s PSG money, but it shows the value the footballing world thinks this man brings.
… and let’s be real, where better than London to test your mettle (and spend those pound notes)?
Arsenal truly would be remiss not to interview this man. He operates at an elite level on less than half the wage bill of Barca and Madrid. He turns a profit on terrible players. He has an incredible eye for talent. He can work with sauce drenched managers. He looks like he’d steal your girlfriend if you stepped away from the bar. He could take us back to the top.
Right, that’s me done.
Arsenal vs Bate this evening. No Ozil or Ramsey. Let’s talk about that tomorrow.
Happy Valentine’s day xxx