Arsenal do a Technical Director madness

by .

Well, my plans to cover a wide range of potential Technical Directors in my profile series appears to have come to an end. All of the hot journalists in the Arsenal sphere are running strong with the story that Raul has offered Monchi the Technical Director role at the club with a view to him joining at the end of June.

This is huge news. Monchi represents more than just an administrative hire, he is the poster child of the new era of Raul Sanllehi. This is the exBarca man’s big bet for the next 5 years. This is the make or break move as he tries to acquire more power and authority at Arsenal football club. This is his attempt at an LA Rams roll of the dice.

Folks, this is Hollywood glamour and it’s making me frisky.

No one really knows what the role entails at the minute, but one would expect all of the major footballing functions within the club will report into him. He’ll be in charge of the grand vision for how The Arsenal will play, and he’ll build an operating model around that. The Academy, scouting, medical services, data, tech, and analysis will likely all fall under his remit. The role is important. It’s essential. It’s the future of Arsenal football club. The success of Monchi, if he is signed, will dictate whether we fulfill the ‘sleeping giant’ potential we boast, or we become an utter irrelevance in European football, which is path we’ve been following aggressively for 10 years now.

Technical Director: Monchi

Let’s get one thing straight, if this man were heading anywhere else in Europe, we’d all be jealous. If Chelsea or Liverpool pulled him into their exec fold, we’d be crying into our Alex Hleb 2006 red currant collectible shirt. The man has more sauce than a freshly loaded truck of Cholula. The guy has gravitas, he looks like Netflix crime boss, and he has a record to purr over. Make no mistake, this is the sexiest signing we could have made in the world of technical directors.

As fits go, again, it’s hard to imagine a better candidate to take the club forward. He’s been rocking low net spends and ‘sustainable models’ for longer than Wenger has been talking about handbrakes. This is him on being announced at Roma.

“My goal is to build a sustainable economic model. On the sports side, my job is to bring Roma as close as possible to their top level. These are my main goals”

The good news is his ambitions go a little beyond simply balancing of the books and he’s acutely aware he should be held accountable to more prestigious objectives than flashy spreadsheets, namely: big moments, big trophies. This comment from his Sevilla days.

“No one takes a ‘what great economic results’ banner to the stadium,”

Damn right they don’t.

What I like about the man is he seems to have guiding principles when it comes to how he operates, there are very specific patterns in the way he does things.

Firstly, it’s worth noting that he’s a culture vulture. He has to believe in the city he’s in to operate there. He could sell Sevilla as a place, because it’s ace. He moved to Roma, because he knew he could sell the city to young players. He moved to London to learn the language and ‘work it out’, but there’s no doubt the real reason he learned the language was because he saw his big payday here.

This is him talking about the folly of English clubs when he was at Sevilla.

“England’s a good client,”

“There are loads of off-field things in which they beat us easily,”

“And on the football side, I saw very good work being done. But there’s a disconnect between that work and the advantage they glean from it. I know English clubs that are very professional, scouts everywhere, but the information they gather isn’t always applied. Why? Because they have money. That enables them to take fewer risks: ‘I’m not going to discover Keita at Lens; let Sevilla do that and then buy Keita from Sevilla.’”

There is no club in the world better at wasting money than Arsenal. But at the same time, there aren’t many clubs capable of recovering their finances and making a real go of it like us. Monchi at Arsenal would have access to a brand bigger than anything he’s ever worked for in his life, he’ll have better tech, a better City to sell with more resource than ever. Arsenal really should be his dream ticket. We have the finances to always win in the markets he wants to raid, and we have the financial security to hold onto players if they blow-up.

He’s not coming to Arsenal to perpetuate the self-sustaining model, he’s coming to build an empire. Sometimes taking the model of a small venture doesn’t translate into a bigger one. I’m hoping that’s not the same for football. We’re in the talent game. We need someone who can fast track us access to raw talent we can convert into worldclass.

He has an approach to how he tracks players. Here is how he described his operation in Spain.

 “Sixteen people cover a series of leagues. For the first five months we watch a lot of football but with no particular aim: we’re just accumulating data. Every month we produce an ideal XI for each league. Then in December we start watching players who appeared regularly in different contexts – home, away, international – to build the broadest possible profile.”

Monchi pulls out his phone and, carefully reducing the image so the names can’t be seen, says: “That gives us this.” A colour-coded spreadsheet shows players by position. Around 250 potential targets, in all positions. “The manager says: ‘I want a left-back who averages 11km a game, runs 800m at full speed, uses both feet.’ And from these, 10 will fit.”

And here’s what he did in Roma.

“We are a team of 15 scouts. Each of us works on a defined set of data that are inserted on a platform at a later moment. On the basis of this data, we decide which players must be followed not spending time on all the others. Not all of us are working in Rome. Now, we are building a network of 20-25 scouts that will report to the one in Rome”

He has a proactive view of transfer targets. If someone pops up who he doesn’t need but he can sense value, he’ll take a punt. It’s worked as well…

Fabiano, Adriano, Negredo, Baptista, Gameiro, Krychowiak, Medel, Kondogbia, Ever Banega, Fazio, Bacca, Vidal, Alves, Rakitic, Keita… the list goes on.

There are questions that hang over his head. I think some Roma fans think the jury is out, he’s not won anything there and he his first actions were to flog Rudiger, Salah and Paredes in his first season. Not exactly crowd-pleasing decisions, and again, certainly makes you wonder why Arsenal keep telling all their journos that there’s only £45m this summer.

‘It’s normal, the last ones who can be blamed are Roma fans because they’re right. I can not say anything more —- I’ve always had the feeling that they are close to me, but it’s true that we also have to give them something: they have not won anything in so many years so it’s normal. I did not come here to sell Salah, Ruediger and Paredes, but to do my job, and my job is to fix the numbers. Last year, slowly, slowly, we got the numbers in order and we made normal sales. I do not have a magic wand: what I did is what I’ve always done in the same form, working with young players and mixing in older ones. I believe that in the end, slowly, the fans and, you too, will begin to understand what my idea is. I know there’s hardly ever any time in football. But I am convinced because I know how I work and work with those around me, that we are right.’

I think the key point here is although he took a hammering from the Roma Ultras, he has a very fixed vision on what needs to be done. There is a philosophy behind what he’s doing.

My main concern with his hiring is I very much doubt Arsenal did an extensive search for a Sporting Director and I’m pretty sure this hire has been made on reputation alone. He’s Unai Emery’s mate, he’s Spanish, it’s all very cozy and it reeks of the Arsene Wenger model of entrenched power structures. It’s also fair to say that his success has been in wheeler-dealing with small clubs, versus taking bigger clubs to greater heights like Andrea Berta.

Additionally, it’s hard to establish his credentials beyond scouting. How is he with tech? What’s his view on running a great academy? How will he work with the medical team? What is his belief about style? Where does he see the future of value in players? How will he inspire the fans? The players? The backroom team?

Small critiques that we can overcome… but being able to make tough decisions on hiring and firings when you’re mega pals with the manager is awkward for even the most ruthless of operators.

That said, Andrea Berta was never going to take a job with Arsenal. We have to take a chance on someone who wants to make the next step in their career. I very much doubt there are many people in the world with the experience he has, mapped against the success, lined up against his outsized profile. This is a smart move. Worst case, he settles the mess that’s going on behind the scenes at Arsenal. He’ll resolve the unbalanced squad, he’ll straighten out the wage structure and he’ll set a template for a more exciting Arsenal.

I just really hope he’s a moderniser. Someone who keeps pushing forward. A man with an open mind. We really need that, the nightmare would be hiring someone who has dined off a formula that’s not developed. An absolute no-no in the Premier League where you have to keep evolving your approach to keep up with clubs who can vastly outspend you.

Anyway, can you really ask for more at this stage? I don’t think so. If this happens, I will doff my cap to Raul and buckle up for a summer of transfer madness.

A very exciting move… see you in the comments.


501 Responses to “Arsenal do a Technical Director madness”

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  1. gonsterous

    I think next season, we need to promote all the youngsters doing well to the first team, let them replace the likes of elneny and welbz. Cheaper way to replace those players. then get in 2 WC players that will eat a chunk of the Transfer budget. voila, not only do we have a younger squad, we may also have a better one.

  2. Emiratesstroller


    As outlined previously I would promote to first team squad the three young players I listed.

    However, we need to be realistic they are unlikely to become regular first team players in first season and these are all offensive players.

    Arsenal’s major weaknesses are in defence and we need to recruit a minimum
    of three players. We have in squad Bellerin, Maitland-Niles, Holding and Mavropanos who are relatively young, but if we are to offload the 33+ players
    they need to be replaced with experience.

  3. China1

    I have some concerns about our central midfield because it seems to be regardless of how many we play in midfield (and attacking midfield) we don’t control the middle

    We have torreira and guen who have all the necessary attributes and with any reasonable third choice we should still have enough to control most matches – but we don’t

    I’m not sure if it’s because we relentlessly try to go through the full backs and wingers in crowded spaces and if it’s just tactical that we struggle in the middle or if we have an issue between our central players

    This needs to be sorted out one way or the other tho

    If ozil pulls his vanishing/sick note act again I’d dump him and put guen at n10 with torr and xhaka behind him. Tore and xhaka were our core in our early season results and guen at 10 gives us energy, work rate, technique vision and passing in a 10.

    I doubt this is gonna happen because the 10 role already has ozil, iwobi, Ramsey and mikki. But I think we need to consider deciding what we want and sticking to it. Ozil and Ramsey are vapid/our the door. Iwobi has no end product and mikki is not good enough and getting on

    I’d say take a punt and give it a real go. Guen has a lot to offer that role and our early season torr/xhaka base brought us more joy

  4. useroz

    With seldom end products add Iwobi to the sell list and hope he’d fetch 20m in the crazy market. Or, if he ain’t worth 20m in others’ eyes, proves Iwobi is crap anyway.

    The more they play the more i’d warm to selling one of Auba or Laca. Just doesn’t feel right still after 20+ games would be a concern, especially/hopefully they are still worth quite a lot, tho we may not recoup what’s paid.

    Is Monchi really a done deal, or just Marca? We seem to devote so much into the analyses… frankly, like the Redbull guy based on analysis by Pedro. Tho, may be beyond us…

  5. Ishola70

    It’s asking a lot of Guendouzi to be a 10 because he simply isn’t one.

    He is a CM.

    A 10 should have a killer instinct for a final pass. A natural eye for the last pass. Real genuine creativity on the edge of the opponents penalty area. For all his positives Guendouzi doesn’t really show this.

    You talk about control of the midfield? Well this is where Guendouzi has shown that he can be the controller of Arsenal’s midfield in the years to come but not quite there yet and besides there is another midfielder that has been at the club for a few years now that unfortunately has seniority over Guendouzi and Torreira and is seen as this “controller” of this present midfield.

    Xhaka is the “controller” of Arsenal’s midfield at this present time.

    And you wonder why Arsenal fail to control matches in midfield enough times lol

    They gave this new contract to Xhaka last season was it? Well expect to see more matches where Arsenal fail to control the centre of the pitch. If Xhaka is seen as the main man for the Arsenal midfield for a good few years yet expect not enough control, not enough interplay, not enough vitality in central midfield. Do expect raking passes to the flanks.

  6. Ishola70

    “With seldom end products add Iwobi to the sell list and hope he’d fetch 20m in the crazy market. ”

    People are forgetting the home-grown rule when asking for this fire sale of virtually the first XI.

    While Iwobi isn’t first team material for any top team he is not awful enough not to be seen as a back-up/bench player.

    Arsenal can’t expect to have a strong bench going forward if they keep failing to get into CL.

    Club were on the limit in regards to home grown rule this season.

  7. China1

    Ishola lur good form this season consisted of a torreira xhaka pairing

    And I say this as someone with huge hopes and a lot of love for guen

    The time our form dropped off was when xhaka got shunted into defense then injured. I hate xhaka but he started the season pretty well and that’s the truth

    Secondarily ozil is our only 10 with genius vision and passing and he is a hugely flawed player. None of our other possible 10s have elite passing, some of them are downright poor passers

    Guen’s vision passing, close control, work rate and ability to beat people are all as good or better than each of our 10s outside of ozil, but ozil carries his own wagon of shit along with his genius so I don’t think it’s as clear cut as you think.

  8. China1

    Another strength of guen is drawing players out and releasing it just in time or drawing a foul.

    Around the opponents box this could be very useful. Right now he spends most of his time very deep and is drawing fouls in his own half

  9. China1

    If emery can get torreira and guen to control games and dominate midfields then I’ll be perfectly happy with that – but they’ve played together loads this season and if we’re honest they have loads of quality but still have barely controlled a handful of games all season

  10. Ishola70


    Was it any coincidence that so many people were saying that Torreira looked pretty well spent a few months or so ago after this pairing up with Xhaka at the beginning of the season?

    Guen really is not a 10 and tbf you are not the first to mention Guen and 10 but he is just not really one.

    As said before on here only people happy with a concept of having an American Football style quarter back in the side with plenty of flaws in overall football qualities would be comfortable seeing Xhaka continuing in this side.

  11. qna

    Ishola: People are forgetting the home-grown rule when asking for this fire sale of virtually the first XI.

    I understand this, bur that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t sell Iwobi. First we have to see what Brexit does to our ability to bring quality non home grown players to Arsenal. But assuming it doesn’t change things, we only need to think about 8 home grown players in our squad.

    We should be looking to turn over these British lads at a faster rate. Bring them in as young talented players and then sell them to the lower teams in the EPL for a profit. Holding is the only player we have now that is likely to make it imo. Iwobi isn’t good enough for a top 6 side. It was a good try from Arsenal, but he was a miss. If we can sell Iwobi now and buy ourselves two or three young 18 year olds, then we might get a hit. If not, rinse and repeat. Arsenal are reluctant to make calls on players.

    Sometimes we could sell a player too early, but you can live with that if the overall system is profitable. The more young players we bring in at 18 and who go on to be successful players with mid table EPL teams the more chance we have of the next great British player choosing to join us. At the moment, who would choose us to further their career?

  12. China1

    I shoal was that a coincidence or not – I don’t really know

    We have to factor in torr coming from a slow defensive league to the fastest, most intense and aggressive league in the world – plus no winter break

    It can’t have been easy for him to gauge optimal effort for each match (he was clearly giving 110% every match). For players who have never experienced the PL before and play an all action style it wouldn’t be surprising if they misjudge it and face burn out

    Also I don’t think xhaka was really the primary reason torreira ran out of steam. Like him and his style or not he was actually playing reasonably well.

    But hey if we sold xhaka tomorrow I’d be perfectly happy with that. I’m not here to say xhaka is the bees knees, just that our midfield did better when he and torr were playing together

    And you’re right that guen isn’t probably your traditional 10, but he’d do a lot better than our others outside of (perhaps) ozil and Ramsey. One of whom is not reliable and the other is leaving

    Tbh this highlights what a sorry state our AM options are when I can make a genuine case for a 19 year old CM to start ahead of about 750k a week worth of number 10s…

  13. China1

    Qna I think the home grown rule doesn’t matter because we can pas out the squad with kids.

    We already have players like el neny and Lichtsteiner who none of us trust anywhere near the first team so we might as well replace them with kids since they’re not playing and have higher salaries anyway

  14. Chris

    BBC Sport gossip still reporting about the possibility of Overmars as tech director, although Ajax are blocking the move.

  15. Graham62

    Good morning

    Any predictions for todays game against Saints?

    See it being a tricky game but I’ll go for a 2-1 win.

    Fancy Liverpool to get something at OT, whist MC will have a comfortable win against Chelski in the Kangaroo Cup Final.

  16. Pierre

    Torreira started to struggle around the end of December when the manager changed his role and wanted him to get forward more..

    Torreira has struggled with his game ever since.
    As China said, we should revert back to having xhaka and torreira protecting the back 4 in a 4-2-3-1.

    Play aubamayang on the left, mhkitaryan/iwobi on the right and anyone of ozil/ Ramsey/ guendouzi/ Suarez in the middle, preferably ozil as he takes care of the football better so we are less inclined to lose possession of the ball which in turn takes the pressure off the defence.

    Lacazette up top.

  17. Chris

    I fancy United to at least not lose today. I think Liverpool will drop points in their next couple of games.

    I think we will win, but as ever not making it easy for ourselves. 3-1 in the end.

    Hard to see anything but a City win in the league cup final.

  18. qna

    China I agree. We can top up the squad with our local products. But I think we have failed to use that as an opportunity to create revenue for the club by buying low and selling high. If we can more effectively bring in local talent and develop them, appreciating their value, we could make some income. Perhaps also 1 in 20 might be very good players that might be good enough for our starting 11.

    We need to be able to demonstrate to young 18 year olds that by signing with us they will have a great pathway to a professional career. Initially, by getting games in Europa leagues and cup competitions. Using our contacts, we can get them loan deals at clubs in Germany and so on. If they are good enough, they can become part of our first team proper.

    I think we are in a great position to do this but we have failed to implement a system that is effective.

    In terms of our youth system, we need to invest in it too. Again, we have to demonstrate to parents that our youth system gets results. There needs to be deliberate strategy here. If we use our Spanish connections to bring in people who can really transform the technical side of our youth system, it would immediately set us apart from 99% of other systems in the UK. Look to the successes in Spain, Portugal, France and Germany who have really put these systems down to a fine art. I think there is so much untapped potential at Arsenal. We have the brand to attract the best kids in the country. We cannot go out and recruit young kids, its against the rules. But we can make ourselves attractive enough that parents find a way to put their kids at our shop window for us to pick and choose from.

  19. Valentin

    Xhaka has been decent this year. He recycled lots of ball well. The problem is that none of his passes are penetrative enough. They are mostly lateral or diagonal. His shooting has been atrocious but his set pieces delivery has been very good.

    Also our midfield is unbalanced in that we have nobody who run with the ball from the central midfield. All our play is via the wings and can therefore be easily controlled. Also statically we shoot less than others and less from mid range. Most of our goal have been scored from the penalty box. Our opponent just need to pack the centre of the penalty box and we don’t score except on set pieces. We need somebody who can create danger by running with the ball from the centre. When Iwobi does it, it is from a wide part and he has the fullback following him. Nobody does it from a central starting point.

    We really missed Özil and Mhikitarian from that perspective. Neither are perfect but they offer a different threat that open space for others to exploit.

    Also initially Torreira was playing defensive midfielder much deeper. I don’t know if the coach asked him to or if he decided on his own because of our impotent attack, but lately he had been playing further up. I am not complaining because he looked dangerous and capable of scoring from one of his surge, but the consequence is that he has to cover more ground. That may have contributed to him being knackered lately.

    All of that makes us predictable. Moreover We keep ignoring areas of play which could be very useful with our players.
    The first area of play that we have been ignoring especially without Özil is the long counter-attack splitting pass. Pogba is providing nearly 2 of such passes per game to Rashford and Martial. Our counter-attack is just plodding along not very efficiently.

    The second avenue we are ignoring is the ball over the top. Not the long one, but the short slightly hanging kind of that take the defense out of the equation because they have to turn but not long enough that the goalkeeper can collect it before our onrushing striker. Alex Song used to play that ball to Van Persie. That was their signature move. Well played it is devastating as it put the striker straight in a 1v1 against the goal keeper. The defenders are behind the attacker and any contact is a penalty and potentially a red card. But you can only play that ball effectively from an advanced central position. Like I said we tend to ignore such position and play via the outside.

  20. Up 4 grabs now

    Morning all,

    A good 3-1 win today, the bindippers to lose at manure.
    And city to turn it on again against Chelsea buy a big score, sarri is fired by midnight.

    That’s a great Sunday!

  21. Up 4 grabs now

    I think concerning youth players and academy’s in different countries. Once the premier league money started coming in most of the club’s around Europe realised they couldn’t compete financially.
    They invested in there academy players a long time back.

    While premier league/ championship clubs imported a lot of cheap players from abroad the academy’s got neglected.
    Now you can see English players realising they can go abroad and develop with a better chance of making it into the first team that way.
    And potentially come back to the premier league for there big payday at a later date.

  22. Charlie George


    That is just 4 paraparaphs of utter waffle and words.

    Total meaningless nonsense.( no disrespect to a fellow Arsenal fan – albeit misguided)

    Study The Guru’ s work.*- he is in The Real World- dealing with reality.

    (He is such a smooth operator.. )

    This is Readers Digest fayre.

    **The G – rightly pointed out that the Europa Cup was an even more inferior tournament back when Seville won it a few times.
    I mean, it still dreadful now- but it was absolutely even more ridiculous back then.

    Less waffle from you ,young man – now going forward.
    You are clearly an erudite fellow.

  23. Valentin

    When I said that we are ignoring the counter-attack, it is really shocking that we have scored only 1 goal from a long ball to Aubameyang. He is such an obvious threat in those situation, but we don’t seem to negotiate them very well. I don’t think that we practice transition from opposition corners. Or at least I have not seen its implementation during a game.

    Spurs, ManCity, ManUtd are devastating in those position. Leicester won the league on that play!

  24. mysticleaves

    Many people want to believe Torr is fatigued because he was doing the job of two players lol. How excellent was he when Xhaka exited the midfield for a while eh? Went to shit and hasn’t recovered since. Xhaka might not be the best CM in the world but he definitely has proven he’s a capable player in this team and if he must be replaced must be replaced with someone definitely better not just any CM.

    I also think of ESR and Willock, Willock is the most ready to move up. All the game he has played for the seniors, he has been very calm and composed. Used the ball well and even scored some goals. That’s what you want from your CM. And he’s been a boss within the youth team. Frankly I think ESR has been somewhat over hyped, he’s not really as ready to step up.

  25. Charlie George

    The G

    “””Spurs, ManCity, ManUtd are devastating in those position. Leicester won the league on that play!””””

    They did indeed.

    Apart from Fulham away. When Ramsey scored that pearler- I don’t think we have scored a typical breakaway goal.

    See Roy Hodgson Palace :

    4 at Leicester City
    3 at Anfield
    3 at Man city.

    70 year old Roy is running rings around clueless Emery in The Counter Attacking stakes.

    Roy H played a FRONT 3 yesterday of Zaha, Bats and Townsend away to Leicester

    Emery plays A BACK 3 against the likes of Blackpool at co.

    Roy’s is bringing excitement and panache to The Palace

    Emery is bringing ennui and pain to The Emirates.

  26. Up 4 grabs now


    Nothing wrong with a fast counter attack,
    Miss the days of overmars, Wright, anelka or Henry getting a massive throw or pass running the lengths of the opponents half and slotting home.

    Unfortunately the ball either gets released slowly giving the opposition time to get back into shape, or it comes out quick to xhaka and he plays a nice safe arteta sideways slight diagonal pass to someone.
    By which time the defence is reorganized.
    I like auba but when pace is your main weapon it’s a bit of waste for him not to be able to use it.

  27. Champagne charlie


    I know you’ll be reading along, and I hope too you’re soaking in the “democratically elected” Maduro’s regime which extends to burning humanitarian aid whilst citizens are starved and have little to no access to medical supplies. Man of the people that one.

  28. Valentin

    @Up for Grab,

    The main problem for our academy players is the transition from U21 football to first team football. Because our style of football is so alien to lower league clubs, our loan to lower league clubs were quite often not successful.
    There is numerous stories of young players released by Arsenal who either fell out of love with football or could not adjust to that style of football. While at arsenal Henri Lansbury gave an interview in which he said that he hated playing for England U21, as at the time their coach was playing a kick and rush style of play. He jokingly complained of neck problem because the ball was so often in the air.

    That is why suddenly a lot of academy players are now going to Germany.
    Germany has a system in that there is a clear path from U21 to first team. It is a mix of of financial constraints, rules imposed by the FA and some clubs strategy (RB, Dortmund, …).
    Same with Spain where feeder clubs plays in lower leagues which allow players to play real competitive match but in the same style than their main club.

    I can’t see a change in England on that front. Especially with the Academy regulation making it easier for big clubs to grab smaller clubs best players. Some clubs such as Brentford closed their academy and have decided to buy 19~23 year old who have not made the grade at Premiership club. Why have your own expensive academy when you can live from the scraps of the big fish?

  29. Up 4 grabs now

    Before the premier league came in we had a great run of youngsters coming through the ranks at arsenal when I was growing up.
    It saved the club money, if you had a group that came through at the same time there was a good bond on and off the pitch.

    Unfortunately money changes everything.
    It’s easier to get a smaller club to put in the work now.

    If arsenal really are as poor as there making out, which I don’t believe. Then having a strong academy is important for saving transfer fees and getting that extra commitment from players.

    The last decent player through the academy, Ashley Cole 20 years ago, for a club like arsenal that’s disgraceful.

  30. Up 4 grabs now

    Concerning chambers, I’m not sure he will be moved on.
    I read an interview yesterday saying how he’s playing defensive midfielder for Fulham now and how he realizes what a centrebacks requires from him as a dfm.
    And this helps him understand the centreback position better.

    Home grown, can play right back, centre half and dmf.
    Sounds like a handy squad player to have!

  31. Charlie George

    The G

    I agree with your sentiments. It is a scathing indictment – that the game of football is not fun for the young players. ( and its been happening too long- by the sounds of it- if you are mentioning Lansbury) but these :

    modern coaches ( emery/puel/sarri) suck the living joy out of the game.

    with emery – it his ubiquitous clipboard in coaching
    with sarri- its his pen and paper on the touchline
    with puel -its his dour demeanour

    Football should be fun for the players who play it,
    It should be joyous and bring excitement to the punters who pay to watch it.

    Otherwise- what is the point of the game- to watch garbage on a Thursday night at 6pm UK time- in that ruinous Europa Cup?

    That is not football. That is the death of Football.

  32. Valentin

    The Fulham break away goal was a thing of beauty, but clearly it was something played off the cuff.
    It would be useful if players had trained for counter-attack situation and instinctively knew to make a long pass for an onrushing striker.

    It is said that during his first spell at Chelsea, Mourinho had special training sessions on transition. What to do when we regain the ball on the opposition corner.

    The reverse applies as well. What to do when we lose the ball on one of our corner. When intercepted, Quite often I see our players running after the player with the ball instead of running toward our penalty box to block any passes or shot.
    I can understand for Guendouzi and Iwobi making that mistake because they are young and inexperienced, however others also do it. The only one who has progressed in that area is Xhaka, maybe that stint in the centre of the defense was useful in that aspect.

  33. Charlie George

    Indeed it was an off the cuff goal-its
    Exactly why billions of people all over the world watch football.
    But our manager HATES off the cuff- and detests off the cuff players ( Ramsey and Ozil)

    Guru: 2 quickies, please ( following emery at PSG /Arsenal)

    1) Why type of football does emery like to play?
    2) what type of players does he like to have?

    or he is just an impostor?

  34. Valentin


    A lot of clubs have a worst academy record than Arsenal. For some it is because the academy is shockingly bad, for others it is just not part of their plan to integrate academy players into the first team.

    Chelsea last academy graduate to play consistently for them is John Terry!
    It is said that in his first years in the premiership Burnley did not give a single start to any of their academy graduate. That statistics was shocking.

    Regarding Chambers, the big question will be at his age will he make the grade at any of the position s: CB or DFM. I am not sure that Arsenal management is convinced either way. His fate is likely to be determined by our transfer budget and the restrictions on non-home grown players.

  35. Radio Raheem

    There’s a player in Nathan Redmond – watered-down Sterling – if our coaches are willing to graft. But I know at 24 he’s at the tail end of being considered a ‘prospect’. He’ll certainly be cheaper than the more exotic names thrown about on here.

  36. Valentin


    I don’t think that Emery is a complete imposter, I just think that he is a mediocre coach. I also think that he has the kind of personality who can’t handle being challenged.
    This is perfect when you manage a small club trying to punch above its weight. The top man can be as tyrannical and petty he wants, because the club needs him more.
    However in a bigger structure, he has the wrong approach. His sergeant major attitude is upsetting people. If you keep upsetting people, at one point you will upset the wrong person and they will try to oust you. You need to be able to build bridge, and so far in his career he has not demonstrate the ability to do so. It is telling that most of his failure have been due to players revolting against him.

    I think that you are unfair with Claude Puel. The man looks like he is always miserable, but in private he can be funny. I met him when we were blocked in an English train. From a coaching point of view, he always give youth a chance. The problem he has at Leicester is that he is trying to move away from that back to the wall counter-attacking style, but his players are not yet ready. You can’t play expensive football with a high line with Fuchs and Wes Morgan in defense. Jamie Vardy is still their most potent attacker, but he is a passenger in a possession based game.

  37. gonsterous


    If you keep upsetting people, at one point you will upset the wrong person and they will try to oust you.

    who exactly has emery upset ? Apart from ozil I can’t think of anyone. Footballers sulking whilst getting subbed happens in all the clubs.

  38. Valentin


    I also think that properly coached, Nathan Redmond can be a very good player, however
    Southampton will want a lot of money for Nathan Redmond. Also because of his age, how much work will you need to spend with him to improve to the top level. Some clubs will just decide that they can get the same result either cheaper or already made or younger and easier to coach.

    It’s a shame, but I think that he should have moved a couple of years ago.

  39. Valentin


    At Spartak Moscow he upsetted the senior players so much that the Russian players lead a revolt.
    Here is a link about Emery upsetting some player there.

    At PSG, his fight with Neymar, Lucas Moura, Thomas Meunier are well documented.

    Fundamentally Wenger had the same my way or the highway personality, but he is better able to hide it behind charm and a veneer of affability. It is not necessarily what you are saying that gets you, but the way you are saying it.

  40. PhD2020

    Champagne charlieFebruary 24, 2019 08:47:31
    BanfordI know you’ll be reading along, and I hope too you’re soaking in the “democratically elected” Maduro’s regime which extends to burning humanitarian aid whilst citizens are starved and have little to no access to medical supplies. Man of the people that one.

    Funny,I saw his twitter feed the other day..He was kicking and screaming about being banned..

    Here’s an excerpt from his feed:
    “I will repeat here what I said in the comments you deleted so that others can asses my points (& your behavior) for themselves. I’ll also be tweeting under #LeGrove until I am reinstated there so as to continue to interact w/ the LG community. ”

    Hilarious,some people will take their ban like a man.Suck it up and deal with it.
    Instead,he’s gone on a smearing campaign for days on twitter to discredit Pedro and at the same wants Pedro to reinstate him.

    The man’s not normal.Joker..
    If you were really a man of substance,and held strong convictions,start your own blog-quite simple really.This event,should have been his catalyst or motivation to set up a blog,where he can espouse his views on all subject matters,and block whom he deems not fit to contribute,or those whose views are diammetrically opposed to his.Knowing how he is,Banford wouldn’t have many posters left.It would be a mitigating disaster.He’d be issuing bans left,right and centre like you throw around confetti.

    Instead,he’s having temper tantrums,trying to smear and dictate terms of surrender to Pedro on twitter.It’s Pedro’s blog,his rules,his game.

    That Banford guy is a loser if I must say so.

  41. Valentin


    BTW, most managers have the same stubbornness and assurance. The difference is how they convey it to the team and publicly.
    Klopp has that jovial, happy chappy reputation with the public at large. However being close door, he can be mean spirited and rancorous. He decided to get rid of Sakho because the idiot made fun of him and did not show enough deference. You only had to see how he was greeted in the tunnel by his former teammates to see that the only personality clash was with the coach.

    At arsenal, Emery has a problem with Özil, but he also has a problem with Cech. Cech wanted another year, Emery did not. This is a decision I fully support. Cech has been past it for a couple of years now, not helped by the incompetent goalkeeping coaches. However how the way that information was communicated to him upsetted him. Cech is professional enough to just qualify that as disappointing and inelegant. I don’t know exactly what happen. Maybe it was done via his agent and Cech was expecting a private conversation with the coach. Maybe Cech is in the wrong and things were misinterpreted, but there was a problem there.

    Sometimes it is just cultural differences that are misinterpreted. Ethnocentrism. Things that are overlooked in a culture may be considered offensive in another one.
    I worked on a project where people from different locations had to work together. German used to arrive on time and sit at the table with the document printed ready to start. Italians were always late and most had not bother printing or reading the agenda. The French contingent (I am French, but I have lived so long in UK, I was considered an honorary English man) were upsetting the English with their repeated swearing. In the end we had to attend a training seminar about the subject of cultural sensitivity.

  42. bennydevito

    ValentinFebruary 24, 2019    01:47:38

    Let’s put the Europa League success into context…..

    Blah, blah, blah, I hate Emery, blah, blah, blah, my agenda is to hate Emery, blah, blah, blah.

    That’s all I got from that post, sorry.

  43. Valentin


    You spend your time bigging up the fact he won the Europa League. I just think this a second rate competition. Being successful in it does not demonstrate a great coach.
    The League Cup is a second rate domestic competition. Applying your logic, Juande Ramos is the last coach to win it with Spurs so that prove that he is a great manager. Strangely enough I don’t hear any Spurs supporters requesting his reinstatement over won nothing Pochettino.

  44. Valentin


    Looks like Leicester has had enough, they have just sacked Claude Puel.

    I bet Youri Tielemans who joined them over us on loan because of Puel reputation in France is now regretting his decision.
    He would have been a great addition to our squad.

  45. Charlie George

    the Guru

    “””””I think that you are unfair with Claude Puel. The man looks like he is always miserable, but in private he can be funny. I met him when we were blocked in an English train. From a coaching point of view, he always give youth a chance. The problem he has at Leicester is that he is trying to move away from that back to the wall counter-attacking style, but his players are not yet ready””””

    Well- why the not hell – show this side of his persona in the public domain?

    As for his tactics= why not play the counter attacking way- that has served Leicester so well-why play a stodgy possession based game- that bores the pants of the fans?

    another wally- another one over complicating- AND ANOTHER BITING THE DUST!

  46. Valentin


    Maybe interview is a part of manager’s job he hated. He did not have a great relationship with the media in France either. I only met him once and maybe I caught him in one of his good day.

    Leicester have been playing well, however the problem is that despite dominating game they don’t score and then concede stupid goals on the few occasions the opposition has.
    Their defense is not good enough to handle quick transition. The game against Crystal Palace was a case in point. They conceded on the Palace first attempt. The second goal was the same, they were in the ascendency and then a simple cross is turned in. Three Leicester players in the penalty box, they can’t spot Crystal Palace main man Zaha at the back.