Well good morning, I’m suffering from WAKE UP EARLY issues at the minute, so I thought I’d bang out ANOTHER post for you because I am on a streak.
Arsenal has offered the role of technical director to Invincible, Eduardo César Daude Gaspar. I’d heard rumblings we were doing a deal, but my info was that the offer hadn’t been accepted yet, though the club were confident he’d do so.
So what to make of this hire… at the second attempt?
In short, it’s a real, ‘who the fuck knows’ moment.
His experience sits outside of the Premier League and outside of Europe. He’s currently the technical director of Brazil, and I’m not really sure what that entails. Their national team hasn’t exactly been a box of dreams over the past 5 years, and even if it had been, how do you affect a nation of players?
I’ll bang through some topline thoughts.
What experience does he have?
He’s 40 years old. He played up until he was 32 years old. He was then given a Director of Football role at Corinthians. He had a good run there, the club won the South American equivalent of the Champions League.
He had a stint as the Iranian assistant coach, who hasn’t, right?
He then took the role at Brazil in 2016. This is where some of his comments started to get me a little excited. As I pointed out in the post earlier this morning, I want someone to come to Arsenal that looks at the club from a holistic perspective, capturing the true essence of our being. First and foremost, they need to understand the culture, the heritage and the prestige. If you don’t understand the basics, you can never be a good long term fit.
This is what Edu had to say about taking on the role at Brazil.
‘Tite and I worried about the mentality,’
‘People were thinking about Brazil in a way we didn’t like. When people look at Brazil, they should respect us for our present and for our history. We were missing that. The team were not close enough to the people.
‘With all due respect, I don’t want to be the way English guys are. We are Brazilians. So let’s be Brazilians: friendly, laughing, talking. Some people cannot afford tickets for a game. So sometimes we open up training and let 50,000 people in for free.
‘Before, Brazilian players would not go into a hotel through the main doors. Why? Why do you want to go through the back door? People just want to see us. Now we go through the main doors.
‘A kid breaks through and wants to see his hero. Let him do that. As a player, I tried to be nice to people. Say “hello”, it’s not hard. We are bringing this back.’
Yes, yes and yes.
He is entitled. Brazil is an institution of football, that is how they should be respected and thought of. He’s thinking about the people of Brazil, their socio-economic situation and general perception. He is talking about exciting people, because at the core, that is what football is all about, right? He believes they should be at the top. All these folk that call Arsenal fans spoilt because ‘no one deserves to win trophies’ are not the types that drive things forward. Edu sounds like he understands that.
I hear that he’s an incredibly nice guy, I know that sometimes empathy can be seen as weak in football, but again, I think it’s an important trait. Especially if you’re looking at reengineering the focus around young players. Carlo, one of the great, was always accused of being too nice to his players. This is what Edu had to say on his experience of prime Wenger.
‘I was feeling sad. I lost my sister a week before I arrived. I was not in a good way. But I found a club and manager that worried about me as a person, rather than as a footballer.
‘Every day Arsene Wenger pulled me into his office. He wanted to check I was OK and check how my family were. He cared so much and it made me feel so good. He let my dad watch training. I come to London once a year and always go to see him.’
You might call the above snowflake millenial nonsense, but the reality is, the generation of kids coming through have different expectations. They demand more from the workplace and they expect to be treated well. You have to balance those needs, but someone with a human touch is important.
I also like the fact he’s fully aware of the talent in England and that he has ideas about unlocking it. This was 2017.
‘This is a big generation,’
‘But the Premier League is so rich. You have a fantastic young midfielder in Phil Foden at Manchester City but there are two or three fantastic ones in his position.”
‘So, how can you play? How can you develop these guys? You have good players but to get better, they need to play in the first team. Clubs don’t look to the Under 17 guy because they go to the market.’
Edu will have been in prime position to watch the best young kids from around the world. He’ll have met with the best coaches, seen setups from the major clubs, and had hands on experience with the biggest names to grace the yellow and green of Brazil.
Apparently, when he was at Corinthians, he did visiting tours of all the major European clubs to watch and hear how they did things. This is a guy that is hungry to lean into the experience of others, someone that is open enough to know he doesn’t have all the answers, with an Invincible attitude that means he’s a winner.
Are their worries about his hiring? For sure. He played under Unai Emery for a couple of seasons. That was over ten years ago, but he was operating under his management at Valencia. Will that cloud his judgement when he has to pull the trigger on his contract next year? Possibly. But I’d hope that he’s been around enough big decisions to not be influenced by matters like that.
There’s also the experience question. Going for explayers feels good, but is it always right? He’s being asked the run the operational side of the football at Arsenal. That requires a huge amount of skill and vision for someone that is basically only 8 years into working life. Risks are associated with that.
The big worry is that all his experience is based out of Brazil. However, that can also come as a blessing. Firstly, he knows England and Spain intimately because he spent a lot of time there. Also, something I’ve cried out for over the years is finding someone who can root out gems in markets that aren’t already saturated. We have an advantage here. It’ll be very interesting to see what sort of recruitment head he brings into the club.
Another concern is that the Copa America is in his home country. We literally don’t have a Technical Director until July 7th. That’s a long time to leave Unai and Raul at the wheel. A lot of bad pound notes can be spent in that time.
Everything is a risk, but ultimately, give me Edu over a hack like Monchi. He was yesterday’s man, Edu could be the future. He’s young, he seems of great temprement and hopefully he’s the sort of leader that wants to surround himself with the best people.
Also… how much sauce does the guy have?
Additionally, there can be no doubt whatsover as to the style of football he is going to enforce. He is Brazilian and he played under PEAK Wenger. Arsenal are going to have a clear vision when it comes to style and footballing philosophy.
I was a bit worried when I first heard this rumbling, but in the space of writing an article, I am now absolutely convinced this could be a very, very good move for Arsenal.
Fingers crossed he signs on and we can move on with the second reboot of Arsenal.