Well here he is, finally, the Technical Director sent from the gods to bestow glory upon ALL of North London (just the red part).
Edu was announced on the website, Raul S is apparently really chuffed.
“His arrival is the final and very important part of the jigsaw in our development of a new football infrastructure to take us forward. He will be working closely with Unai Emery and the first-team coaches, and will play a relevant role leading our football vision and ensuring we have – and follow – a solid philosophy through all our football activities.”
Amen to that Raul, now take yourself off to Brighton beach for the day and hand your phone over to the man with the best skincare regime this side of anywhere.
So what can we expect from Edu?
My guess? Not a lot to begin with. No doubt he has many ideas about where he wants to take the club, but I’d imagine he’ll spend the first 3 months watching what happens at Arsenal. He’ll likely go on a prolonged listening tour, see the bus driver do the team talk, watch training, speak to the people on the shop floor and take in the madness that has gripped the club over the last ten years.
He’ll move where the fires are hottest. I can’t imagine he’s going to come in and take over transfers, it’s too late in the game for him to really make an impact there, but I do think he’ll have some thoughts on who replaces Burgess and I’d imagine he’ll look to fill vacancies or gaps in our setup fairly quickly.
I’d be very interested to know how long he takes before he announces himself internally (‘here is what I’m doing’ type thing). When does the big vision presentation drop? How does he share it? Will Emery do the deck design? Who will he trust to implement his philosophy? What does his rollout plan look like? Where the fuck does he start?
I’d imagine he’ll start with the basics.
- What is the objective I am going to be held accountable to?
- How am I planning to achieve it?
- What structures, processes and workflows need to be implemented to improve how we operate (I’d imagine the flow of information at a football club is immensely complicated and probably quite political in 2019, especially in our murky structure)
- What type of people do I need to hire
- Which people need to be upgraded
- Can I start to build a player recruitment policy that thinks beyond one window, has a more specific view on profile (power and pace is something we’ve ignored for 5 years), operates in markets that aren’t highly saturated (Eastern Europe, where you at?!)
Year one you create a process, build your minimal viable product, turf out the dross, and bring in talent that’ll move you forward. Year two you upgrade talent again, maybe selling a big name to fund more bodies with high ceilings. Year three you should really be making an impact on your grand objective.
Year 5, get the fuck out of my club if you haven’t won the Champions League.
I know things rarely run as smoothly as the above, but get a plan in place and you at least have a chance. If you hire talented people that are innovative, ambitious and accountable they will drive the vision through. Arsenal already has a lot of those people at the club, I’m hoping Edu will empower them and unleash their potential.
The smartest thing about his signing is that he knows the club. This isn’t a clash of civilisations here. The man has N5 DNA and a past baked in an Arsenal at their absolute peak. He’ll command a special sort of respect and he won’t need to spend 6 months adapting to the language, club culture or the shabby weather.
I also think his philosophy will have Arsenal DNA at core. This isn’t a Monchi like character walking in the door with a used car salesman attitude to a big club, this is someone that’s just left Brazil in a winning position. Someone who helped Corinthians win big. A player that believes in the beautiful game Arsene Wenger lavished on the fans. The ideas he brings should thrill the fanbase, they should please the board and they will be exciting to any player wanting to join the club.
Listen to his prose.
“Arsenal has always had a special place in my heart and I’m thrilled to be returning to this great club in this new role. We have a strong squad and some very talented young players with fantastic people at every level. I’m looking forward to helping make a difference.”
This should be a very good signing. I’ve been told that not only is he a very nice guy, but he’s also an obsessive when it come to the game. He understands scouting, how to grow talent and he has a keen interest in the performance side of the game. Take note of Dick Law coming back into the media spotlight this week, the two men know each other and I’ve no doubt they’ve been sharing notes about Arsenal, so I’d imagine Edu has a pretty solid grounding on what to expect from Arsenal.
I would hope that big changes start to happen behind the scenes by December. We should expect exits. There are some very average people that cling onto jobs through elite arse kissing. There are people that have made it into the backroom team because of who they know, not what they know. There’s a lot of people that will be switching their LinkedIn profiles to ‘Open to Offers’ because they know a fraud-busting-axe-of-doom is heading their way. That’s a great thing because we’ve allowed stagnation and complacency at Arsenal for far too long.
The player recruitment side of things is going to be very interesting. Will Edu stick with Cagigao? Or will he find his own chief scout? I’m also interested to see what his plan of attack is going to be with players. There will be a strategy that emerges, but what sort? I hope it isn’t a Monchi style of churn and burn.
Edu is a man that’s spoken in detail about young players from around the world, that doesn’t strike me as the sort of person eyeing up Ever Banega type characters, that’d be an affront to the purist values I am PRAYING he has. I’m hoping he’ll have seen the success of other clubs that have emerged from the embers of financial fuckery and opt for identifying youth value in the market because our attempts at short term hits of experience have been utterly miserable. Let’s look at Dortmund, Liverpool, Spurs and Ajax for inspiration… not Mourinho’s Inter Milan.
Finally, how is he going to deal with the munch bunch we’ve struggled to move on? Has this summer simply lacked someone focused on exiting players… or is the issue we’re dealing with so bad, no one can fix it? I struggle to believe there’s ever a situation in business that doesn’t have a creative solution on offer, but we’ll see.
The big thing we all want to know is this: What are the ambitions of the club and how are we going to get there?
Hopefully, the answer is aggressive and specific.
No more talk of being ‘proud’ or the Gazidis led Arsenalisation of failure. Just get me to the exciting stuff, which is winning trophies with an aesthetic built to thrill.
I have a rep for getting pretty excited about all the backroom folk we hire in, however, it has to be said, this guy is the only one I’ve heard great things about across the board. Monchi was an egotistical wally, Sven wasn’t really interested in being present in London, Raul was too Barca for his own good… Edu, well, the rumblings have been far more hopeful. There are no guarantees, but this is Raul’s best move yet. I mean, kind of his only move, but hey, let’s keep things positive.
Edu is one of our own. He’s a footballing man. He’s paid his dues and delivered success wherever he’s been. This could be good.
The 5-year countdown to Premier League success starts now, I can’t wait to see where this goes, this is a BIG move for Arsenal. Hopefully, it delivers on the promise. x