Don Raul: Architect of Emery disaster. What does round 2 bring?

by .

I am so sorry that I broke the website. I needed to freshen up things and I made the Unai Emery of IT choices. Will be fixed today.

Don Raul has been at Arsenal for about two years now.

He has overseen the rebuild of Arsenal in the post-Wenger era.

I think it’s time to ask questions about the direction he’s taking Arsenal.

Unai Emery was his decision. The Basqueman was brought in through the back door after Ivan Gazidis lost his nerve during the recruitment process. We interviewed Unai on the 10th of May and hired him on the 18th. The interview process started on April 25th, the club knew they were firing Wenger in January. Raul, without doubt, had to act as the translator in the interview. Ivan doesn’t speak Spanish, nor does Ivan Gazidis. Together, they all agreed that they were inspired by Unai Emery.

Ivan specifically noted that no one during the process pulled out. Allegri and Rangnick were on that list. We ignored Conte, Rodger and Jardim.

Absorb how hilarious the criteria list now looks:

“We had some clear criteria that we were looking for in our selection, the first was progressive, entertaining football, a personality that fits with Arsenal’s values and also a record of developing players, in particular, young players through detailed, tactical instruction and also through cultural demands, pushing players and demanding more from them.

“Obviously all football clubs have an ongoing review process, but we looked through and analysed on the basis that every coach in the world would be interested in this position. We don’t believe there is a position in world football that is more attractive than Arsenal Football Club and having gone through that process and series of references, and a good deal of analysis, we created a long-list, an eight-person list.

The list of Emery traits is even more perplexing.

“He came in extraordinarily well-prepared, with a detailed knowledge of Arsenal Football Club. He had an analysis to share with us, not just of his ways of working and of his ways of coaching, and the team of people he works with, but he had an analysis of all of our individual players, their qualities and how he feels he can help them develop individually and collectively – in detail. Also an in-depth knowledge of our off-the-field team, and how they can contribute and how Unai’s team would mesh with them productively.

I’ve not seen much of the above come through during his tenure and we’re over 15 months in. I am going to be honest here, I’m not sure the PowerPoint Emery came in with was the visionary document our leadership team would have you believe.

Did it involve binning off Ramsey? Alienating Mesut Ozil? Playing a brand of football that has the stadium as empty as it was for the dark days of Wenger FOR A SATURDAY 3PM GAME? Did it involve Xhaka as the central figure in our midfield… etc etc.

Ivan spun us a yarn about a detailed search and select process when in reality, we made a desperate panic purchase. Even basic due diligence would have uncovered the consistent passing up of leads, a bad record with big egos, difficulty learning new languages, an inability to build defences, and a reputation for desperately negative football.

Raul must be suffering buyers remorse. He bought a Robin Reliant on Ebay after 10 beers and he’s trying to convince car experts it’s a Porsche 911.

Emery put the kids out against a very average Vitoria side yesterday and flunked the tie. Europa League football was his comfort blanket, a weekly moment we could all rely on to forget the demise of our great club, but not yesterday. We managed 1 shot on target. We conceded 15 attempts, Vitoria had 4 on target. We took our 4th lead in 4 games and gave it up.

This is not a player issue, this is a coaching standards problem. Emery actually thought the defending was good.

Watching our manager in the rain hiding under his hood reminded me of Steve McClaren with the brolly when he was the England manager. He’s beaten. I’m not sure he knows how to fix a squad that doesn’t want to respond to ideas.

It’s clear this isn’t a long term solution, but the big fear is what comes next.

Raul thought Unai Emery was a protagonist that painted beautiful football. How can we trust him with the next step, which is basically another rebuild?

He’s been with the club for 2 years now and he’s dining out with Jose Mourinho during a crisis. The rumour was denied, but that story came from The Times and was penned by a proper journalist. How can our Football CEO be so irresponsible? How can you look at Jose’s deeply noxious relationship with the club and be captivated? How can you look at the way he has crashed every club he goes to and want some of that for The Arsenal? Beggars belief… but look, this is a man that was inspired by Unai Emery.

Worse still, how can you think our owners are going to want him in our dugout? Not because Stan K cares, more because of what Jose represents to their day to day. Ivan and Arsene were given the keys to Arsenal for so many years because they understood the Kroenke’s wanted the easy life. They owners have real estate DNA. They want tenants with fat kids and boring lives. They don’t want teenagers that are causing havoc at all hours. Jose Mourinho is a noisy tenant. He’s a bad egg to start with, so the press whirlwind is going to cause them anxiety. He isn’t at the cutting edge of coaching, so the only way he can win these days is by writing cheques. He’s a wrecking ball to a carefully built club infrastructure, so he’ll be expensive to move on. His football will have the fans miserable once the ‘Special One’ sauce rubs off after 3 months.

Do you think that is the sort of manager the Kroeke’s are going to indulge?

In LA, KSE are giving chances to young coaches that are innovative and entertaining. Are they really going to sign off on the most prolific arsonist in football management?

I hope not.

That said, I’m not sure there’s a plan in the works to replace Emery.

If it’s not Jose Mourinho, it’ll have to be Freddie Ljungberg. I love the guy, but I think we could be welcoming another problem. He’s a lovable risk, but his coaching credentials are working under Unai Emery and getting relegated with Joncker in Germany. I could be totally wrong, I hope I am, but I don’t think we’re hiring our way out of this mess if we move Emery on this weekend.

Oddly, we’re almost in a position where it’s more dangerous to sack Emery.

We should be making a well thought out decision right now, one for the future, one that is backed by detailed and insightful recommendations, not moving hard on a has-been or a coach very early in his career that has already relegated a team.

Bayern Munich fired Kovac and they were linked heavily with Arsene Wenger yesterday. Rapha H, the defacto go-to on all things Bayern says he’s not on the shortlist. Point is, it’s slim pickings. Worth noting, Ralph Rangnick wouldn’t even entertain a phone call with them. That’s how tough the job market is. I also don’t think we’ll move for Allegri, he has a big financial appetite and I suspect the club passed on him for a very specific reason last time. Maybe dry football and issues with language were the sticking point? Ironic if that were the case.

We are in a disastrous position now. Big trouble awaits. We didn’t move on Emery this summer despite it being absolutely clear he was not going to drive us forward. I can have some sympathy for Edu, he’s new to Arsenal, but Raul? A few shiny transfers that have so far tanked will not gloss over his choice of Unai Emery. That’s on him. Rectifying it with Jose Mourinho will further prove out my fear that he’s not the full package we hoped for.

The mutterings I hear about current situation are not positive. Take that how you will, but I have sailed pretty close to the truth on the big narratives, I consistently hear from people close to the action that the new setup is not right.

Raul can hide behind Ivan G, but he was the football guy. He can push Edu into the mix, but he’s new. He owns the mess. He owns the PR debacle of Xhaka and Mesut Ozil. He was responsible for the Mourinho dinner.

It’s time to clean up and start delivering on fixing the mess. It’s time to craft a plan. It’s time to prove that he truly is a Don, because as it stands, he’s looking more and more like a used car salesman trying his hand at running a space agency.

Let’s see what happens next, but beware the tonic of change, it might have a nasty aftertaste.

FRESH PODCAST MEAT: Matt Kandela back on the mic, all the issues, from Xhaka through to Don Raul. Please listen, you fucking owe it to me for spending so much money fixing the comments

(a bit of white noise as I transition to Skype calls, bear with me this once, I’ll have fixed it for the future)

DropboxiTunes | Stitcher | Spotify

739 Responses to “Don Raul: Architect of Emery disaster. What does round 2 bring?”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. CG

    Why on Earth was Marketing Man Vinai over in Portugal – wasting precious business time?

    (Its a Loosers Cup match for heavens sake!)

    Does he always need to hold Raul’s hand?

    I suggest he gets back in his bunker and ‘Market and Caress’ up some new corporate sponsors.

    Because we have to get some revenue somewhere.

    We aint getting CL money for a while.

    Vinny: ” we would not change a thing” re :Emerys appointment!

    (never in a million years a man of such feeble inadequacy make footballing decisions and especially re: management. choices)

    A prize pillock of epic proportions, this one.
    If Arsenal don’t get a proper manager this time round

    G of H will be unquestionably right

    Adminstration will be our destination.

  2. MartinellisHead

    Never want us to lose a game of any description in any competition but have the powers that be got it in them to pull the trigger without a disastrous result/results?

  3. guest man aka WW

    @ Champagne,
    man when you want to be funny you really are….the wenger back retort and analogy was classic.

  4. TR7


    Sorry mate, rate you as a poster but if you are saying our midfield is not good enough to muster a shot at the goal against mighty vitoria for 80 mins, I am not having it. And yesterday wasn’t even a one off.

  5. salpardisenyc

    Nice post Leeds, the time is now.

    Agree with Matts view from the Pod that Raul has already made mind up and Leicester will be Emery’s last game regardless of result.

    What more evidence does anyone need, Emery’s broken at Arsenal.

    With that no idea who they hire, biggest fear at this stage is Mourinho his financial package too big.

  6. CG

    The puppies in Le Grove can talk about new players as per usual.

    But there aint no money left.
    And if there were FFP kicks in.
    (see Saracens!)

    the TV deals wont save us either

    VAR and illegal streaming will see to that.

    We are in The Last Chance Saloon and we have dunces everywhere you turn!

    Its Rafa/Jose or Weng or its over!

  7. Marko

    Sal dream scenario for me one of Fonseca, Rose or Van Bronkhorst. Would be okay with Allegri, Enrique or Marcelino. Big no on Mourinho, Arteta or Freddie until the end of the season. Freddie’s such an odd one for the fans to engorge themselves behind literal definition of desperation. Likable chap who puts an arm around the kids. If that’s all it takes to get the Arsenal job there’s a park close to my house I’ll pop in on the way home.


  8. Spanishdave

    The trouble is that managers get sacked after normally it’s too late for the season, and yet another rebuilding starts.
    There has to be a financial affect already on shirt sales, retail goods , food sales due to the low attendances, this is what hurts Stan the most.
    Wenger could have groomed a successor but he was so big headed he couldn’t do it, the club managers and board are third rate, that why we cannot seem to be in recovery yet

  9. Leedsgunner

    No to Mourinho.

    Mourinho, loves only one person, himself… and he will leave a trail of carnage that will take years to clean up.

  10. Un na naai

    Ishola getting carved up like a Christmas turkey again.

    Must love the attention. Why else would you contradict yourself with such ridiculous viewpoints

    We don’t have goalscoring midfielders
    Except we do- willock has 4 goals in 13 games and is 20

    Chelsea do but the players you mention
    Pulisic has 4/13 and cost £50m

    And mount has 4/17


  11. TR7

    And even if you think our midfield is shit what does it say about ability of Raul and Emery to spot a talent ? They have added Ceballos, Guen and Torr to our midfield and yet it has become worse than what it was 2 years ago.

  12. Micheal

    “The owners don’t pick the teams and employ the tactics. That’s all down to the manager. The simple fact of the matter is that both Wenger and now Emery, are to blame.”

    Graham, with respect, you are missing the point.

    Wenger and Gazidis mismanaged the club for years because the owner did not care or didf not injtervene them from fucking up. He paid their wages but sat on his hands while the club declined.

    The responsibiity of ownership extends far beyond the 11 blokes on the pitch. Kroenke’s irresponsibility lies at the heart of the debacle.

    My question is will he allow to happen again with Raul and Emery ?

  13. Paulinho

    TR7 – The midfield is a large part of it for reasons I’ve already gone into but there is also a lot of hair-pulling decision-making from our forwards that continually lead to wasted chances in the final third. The amount of times Pepe or Saka, or Laca, will mess up quite basic passes in and around the box is extraordinary. There is always a pass too far in front or too far behind.

    Just players doing the basics will see the attempts and shots on target rise. The first few minutes were a prime example. Tierney plays a great cross and Pepe for some reason decides to run to the far post instead of near, and he misses a certain goal or strike on goal.

    It’s bizarre mix of awful decision-making, limited footballers consistently showing their limitations by always misjudging weights of passes, and that cycle of being perpetuated by the resultant lack of confidence, and players then not showing for the ball and hiding.

    I’ve seen it happen to us before when the balance is not right, most notably back in 2009 when Fabregas was injured. Shows the difference one quality player can make, and how philosophy means little if personnel is not right.

  14. Paulinho

    Wenger’s captain has his own ­theories, lauding team-mates for a midweek defeat of Roma — the only goal a penalty — in his programme notes then coldly exposing a flaw in their play without him. “One of the reasons we haven’t been as dangerous lately is because our first thoughts have often been to pass the ball back,” wrote the injured Cesc Fábregas.

    “We have to do the opposite. We have to remember that we are wearing one of the most important shirts in the world and be responsible for that, not scared.” Part of that fear has been inflicted by a support that regularly barracks the likes of Emmanuel Eboué and Nicklas Bendtner. Both dropped down to the bench here, Wenger switching personnel and formation to post Andrey Arshavin and Carlos Vela on the right and left wings.

  15. salpardisenyc

    Hey Marko good to hear the kidney infection is sorted, sounded nasty.

    All solid candidates, don’t see Fonseca as option with his just taking reigns at Roma and moving them up table, same goes for Rose topping table in Germany at least until summer.

    Allegri, Marcelino, Van B and Enrique all available and certainly better options to Jose. Could see Raul go the Enrique route of those which wouldn’t be my first choice of that quartet but confident any would have us playing more confidently than Emery.

  16. RodneyKing


    “ I’m really interested in the following question:
    Does anyone actually believe that Emery’s Arsenal career can bounce back?”

    Good question but Emery hasn’t had a successful career at Arsenal yet, so the only thing he can bounce back to is a clean slate. He may have a chance at succeeding long-term but he doesn’t have long-term.

    But let’s assume he did. He’d have to show us what Emeryball is and to do that, he’d have to bring in exactly the type of players he needs. For instance, he likes players like Nzonzi and Fabinho in midfield. The only thing Xhaka has in common with those two is “height”.

    So he must do away with certain players, especially those not fit for purpose (e.g. Xhaka, Mustafi) and those who don’t believe in him. He can then attempt to rebuild with Pepe, Saka, Holding, Saliba, Chambers, Tierney, Guendouzi, Torreira, Willock, ESR, Nkethia, Nelson, Martinelli, plus our other youngsters forming the base while bringing in additional (and hopefully exceptional) players who can improve the team.

    But I must add that this is the direction that the club should be heading in regardless of whether Emery stays or leaves after his contract expires. The club should have a plan or vision if you will and then hire management and playing staff who can realize that vision.

    Unfortunately, the mission and not the vision, was and is CL football. That’s why Emery was hurriedly hired. And as long as the club ownership and hierarchy keep that target in view (and they should), I’m afraid there will be little time for the manager to focus on team building and organization, playing style, etc. Only results matter under these circumstances.

    But results will suffer if the other, more fundamental aspects of the game are not taken care of.

  17. guest man aka WW

    Pepe in a sportshop….
    “how much are those nike sureshot arrow goalking predator can’t miss boots”?
    salesman: “£400”..
    Pepe: “For both”?
    Salesman, looks down at pepes boots and says..”yes of course”
    Pepe; “give me a price for the left boot only, I don’t use the right”
    Salesman says “so what you gonna wear on your right foot..”?
    Pepe:” carpet slippers, trainers or beach pumps”…

  18. Marko

    I miss peak Fabregas I swear.

    Look Sal if we’re serious and have a plan whether Rose or Fonseca are at a club shouldn’t dissuade us. Not like they’re at Barcelona or Madrid. Pay the clubs what they want and get your man. My gut feeling is that shock horror there’s no discernable plan and they’ll likely target someone available. Best case scenario in that is Allegri, Van Bronkhorst or Marcelino. I have a feeling that Edu probably would have been keen on Vieira in the summer after another supposed good season at Nice but they’re not really doing well at the moment

  19. Leedsgunner

    As I’ve said before on here, I actually think we have a good squad with a good spread of abilities and ages but Emery clearly doesn’t know how to get the best out of them. Obviously there’s still a couple of players that we should shift out but there’s nowhere near the amount of deadwood that was there before.

    We need to pull the plug before top 4 becomes a bridge too far…

    In other words, who do you want at Arsenal beyond this season more?

    Emery on one hand or Lacazette and Aubameyang on the other?

    If are to keep one we cannot have the other… it’s that simple.

    As for me, Emery needs to go today.

  20. Stew

    Having watched the Man City game last night I wondered how they could very easily see out 7 minutes of stoppage time with 9 men and half a goalie when we couldn’t even hold out for 1 minute with 11 players. Application?? Tactics??

  21. Alex James

    I don’t know what was worse yesterday, the awful weather in Portugal or us. Benitez remains the man for me. Yes, JM
    represents a risk but it’s not as if we are riding high at the moment! Wenger should have gone after the IT debacle and Emery after that appalling display in the EL final. For most of my life, Chelsea were the joke club of London. Now my Chelsea supporting friends think it is us. A great club like The Arsenal shouldn’t be managed by the clown we have now. I just want him gone.

  22. Un na naai

    salpardisenycNovember 7, 2019 15:32:08
    Hey Marko good to hear the kidney infection is sorted, sounded nasty.

    Pfff. He’s a nihilist, what does it matter? Everything is meaningless….
    Glad to have you back though marko

    Was missing you tying yourself in knots trying to convince anyone that emery was ok and our squad was shite and, you know, all the other crap you spout

  23. Valentin

    The thing is everybody got excited when Raul joined us. He comes from Barcelona. Same thing repeat itself when Emery joined. Everybody got excited. He won title with PSG and He won 3 Europa Cup with Sevilla.

    My view was Raul did a terrible job at Barcelona and they were pretty much happy to see the back of him. For years we have been laughing at the incompetence of of the Barcelona negotiating team. We kept selling them overpriced players who could not fit their play.

    He is doing exactly the same job at Arsenal. Making overpriced deal. Neglecting big problem in order to purchase vanity shinny players. Most of which turn out to be unecessary or unsuited to the team style.

    Emery had all the hallmark of a deal done because Raul did not want Arteta. Naming a manager who will be too grateful and afraid to rock the boat. A’s hire A’s and B’s hire C’s.

    Now we are stuck with a second rate manager who knows that he will never get such good position. Raul has to bite the bullet, but he knows that any manager worth its salt, will quickly challenge his authority.

    The only saving grace is that Raul also knows that if he messes up the next manager appointment, he will be out of job with a reputation in tatters. The guy who failed at Barcelona and then failed even more at Arsenal.

    Unfortunately that also means that he won’t go for the smart, progressive upcoming manager. He will go for the safe decision. Either a big name like Mourinho or a former Arsenal icon, Like Vieira/Henry. Hopefully Tony Adams is not in the running.

  24. Leftsidesanch

    Setting a team up to try to “negate” the opposition is one thing if you can actually defend as a team, we can’t. As a result we struggle to create anything of note (or at all) and usually end up with a negative result.

    People constantly claim they can’t see the plan on the field, its right before your eyes. Its to nullify the strength of our opponent, and relinquishes our best attributes in doing so.

    On Saturday we need to go for it.

  25. Leftsidesanch

    And has been stated, its one thing for us to want a change of manager. The players clearly do too, that is not an excuse for them not to try. There’s been very little effort since the last international break.

  26. Leedsgunner

    “On Saturday we need to go for it.”

    Unlikely with Emery… he’s a man who seems afraid of his own shadow.

    Boring, boring Arsenal is back but with absolutely nothing to show for it.

  27. Leftsidesanch

    He does come across like a timid indecisive man who needs saving from himself Leeds. Our attacking stats are horrific without even considering the personnel we have in that area of the pitch. Its not a surprise we are struggling this year.

  28. Graham62

    Alex James

    We became the “joke club of London” long ago.

    Two clowns in quick succession has hurt us badly.

    We all want Emery gone.

  29. Leedsgunner

    I’m not wishing it, but I can see a hammering this weekend. Emery sets up defensively but ironically can’t defend to save his life. Goodness me, Emery couldn’t instruct his players to keep out a Portuguese minnow… why do you think he will be able to keep out a hungry EPL side?

    3-0 to Leicester if we’re lucky… 5-0 to Leicester if we’re not. Our defence is that bad and disorganised.

    I can easily see us imploding at Leicester… this circus is going to become really ugly unless the powers that be at Arsenal do the brave thing and eject Emery as soon as possible.

  30. Graham62


    Any professional manager who goes around high-fiving his players in a coaching session, is both “timid and indecisive”

    End of.

  31. Leftsidesanch

    No, let’s hope we pull out a result. All it will be is that we are 9 points off a CL place and will have to claw back that deficit from two hungry in form sides.

    Can you see ownership pulling the plug after Leicester? Why that game? Isn’t it clear for all that a change has been needed for some time?

  32. RodneyKing


    “ Unfortunately that also means that he [Raul] won’t go for the smart, progressive upcoming manager. He will go for the safe decision. Either a big name like Mourinho or a former Arsenal icon, Like Vieira/Henry. Hopefully Tony Adams is not in the running.”

    Liverpool and Man City didn’t go for the so-called “smart, progressive upcoming manager”. They went for established and proven. It seems to have worked out for them.

  33. Alexanderhenry


    ‘Unai Emery was his (Raul’ s) decision’.

    Was it?

    I thought it was a decision made by Gazidis or a combination of the two plus the Kroenkes.

    What worries me is that it was an appointment made within parameters set by Kroenke.
    In other words, appoint a manager who won’t complain about lack of funds and is on board with Arsenal’s ‘values’.
    Add that to a complex new management structure which places Stan and co as far away from the actual running of arsenal as possible and ye olde arsenal soccer team can just tick over.

    Things went to shit at the end of Wenger’s tenure, but as I predicted they have now just gone to a different colour of shit.

    Arsenal fc needs new ownership. It needs investment, commitment, urgency, a vision and some TLC.

  34. Valentin


    There is nothing wrong with the going for the established name approach if you have the budget for it. Arsenal does not. Big name means big salary, but also big cheque book.

    Taking into account the inflation and the payment structure , ManCity and Liverpool paid more for their goal keeper than Arsenal paid for Pepe.
    The only big names willing to accept Arsenal financial restricting condition would be the one desperate for the job.
    However once they have re-established their reputation, Do you think that any of the so called big names will work with Raul? Emery wanted NZonzi, a tall lanky DM he got Torreira.

    Try doing that to Mourinho, Allegri, etc and see if they would not kick a fuss about the quality of the recruit.
    They would demand a bigger budget. Mourinho was able to behave only 9 months at ManUtd. I can see him lasting the same at Arsenal before starting his scorched earth behaviour.

  35. Ishola70

    lol Don wants us to believe that we have equal in Willock in comparison to Pulisic and Mount.

    Pulisic cost 54m from Dortmund and that is his current valuation now.

    Mount is now valued at just over 31m.

    Go and see what Willock’s transfer value is at this time Don and it will bring home to you your over-rating of this player at this current time.

    Pulisic and Mount have got goals in EPL matches while Willock has done ok and scored one very good goal in second string matches and a few others also in second string games.

    Both Pulisic and Mount have shown more in their game than Willock both on the ball, off the ball runs and just their general play.

    I really want to believe you Don that Willock is just steps away from football greatness a but such is your form proclaiming Maitland Niles a good player that unfortunately I have to be wary on your prediction.

  36. Cesc Appeal

    Munich have rejected Wenger’s advances apparently.

    Not a shock.

    Fully expecting an absolute spanking on Saturday. Leicester are going to run through our midfield at will and will likely be up for this as a chance to make a real statement.

    That should be it for Emery.

    I’d take Mourinho until the end of the season, provided it was just until the end of the season.

  37. Marko

    Alex nothing wrong with the structure in place or really the investment. I would argue the managerial appointment and the aggressiveness in which we addressed the squad post Wenger was the issue. Ivan and Sven going things have picked up for the better in one regard and replacing the manager will help with the other.

  38. Marko

    Munich have rejected Wenger’s advances apparently.

    Yeah no fucking shit. Team struggling with defence and consistency and they appoint Arsene Wenger? Don’t make me laugh.

  39. jwl

    Your inside sources are traitorous cnuts who support Gazidis, Pedro.

    It is amazing how Ivan gets no negative comments from you, he was CEO of Arsenal when Emery was hired but it somehow Raul’s fault because of dodgy translation during interview where Emery speaks English? You and your ‘sources’ are being little englanders with this theory.

    No top tier coach would want Arsenal job at moment, we are in transition and it is difficult job for any manager. If Emery is fired soon, our next coach is going to face same issues Emery has and will do just as well.

    Emery is doing as well as could be expected, many gooners have unrealistic expectations of how Arsenal would play after Wenger was fired.

  40. Marko

    They actually had discussions with him it seems. Bet they only offered him the job until the end of the season. Fools don’t they know who he is. No way his ego would allow that

  41. Marc


    Agree with your take on Pedro’s angle regarding Sanllehi. If it goes wrong somehow Pedro will connect the dots to blame Sanllehi.

    He’s come out and backed Sven after he have n interview slagging off the club for the way it was running recruitment. I keep asking about the recruitment done whilst Sven was Head of Recruitment but that gets ignored.

  42. Alexanderhenry


    There might not be anything wrong with the management structure but a lot has been made of it and it hasn’t yet delivered.

    So far, it has meant fans have more of a choice of who to blame.
    I’m not sure that’s helpful.

  43. salparadisenyc

    It would be so surreal seeing Mourinho managing this club, i’ve a hard time wrapping my head around that proposition.

  44. Marko

    Sven Mislintat was a joke while he was here. Didn’t sell anyone of note brought in Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Mhikitaryan and others who didn’t improve us. Points for Guendouzi sure but that’s not good enough for me

  45. Marc


    I’m fully expecting any player we sign over the next couple of years who works out to be a “Sven” signing. Any that don’t will be a Sanllehi signing that Sven warned him about.

  46. Marko

    Alex you’re wrong and misguided to make it about the kroenkes now. Structure in place is that of a football club and the investment has been solid enough considering we’re a Europa League club. Could easily get lucky with the next managerial appointment and we’re flying which would make the whole kroenke thing look silly.

  47. Marko

    So far, it has meant fans have more of a choice of who to blame.
    I’m not sure that’s helpful.

    That’s how it goes. You think people are going after that Lewis fella at Spurs? No it’s the players it’s the manager it’s Levy they go after

  48. Bob N16

    Until we are challenging properly, all personnel in high up positions deserve scrutiny. Emery is a busted flush, now it’s Sanhelli ‘s turn to prove that he’s good enough. Edu, having just arrived is harder to judge. Mind you if he was responsible for our signing of Martinelli for £6m, he’s already in credit.

    How they handle this mess though will be informative, dealing with a failing coach 10 games into a PL season. Time to earn their salaries.

  49. Alexanderhenry


    I disagree, but you know that.

    I do not believe a club like arsenal can realise its potential with its current owners.
    Time will tell.

  50. Graham62

    Come on, how can anyone on here seriously think that Bayern would be interested in hiring Arsene Wenger?


    No frigging chance!!

  51. Marko

    Until we are challenging properly, all personnel in high up positions deserve scrutiny. Emery is a busted flush, now it’s Sanhelli ‘s turn to prove that he’s good enough

    I asked this earlier is Raul in the firing line for not sacking the manager straight away? What if he does it eventually still no reprieve? Results aren’t good enough and the manager is failing I’m not sure how any of that can be directed at Raul he did all that was expected of him this past summer.

    Again no one will take the Arsenal job if in the future the first sign of trouble they sack the manager. International break seems about right for me. Letting it go into the new year or the end of the season and then you’d have to question upper management.

  52. Marko

    I do not believe a club like arsenal can realise its potential with its current owners.

    It’s potential? Sounds like you want some oil money owner if you ask me. What about “values” Alex? Have you completely disregarded them?

  53. Dream10

    Mourinho wants a superclub job. We’re his fall back option. Threw in his name for the Bayern job, but think they will continue with the assistant manager for the rest of the season. He is the favourite for the Real job, but Zidane pulls out a result when he needs it. If PSG sack Tuchel during the season, that his best shot.

    Luis Enrique was one of the first names linked with the Arsenal job in Jan/Feb 2018.
    Remember Ed Malyon saying that Arsenal scoffed at his 16m Barcelona level salary at the time. Believe he was Raul’s first choice
    He had Neymar and peak Messi in 2015 when he won the treble. Didn’t pull up any trees at Roma or Celta Vigo.

  54. Graham62


    “No top tier coach would want the Arsenal job at the moment”

    Don’t agree. Emery is useless, we all see that. Any team with the likes of Aubamayang, Lacazette, Pepe, Torreira, Tierney, Guendouzi, Martinelli, Ceballos, Holding, Willock, Luiz and even Ozil, in their ranks, would be a major attraction for any “top tier coach”.

    Just because Wenger became clueless and Emery is clueless, won’t prevent us from attracting the right fit.

  55. Marc


    Agree the International break would allow a new manager to at least get to know the training ground facilities / coaching & medical staff etc.

    Have Sanllehi and Edu got someone lined up or a shortlist? No idea but it would be highly unlikely such information would be leaked / made public, it would also only be known to a very small circle so Pedro’s contact “Sue” the tea lady won’t be in the loop yet.

  56. Batistuta

    Again, we have to buy smartly.. That’s almost as important as whoever the next manager is…Buy smartly, sell smartly, have a good balance in the squad

  57. Batistuta


    By Us yea…. Raul and co have to our tiny knowledge hedged on getting champions league football this season, Emery is getting that and you’d be hard pressed getting some of these “young progressive” managers to leave their positions mid-season to join out merry band of misfits so that leaves you with put of job managers and unless Enrique who seems like he’d be Raul’s first choice is ready to get into management again, all pointers lead to a Mid-season Mourinho hire….Probably on a 2 year deal

  58. CG


    “””I’m not sure how any of that can be directed at Raul he did all that was expected of him this past summer.”””

    Cebollas- Excrement .10 mill loan fee

    Louise – Chelsea 😉😂 7 million and 2.5 half year contract. A renown Clown.

    Tierney. 30 mill. Injured and always will be.No sane club went anywhere near him at that price.

    Pepe- 72 Million. Ain’t scored from open play. One footed trick pony. Undoubted Flop.

    Martinelli – 6 million. So far so good.Looks promising though. But early days yet. Jury is still out.
    (Scoring in Loosers cup means nothing)

    Raul loves fans like you…..

  59. Marko

    Bati Charles asked earlier but you weren’t here thoughts on the Xhaka Kessie swap being bandied about on the internet?

  60. Alexanderhenry


    Yes, I have completely disregarded arsenal’s ‘values’.
    I never believed in them in the first place.

  61. Marko

    Just FYI going forward just assume that for reasons obvious to most I won’t be dealing with obvious halfwit cunts going forward because it’s a waste of time. That goes for anyone believing in 10 million loan fees or fit players always being injured and especially idiots who believe in giving two and a half year contracts in the summer transfer window.

  62. Marko

    Marc I’d take Kessie because he’s an upgrade on some that we have but in saying that yet again it would be us signing up yet another midfielder who’s not a DM or holding midfielder so yet again it goes unaddressed. Just sign up a DM ffs. Christ so much of our shit would have been addressed had we actually signed Fabinho or Kante

  63. CG

    Cebollas loan fee and wages exceed 10 mill


    Faked an injury yesterday.

    Another Spaniard on The AFC Gravy Train.

  64. Dissenter

    “It would be so surreal seeing Mourinho managing this club, I’ve a hard time wrapping my head around that proposition.

    You may have to get used to the previously imponderable possibilities for a while until we stumble unto the right manger.
    Emery won’t be the last managerial error we make.

  65. CG


    I concur.
    Re..Quality Coach.

    But it’s too late.

    We could snare Klopp or Pep tonight.

    Still ain’t good enough for top 4.

    Summer Budget was blown on substandard players.

    You can handle the truth but not so sure about t’others!

    They believe this Don Raul Cobblers!!

    And whilst I am here

    Dont buy puppies for Christmas presents…

  66. Un na naai

    Ishola70November 7, 2019 17:31:47
    lol Don wants us to believe that we have equal in Willock in comparison to Pulisic and Mount.Pulisic cost 54m from Dortmund and that is his current valuation now.Mount is now valued at just over 31m.Go and see what Willock’s transfer value is at this time Don and it will bring home to you your over-rating of this player at this current time.


    Yes and willock is neck and neck in goal scoring terms. Don’t forget both players have had far more first team chances than willock

    But again. Let’s leave those goal posts exactly where they are thank you and stick to the point you made originally

    You said Chelsea are better because they have goals from midfield
    Well so do we. Not saying willock is better all round but he offers goals from midfield yet you argue against him getting game time and argue for Ceballos getting a first team slot

    So which is it ishola? You want goals from midfield or you want Ceballos? Trust me, you won’t be getting both.

  67. Marc


    It’s funny how some on here make Levy out to be some sort of genius when he’s gone through about a dozen managers all but one of whom have been utter drivel but would hang Sanllehi from a lamppost if he doesn’t get it instantly right.

  68. Un na naai

    MarkoNovember 7, 2019 18:42:05
    Just FYI going forward just assume that for reasons obvious to most I won’t be dealing with obvious halfwit cunts going forward because it’s a waste of tim

    Leave it out Brüno

  69. Leftsidesanch

    One thing we can agree on is Emery is awful. Its one thing being not fit for purpose but another to keep rolling into every match with the same preparations that haven’t yielded results previously.

    He’s behaving like a man who’s not in the firing line and is safe.

  70. Valentin


    Gazidis insisted for the recruitment of the followings: Aubameyang, Mhkitaryan.
    Sven was directly responsible for the recruitment of Guendouzi, Mavrapanos, Saliba. Saliba was already on Dortmund list the previous year.
    Sven/Raul shared recruitment: Sokratis.
    Raul’s recruitment is Denis Sanchez, Torreira, Lichsteiner, Luiz, Pepe.
    Edu recruitment is Martinelli.

    I would say that objectively Sven did pretty well in term of recruitment. In fact so far the only undisputed Raul success has been to move players off: Elneny, Mhkitaryan, Iwobi.

  71. Un na naai

    Munich have rejected Wenger’s advances apparently.Yeah no fucking shit. Team struggling with defence and consistency and they appoint Arsene Wenger? Don’t make me laugh.

    Like they’d take emery…. biggest fraud I’ve ever witnessed
    Protagonists eh….? Are we….?

  72. Un na naai

    Am I missing something here??

    Ishola wants goals from midfield but not from willock, so where the hell are they coming from? Pepe can add goals from wide
    Lacazette and Aubameyang have yet to find their groove this season
    Same with ozil

    Only thing holding us back from goals is emery

    Also, we have far more of a goal threat from our forwards than Chelsea so in their entire team so the point is null and void

  73. Marc


    Where do you get this shit from? How do you know that Torreira had nothing to do with Sven? Why didn’t Sven suggest a DM that was better?

    As for Sven doing well?

    “Sven was directly responsible for the recruitment of Guendouzi, Mavrapanos, Saliba.”

    Well Guendozi was a good punt but isn’t the finished article yet and we don’t know what his ceiling is. Mavropanos can’t keep fit and in the limited appearances he’s made has looked pretty poor. Saliba hasn’t kicked a ball for us yet and is very young.

    I don’t see how you can claim he did well based on the above three players and that’s ignoring your bias against the current management setup.

  74. Graham62

    Remember CG, although you’re back in the limelight and your predictions on Emery came true( well done again) let’s not forget you sat on your backside for about 8 years as we sunk further into the abyss.

    Give yourself another pat on the back.👏

    What a hero!

  75. Valentin

    With the exception of Pedro, most people saw Gazidis for what he was a snake oil snake man who did not have a clue about Football. The mess he is currently creating at AC Milan should crush any ideas that he is knowledgeable about Football and his Arsenal failure were a blip. It was not, it was par with his level of competence.

    The main thing is when Wenger was in charge, he should have behaved like a CEO and impose on Wenger a proper structure. However he was so in awe of Wenger that he behaved like an enabler rather than a boss.
    Once Wenger left, he had the opportunity to behave like a proper CEO. He had one big decision to make which was to hire Wenger successor, but he bottled it.
    He was so afraid of being blamed of any mistakes that he decided to go via committee. It has been repeated multiple times, nothing great is created by committee. Anybody in charge should also be accountable. Being accountable is owning a decision not delegating it to a committee.

  76. Marko

    Gazidis insisted for the recruitment of the followings: Aubameyang, Mhkitaryan.
    Sven was directly responsible for the recruitment of Guendouzi, Mavrapanos, Saliba. Saliba was already on Dortmund list the previous year.
    Sven/Raul shared recruitment: Sokratis.
    Raul’s recruitment is Denis Sanchez, Torreira, Lichsteiner, Luiz, Pepe.
    Edu recruitment is Martinelli.

    I would say that objectively Sven did pretty well in term of recruitment.

    Jesus Christ Almighty. Revisionism and lies at it’s best

  77. Un na naai

    MarkoNovember 7, 2019 18:45:17
    Marc I’d take Kessie because he’s an upgrade on some that we have but in saying that yet again it would be us signing up yet another midfielder who’s not a DM or holding midfielder so yet again it goes unaddressed. Just sign up a DM ffs. Christ so much of our shit would have been addressed had we actually signed Fabinho or Kante

    Erm yeah or if we actually played our dm as a dm. Does any idiot here think Kante would be utilised correctly by emery
    Wake up man

  78. Un na naai

    Graham62November 7, 2019 19:02:50
    Remember CG, although you’re back in the limelight and your predictions on Emery came true( well done again) let’s not forget you sat on your backside for about 8 years as we sunk further into the abyss.Give yourself another pat on the back.👏What a hero!

    Come on man. The dude was spot on. Let him bask. You publicly apologised to him this week for your treatment of him

    Na was called a cunt and told to crawl back under his rock because he went against the grain. He’s been polite and dignified throughout.

  79. CG


    But I thought Wenger was doing a good/reasonable but far from perfect job under the passive Kroenke regime.

    You don’t.

    Only time will tell who was right.

  80. Un na naai

    I’m astonished marko has the gall to keep posting after the numerous humiliations he’s received this season thus far

    Backed every failure in the team. Ceballos, Emery, Luiz.

    Man can’t help but back a lame horse.

  81. Graham62

    Ultimately, Wenger and Gazidis screwed with one another.

    It was all a smokescreen.

    Gazidis was an utter sleezeball.

  82. Marc


    I made that point earlier – it’s possible that Torreira isn’t cut out for the PL but until he’s given a run at DM this season we just don’t know.

    He started well but faded last season – was that down to going to the Qtr finals of the World Cup & moving to a much faster league or a limitation in the player? We don’t know and every time he starts this season he seems to play in any position other than DM.

  83. Valentin


    Torreira is not a bad purchase. He is just unsuited to play in the role Emery is assigning him. Torreira’s agent confirmed that Raul is the one who contacted them. For me, his purchase is neutral.

    My take that Sven did pretty well is that If we were to sell the players that Sven directly brought to Arsenal, they would fetch more than what we paid for.

    On the other hand, I would say that most of the players brought by Raul would fetch less. It was the same when he was at Barcelona. Buy High, sell low.

  84. Cesc Appeal


    I would actually take Mourinho if it was a case of until June and then we have a long term plan.

    Some sort of financial incentive for him to get us to 4th or better. Have conditions such as he has to have Ljungberg in his set up.

    Then we start working on a plan for the future. If he didn’t accept that then disregard him.

    I’m not totally against Ljungberg being given a go, maybe until January and see how he does. But it is baffling how quick some Arsenal fans are to say we should offer him the job and everything will be gravy…a lot of these fans were/are laughing at Ole.

  85. Un na naai

    MarcNovember 7, 2019 19:08:02
    UnI made that point earlier – it’s possible that Torreira isn’t cut out for the PL but until he’s given a run at DM this season we just don’t know.

    Yes I’d agree with that to an extent but this time last season we were all crowing over him. He was played where he plays best and my god he was a breath of fresh air until emery decided to tinker with the midfield and we just never recovered.

    He pulled xakha into the quarter back position and pushed Torreira/Guendouzi up and opened up our whole team.

    After Xmas last year nobody in our midfield has offered consistency and why do you think that is? Solid before Xmas, drops Torreira or plays him further upfield and we lose balance.

    To compound it he’s now fucked the only thing that salvaged us last season, our attack.
    The man can’t help but fuck up. He doesn’t know what to do does he? The worse it gets the more he tries to bring us back towards our own goal and so the spiral continues

  86. Marc


    Sorry but that’s bullshit.

    Of course Sanllehi made contact – doing the deal was his job whom ever identified the target.

    Or do you think we had different people closing their own deals?

  87. Marc


    I think Torreira could be very good for us. My point was some on here like him – some don’t. We can’t even get to an objective point because we’re not playing him where he should play.

    It looks to me as if Emery has run out of ideas, is feeling the pressure and in a desperate attempt to fix things is just digging a deeper hole.

  88. Graham62


    Bloody hell, that’s the closest you’ve ever come to admitting you made a mistake.

    You still blame Kroenke for Wenger’s shortcomings though.

    Never mind.

  89. Champagne Charlie


    That’s Mr.Churlish I thank you. That or bullyboy123, because apparently that’s my game on here.

    Get your head in the bog son.

  90. Un na naai


    My sentiments exactly mate. It’s time we just cut and run
    I’m sorry but anything is better than emery right now
    Freddie til the end of the season will lift the cloud over the squad at least
    Emery is casting a big fat shadow over our team right now and I think they need relief from him ( not like that 😂)

    They clearly aren’t revelling in his game plan and an invincible like Freddy May offer some attacking freedom to the riches we have

  91. Marc


    I can’t see Mourinho taking a 6 month job.

    As for giving Ljungberg the role – he’s a fan favourite and maybe it’d work out but it’d be a huge risk. One of the things that bothers me is how “fans” spent years slagging off Bould as Ass Manager but Ljungberg is amazing. Our performances are worse and as for performance with the youngsters Bould did win the FA Youth Cup with a great bunch of kids.

    I should make the point that I don’t blame Ljungberg for the current problems but just think fans are too fickle and don’t judge equally.

  92. Un na naai


    Can Freddie be any more of a risk than continuing with emery? We are dropping points every single Saturday at the minute and I expect the same this weekend

  93. Valentin


    There is a difference between who spotted them and who closed the deal. Saliba is a classic example. Dortmund tried to recruit him when Sven was there. So clearly Sven is the one who spotted him. However the deal was clearly made by Raul.

    Guendouzi was first approached by Arsenal in February when Emery was still in charged of PSG. So again spotted by Sven rather than Raul.

    If you read Sven interview, he clearly stated that there was two competing way and teams of going about the recruitment. The point of contention was not negotiating the deal as Raul was clearly in charge of that aspect. It was about how to identify a player.

    Torreira had always been presented as a Raul recruitment.

    Denis Sanchez was a Raul recruitment. In fact he was one of the reason Sven fought with Raul.

  94. Un na naai

    One of the things that bothers me is how “fans” spent years slagging off Bould as Ass Manager but Ljungberg is amazing. Our performances are worse and as for performance with the youngsters Bould did win the FA Youth Cup with a great bunch of kids.

    Yeah I’d agree with this but stevie boils never really offered anything to prove his ability as a no2 or even as a coach. He suffered flack because of wenger post pat rice

    Truth is wenger had two trusted right hand men. Rice and David Dein. Once they both left he was finished. I truly believe they were a key component in facilitating the best of wenger

    Come on man
    We all remember the good years

    Disclaimer- this comment excludes marko, Bamford, Freddie, ishola and hairbrain who only started filling arsenal post 05

  95. Un na naai


    Yes but we don’t need Freddie long term
    Just someone to man the fort and bring the feel good factor back, inspire the boys until we find our guy (arteta or Rodgers for me)

  96. Batistuta


    Thing is Kessie isn’t a pure DM and that’s what we need… He’s young and could probably be instructed to sit deeper but he does love to venture up field as he has the lungs for it but again, we’d just be signing another square peg….

    Say though,Torreira didn’t fancy London again and wanted out, Kessie would be a perfect replacement… Funny, I’m sure Emery would have loved having a player like that who is more less a work horse

  97. Marc


    Sanchez as a loan deal – who fucking cares. Same with Ceballos if he’s not working out then what ever.

    I never said Guendozi was a Sanllehi “signing” and I don’t see your point.

    You are so ready to slag off Sanllehi it’s a fixation but won’t take a reasoned view on what Sven did. Guendozi = OK could be good, Mavropanos = poor looking like will be a waste, Saliba hasn’t kicked a ball for us yet.

    I don’t call that a proven track record.

  98. Un na naai

    Not nearly as hardline as Pedro but also agree that they were never happy with emery and secretly wanted arteta.

    Any true gooner would agree man. Can’t be a coincidence that most arsenal bloggers say the same damned thing. Emery was always the Moyes we never wanted
    The le grove comments section was the only place he was truly welcomed because it was the most anti wenger part of the arsenal web sphere

  99. Un na naai

    I’m not ready jump on Raul yet
    I don’t think he’s done too badly at all
    His worst moves were Emery and Luiz

    Outside of that he’s been largely positive for me. The structure of the club has improved under him
    It’s mainly the coach or lack there of that’s held us back

  100. Cesc Appeal


    If he wouldn’t accept that I wouldn’t want him. Absolutely tops I would have him for the rest of the season and next season.

    No way would I just have him as manager until such a time as the club decides he is done which means more than likely he has a massive fall out with everyone.

    I agree on Lungberg. Don’t blame him for what is happening but equally I don’t really buy into the hype around. Had to laugh at Pedro having a go at Lungberg though when he incessantly champions Arteta…at least Ljungberg has actually been a manager, albeit at U23 level.

    Who would be your top choice for manager?

  101. Un na naai

    We should have brought in Jack Grealish this summer
    Would have been a dynamic signing
    Lads a little ferret. A pest. Skillful, eye for pass. Proper little player. Instead we went for cockroach head Ceballos

    Ceballos reminds me of that ugly fucker out of the mummy

  102. Cesc Appeal

    As the CB post on here was saying and some others I honestly think Arsenal could benefit from a bit of EPL proven this summer in terms of players. Players like Ndidi, Grealish, Mings, Doucoure, Maddison etc.

  103. Leedsgunner

    Silly season has truly sprung early.

    Steven Gerrard being linked with Arsenal.

    Not my first choice but to give him credit, at least he left a cushy job he had with Liverpool youth squad to make his own mark…

    At least it’s not Jose!

  104. HighburyLegend

    “Shite even Celtic look better than Arsenal.”

    Not very difficult.
    And Tierney want to go back in Scotland.

  105. Marc


    You can’t heap the entire Emery move on Sanllehi. I also think the Luiz move was something forced on the club by the Kos situation. My personal belief is that the “plan” was for Kos to play until Holding was back with Saliba coming in next summer. Kos kicked off and we needed to replace him with a short term option that was preferably PL experienced.

    It was a squarish shaped peg for a squarish hole. I mentioned Cahill and was slagged off – he seems to be doing OK for Palace.

    Sometimes these things work out sometimes they don’t. What I will say in defence of Luiz is that any defender would struggle with no protection from midfield and the number of shots we are conceding at the moment.

  106. Cesc Appeal

    Quite clear the club wanted Upamecano as well but rightfully said no way to £70-80 Million.

    I think Luiz was the best of a tight situation.

    Seems as if we’re interested in this Frankfurt CB in January and I wouldn’t be surprised to see us go back in for Upamecano.

    The midfield is an absolutely massive problem though. Emery is getting it wrong in terms of selections and tactics, but that still needs attention in the market.

  107. Un na naai


    Yeah, I don’t think we’d have gone for emery had Raul not been at the club. Who knows though. Truth is Ivan knew he was off, he was working his way out andraul was taking over
    I’m of the opinion emery was his guy

    Luiz was a fail. No matter the reason
    Called it at the time
    Won’t ever change my opinion
    He’s ok in certain teams but was always going to be wank for arsenal

    That’s under Raul
    We can’t blame wenger or Ivan for that