Raul has set wheels in motion for disaster duo (Long Read)

by & filed under News Review.

Today I’m writing out of desperate concern for the future of our club. I think Arsenal are perched on a dangerous precipice. There is a Trojan horse at the gates of Highbury House, inside it lurks a super agent looking to control his biggest club yet via a managerial proxy.  The idea of Jorge Mendes installing his boy Nuno as our manager has to be squashed with brute force because outside of it being a painfully bland appointment, it comes with dire ramifications for how we are operated and run.

We cannot let this happen. It would be a mistake with grave consequences for our future.

Arsenal is an institution. A club dedicated to closely guarded values. Yes, those values have been used to defend mediocrity over the past 10 years, but forget that for a minute, we stand for something bigger than trophies and that is something you should cherish.

Whether it’s passing on Frank and Ronald De Boer because of what it said about our respect for contracts 25 years ago. Replaying a cup match with Sheffield United because of a rules infraction. Or the general standard of how the club conducts itself in the local community, we are a special club. There is an Arsenal way and it makes us proud to be fans.

Those values appear to be under attack by some in the leadership team.

Look no further than the open arms welcome to ‘contacts’ recruitment and the introduction of super-agents for evidence. Much like Unai Emery’s early subs in September 2018, we initially welcomed the shift towards a more pragmatic era, but 18 months in, with next to nothing to show for it, it’s starting to look like we’re being taken for a ride by Raul’s process for getting things done.

The last 18 months will pale in comparison if he is successful in selling us the dud vision of Nuno and Mendes running things at Arsenal. To be clear, this is not just agent talk. His name will be on the managerial shortlist the club is pulling together. Nuno might look a reasonable suggestion on paper, the one-season wonder has had some spectacular results, but as with Emery, scratch beneath the surface, and it’s clear all is not as it seems with the charismatic Portuguese.

So what’s the problem? Outside having a bland-on-toast resume that’s been heavily fortified with great wins against top 6 sides, the main issue is his super-agent kingmaker, Jorge Mendes. Every article leaked into the Arsenal ether this week has gone to great lengths to tie Raul and his friendship with Mendes to this potential deal. This is not an accident, Raul is canvassing fan opinion to see how we perceive this sort of partnership: You should be disgusted.

Mendes has a history with Arsenal. He has fucked us in the past. The biggest, and perhaps most consequential shafting was the Ronaldo move way back when. Mendes used Arsenal to earn a better deal from United. This is Wenger on the deal.

“There is always something you could have done differently, but the problem of negotiations is to know when you give in and when you don’t give in,” he added.

“Once we were at 4.5 million pounds, we were still in negotiations… so we were very close. But Man United went to 12 million pounds, which we could not afford at the time.”

Mendes was also responsible for sending Ricardo Carvalho to Chelsea when we were close. There are also numerous other deals that didn’t go our way. He is no friend of the club and there was a reason Wenger wouldn’t deal with him (no doubt it’ll be in his book).

Now let’s move onto Nuno. He was Mendes’ first-ever client in football way back when he was a reserve keeper. They have a storied history together.

Fast forward to Spain in 2014.

When creditor, Bankia, were trying to find a buyer for the beleaguered Spanish club Valencia, Asian billionaire Peter Lim brokered a deal for 70% ownership, his one stipulation? Nuno had to be put in charge of the team. The deal went through, the popular Pizzi was sacked, Nuno was given the managerial role. Who brought Peter Lim to the table? Jorge Mendes.

Things went as you’d expect, this from Sport 360.

‘And since Lim’s arrival was confirmed, the club has signed an unsurprisingly high number of players who are managed by or have close links with Mendes, including Joao Cancelo, Zakaria Bakkali, Danilo and Enzo Perez, creating suspicions that they owe their chief loyalties to the agent rather than the club, and that they will only stay until Mendes decides it is time to sell them.’

Things went deeper though, Mendes made real jobs redundant because he was the king. His roster of players was all that mattered.

‘Conversely, fan favourite Nicolas Otamendi was sold to Manchester City, with the deal facilitated by his agent – Mendes, of course. For many fans the most troubling aspect of the summer, however, was neither the club’s failure to significantly invest in players nor the Mendes links with those who did arrive. It was a political battle between Nuno and three of the club’s key backroom staff: president Amadeo Salvo, sporting director Francisco Rufete and scout Roberto Fabian Ayala, who felt marginalised by the powerful influence of Mendes and threatened to leave unless the situation was rectified.’

‘Nuno stood his ground, Lim backed him, and Salvo, Rufete and Ayala all departed – with the startling fact that chief scout Ayala was not even replaced speaking volumes for the club’s current recruitment policy, which appears to be based upon little more than shuffling around Mendes’ personal portfolio.’

Nuno was eventually fired despite returning Valencia to the Champions League, fans were disgusted at the power grip he and Mendes had on the club. By December 2015, Peter Lim had spent €200 million on players (lots of dross), many of whom were represented by Mendes. What did Nuno have to say about it?

“A short time ago I heard that it was a privilege to be able to work with the best agent in the world,”

“I don’t know why this has changed. He remains the best agent in the world. He has helped Valencia a lot.

“The players he has brought, I believe they will soon be the best in the world. You must recognise his work. The squad planning was what we believed was the best. I believe we were right in all the individual judgements. There is a young squad with a lot of potential, the youngest in La Liga. This project will have success for sure.”

Completely oblivious to the real reasons the fans turned on him, Nuno echoed an excuse reminiscent of what Emery said in yesterday’s press conference.

“The players believe they can give more, they must. But they need to be supported, to feel people are with them, that the fans understand their youth, that they are with them in every game, so their quality can come through.

“I had become the problem, because the fans were not supporting us, but had turned on me. Now I ask them to support the players, because they have the quality they have shown before.”

Valencia finished 12th the next two seasons.

Fast forward to 2016. Xi Jinping, the top boy over at China mainland, is a huge Premier League fan. He encouraged investment from his big shot entrepreneurs in the beautiful game. Fosun, a Chinese investment conglomerate, went out and picked up Wolves for £46m. Who was there to broker the deal? Jorge Mendes. He is the go-to broker for Asian billionaires looking to move into European football.

To make matters more complicated, Fosun’s owner has another firm called Shanghai Foyo that reportedly owns a 20% stake in Jorge’s agency, Gestifute. This from Wolves in 2018.

“Fosun have a percentage stake in the Gestifute company headed up by Jorge Mendes,”

Leeds Chairman, Radrizzani, was livid at the complicated relationship Mendes had with the club, obviously fearing conflicts of interest could arise.

“Not legal and fair to let one team owned by a fund who has shares in the biggest players’ agency with evident benefits (top European clubs giving players with options to buy) … why the other 23 teams can’t have the same treatment?”

It’s too boring for me to get into the details of every single player Wolves have signed or moved out of the club, but do the research yourself. Read commentary on Neto and Jordao.

It was swift, it was sudden, and it came as if from nowhere. Wolves, on Friday, with minimal warning until less than 24 horus beforehand, announced the signing of Portuguese duo Pedro Neto and Bruno Jordao from Italian outfit Lazio – for a combined fee of £18million.

Significant money for two players who were largely unheard of outside of Portugal and Italy, and two players who between them had barely racked up 100 minutes of senior football. From the outside, it looks like a confusing piece of business, perhaps even a rip off if you will, and a sign of the market spiralling completely out of control.

Read the Italian press write about the money Lazio spent to NOT play the two mentioned above. Read this 2018 article that cites 13 players as linked to Mendes that moved to Wolves. Or this Sun puff pieces that basically reckons UEFA would be killjoys if they let rules get in the way of a very strange setup. Remember Bebe? Mendes.

So now for Arsenal.

We’ve already had our fingers burned by the Kia deal for Luiz, I was told all in, that deal will have set us back £40m. We should have been looking at players with a high ceiling on the up, not a busted flush from Chelsea. Everyone is fully aware that we went above and beyond on Pepe with fees so steep, Napoli pulled out.

We also signed Unai Emery out of the blue and did the deal in 8 days. Without going over all the things that were clearly wrong with that hire, one huge miss stood out… Emery couldn’t speak English to Sven or Ivan G who interviewed him, yet we still signed him. How was that bulldozed through? No one at Arsenal asked if being able to speak the language was an issue? Very odd.

Anyway, it happened, we’re 18 months on, and who is being linked? Emery with a beard. A man with a very uninspiring resume, with very, very, very deep ties to a super agent that comes as part of his package whether you like it or not.

Signing Nuno is not about his talent as a manager, it’s about what it’ll cost the club in terms of a future. His introduction will make Edu an irrelevance, same for the scouts and the analysts (just like at Valencia)… because Jorge Mendes will become our Technical Director, Chief Scout, and Club Strategist. Why would Raul invite such a force into the club?

This move will create a lack of trust in the system. If you’re upset about the lack of transparency at Arsenal since Stan took us private, my word, you’re in for a treat if Raul gets his way with this manager. On the technical side, this move will rupture the already diminished culture at the club because our approach will shift from data and intelligence, to whatever works best for the fees.

To use Josh Kroenke’s words, it would not leave the fans proud. The Nuno suggestion is an assault on everything we believe about the club we love. It should not and cannot happen. If it does, you’ll know what Raul is all about, and you’ll know where it’s going to end… a financial/football disaster we’ll be lumped with for the next decade.

This sort of carry-on does make me wonder if Sir Chips’ fight to have Arsenal people on the board is about more than hurt feelings. Perhaps Raul’s ideas are alarming the sleepy old men? The same folk that were content with average football for 10 years might not be happy to see the club taking an unsavory path toward opaqueness. One can only hope.

I think it’s very telling that top journalists are being briefed very specifically that Raul is the one responsible for Unai’s continued tenure, as well as being the one that went off-shortlist to make the horrendous recommendation to hire him in the first place, that tells you he has enemies internally because those stories are an attack on his leadership, judgment, and credibility.

My hope is that the good people at the club are aware of the motives behind this managerial suggestion. Josh Kroenke needs to get off his Instagram and start speaking to the folk at the training ground with real football knowledge before he’s hoodwinked into another Raul shambles. Nuno is a Trojan horse that must be burned to the ground before people start entertaining the idea that the horse would look ace on The Emirates concourse. Arsenal are not Valencia. We are not Wolves. If Manchester City are valued at nearly £5b, then so are Arsenal. Nuno isn’t Arsenal levels to start with, factor in his baggage, and I wouldn’t even give him the courtesy of an interview. The absolute last thing we need to be doing is giving Jorge Mendes a parking spot next to the power at Arsenal FC. We are better than that.

My hope for this article? Firstly, you see the danger here. Secondly, that fans steer clear of falling in love with the Nuno idea, see it for what it is, bitch about it online, and share this story with anyone that thinks otherwise. This move is an attack on your club, it would fail miserably, and it must be dismissed with the same vigor we used to swat away the Jose stories.

See you in the comments, but not before you’ve gone onto Twitter to complain about this Nuno nonsense. #NuNoFuckingWAY

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668 Responses to “Raul has set wheels in motion for disaster duo (Long Read)”

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  1. DM

    Boomslang you’re on your game atm! Nice to have some proper competition, I never know if you’re around or not and when you’re not no one else comments for 10 minutes so I cba to wait… This makes it interesting lol. Nice one

  2. Chrispy

    Its not that difficult to see through Raul’s game and also to get your prized No 1 spot, DM.

    Dont worry, i’ll let you have it going forward.

  3. Tony

    Good morning Charlie just got to read your reply post from last night where I remember now some of your Poch comments from your pre hiatus posts.You make compelling arguments for Rafa and Poch, but I still have reservations regarding Poch.

    Yes, in many ways Poch ticks most of the boxes as you pointed out; however, I feel Poch lacks a winners’ mentality or at least has a mental block when it comes to winning vital games and this transfers to his players.Poch also has a suspect temperament where he deflects blame to his players when things ultimately go wrong on the pitch.

    His interviews’ body language raises petulant emotional and confidence red flags for me.Poch would probably win silverware with Bayern, PSG, Juve and RM, because of the limited horse race and depth of talent, but I just have a gut feeling Poch would have similar results with us as he’s had with the Spuds.

    I would prefer Vieira over Poch.

    Rafa on the other hand I agree with your thinking and would have no problems Rafa being hired on a 2/3-year deal. Rafa is one of the few elder statesmen managers who still has his football management/coach credential/mojo intact.

    NES fits the Howe and Dyche brackets for me where I see similar problems as Emery has brought us after the honeymoon period, so a no for me. As much as I feel Allegri would be the intelligent choice for us going forward, I’m not convinced he’s the right ‘suits’ fit, but more the best of what’s available.

    With the season pretty much lost already, I’d take a punt on Arteta 2nd choice, and Vieira first choice with Keown & Bould as defensive coaches and Bergkamp as a midfield coach. I think Henry as the forwards coach would get much more from Auba & Lacazette as well as settling Pepe and making more of Martinelli’s prodigious talents.

    I raised serious concerns at the time of Raul’s hiring and feel he’s clinging to power right now and is only a slight improvement on Gazidis from his rolodex contacts’ relationships.

    I’ve always felt that Raul’s PR video clips were just hot air and an insult to the fans and the club. They didn’t have the absurdity of the Gazidis sound bites, but ultimately were lip service events selling a dream with no substance.

    Similar to the pajama-wearing-while-watching-games Josh interview’s claims & promises, although one could write-off some of Josh’s comments as naivety in believing Raul’s ITK BS.

    As mentioned before Edu is more silent than Stan.

    The next manager’s appointment will say much about Edu and his vision for the club, which he should have by now.As you say Charlie the current status of our club is a farce from the very top to the coach and his personal backroom staff.

    If I were Josh & Kroenke senior I’d take a step back from Raul, Edu, Emery and dinosaur board and do further due diligence away from their influences; they’ve owned the club long enough to understand why the Groundhog Days are still repeating themselves.

    We are in a complete mess that sadly isn’t easily fixed and where no job should be safe from top down with antiquated management models and ruthless people purely out for money and power rather than success on the pitch and showing respect the long suffering fans more than deserve, especially the ST holders and suffering away fans who get my full respect.

    Fortunately I have welcome distractions with the building project nearing completion. It’s very interesting the way the cinema is similar to a Babushka doll; being 3 separate rooms built inside each other with varying forms of acoustic panels being built in so that less than 20db can be heard outside of the building or throughout the house.

    Also been getting ready for the northern MC ride starting next week, so plenty to keep a retired guy like me happy away from football, especially with so much going on with my wife’s company and our son and daughter who is going to be doing her second degree in Melbourne next year.

    The right hiring of a new coach may well get things working better on the pitch, but, from where I sit, the Kroenkes need to realise how bad the destructive cancer is from the board down to the DoF, which will ultimately affect the new coach and his backroom team in the long run.

    The future is far from bright.

  4. Cape town Gooner


    I despise these Spanish fraudsters
    Emery got so fucking lucky last season and now all the chickens is coming home to roost

    I cant even watch Arsenal anymore its so painful!!!!

  5. Rainman

    Wow, some serious stuff here from Pedro, FBI style research and everything. Welldone.

    But surely we cant blame Mendes for fucking the Ronaldo deal. Man utd offered more, we couldn’t match it. That’s business, nothing personal there.

  6. Receding Hairline

    Very good post Pedro

    A bit alarmist in nature as Nuno and Mendes as a duo have their good points, Wolves have not exactly suffered from that association.

    I don’t that combo should be encouraged at Arsenal. It restricts our scouting, restricts our recruitment and Nuno as a coach is not taking us anywhere we have not been before.

    In all this i ask again, what is Edu’s job and does he have any input at all? Seems like an appointment that was celebrated but so far we have had nothing to show for it.

    We need to do something radical, something new, something unexpected. Looking to copy Wolverhampton wanderers isn’t it.

  7. Receding Hairline

    ”But surely we cant blame Mendes for fucking the Ronaldo deal. Man utd offered more, we couldn’t match it. That’s business, nothing personal there.”

    Yea exactly. He was not a friend of the club then neither did he claim to be. He did what he thought was best for his clients and at the end of the day it was indeed best for them.

  8. Graham62


    What exactly are these “closely guarded values” you speak of.

    These so called values haven’t served us too well these past 13 years.

    Maybe we need a bit of Rock and Roll to stir things up.

  9. Graham62

    Our club needs shaking up……..big time.

    I mean, come on, we can’t keep going on like this.

    Our “values” have helped make us into a laughing stock.

    Doom and gloom is what we grown accustomed to.

    Maybe a few fireworks are what is needed to get the ball rolling.

  10. Charlie Nick

    I’m with Graham when it comes to so called “values”.
    I’d buy it if we were a club owned 51% by fans a la Bundesliga. I’d buy it if we had standing areas for working class fans and kids got in free. I’d buy it if we had a proper home, club crest and a atmosphere. I’d buy it if we competed.
    Instead we have an absentee billionaire landlord who wouldn’t know one end of the ground from another. We have the highest ticket prices in the world. We have a board who have presided over mediocrity at best and rubbish at worst for 15 years. We have a bored fan base. We look down our noses at teams who want to win City, Chelsea, etc from some lofty moral high ground. We don’t buy trophies, we line the owners pockets instead.
    Our “values” are the laughing stock of football

  11. Josh

    Agree with all said in the article but the sad fact of modern football is that you have to deal with this guy if you want to be successful.

    If we’d had a relationship of any sorts with Mendes over the last 5 years we could have got players like Bernardo Silva, Ederson, Neves, Jota etc….

    The best players will always attract the murkier side of football as that’s where the money is. So if you want to be successful you have to be willing to deal with those people.

  12. Pierre

    “Doom and gloom”

    Speak for yourself…

    You reap what you sow.

    If you wasn’t intelligent enough to understand how difficult it is to compete at the top and to win trophies with one arm tied behind your back , then more fool you.

    It’s the entitled fans like you have made the club a “laughing stock”..

  13. China1

    I’d rather be entitled at one of the richest and most successful clubs, either one of the biggest and most impressive stadia and history in England, than someone with all the above and low self esteem who thinks we shouldn’t expect any better than the west hams of this world

    Though it also begs the question of why you are so critical of emery if it takes miracles to do what wenger was doing? Can’t blame the guy if it’s such an incredibly difficult task, right?

    Never mind logic Pierre. It’s lost on you

  14. China1

    Pierre if wenger or ozil took a steaming log on your foot you’d spray paint it gold and try and sell it to us on here for a grand

    No difference in what you do every day trying to whitewash the shitshow that have been wenger and ozil the last couple of years

  15. Graham62


    This is 2019, not 1952!

    I’m fed up with all these frigging values.

    Values to benefit who exactly?

    The fans?

    I don’t think so.

    Kroenke, The BoD’s, Executive Management, Wenger………even Emery on his ludicrous £6m salary. Who are these values really for?

    The truth if the matter is that Arsenal Football Club have no values.

    Other clubs have values. They know when to act and what to do to benefit the club.

    Arsenal and their bloodyVALUES!

    Don’t make me laugh.

  16. Kaz

    Still better than Emery, yes you can say he’s overachieving but I’d still take him.

    That Wolves team fights for each other, if he can grab Moutinho and one of his CBs as well as possibly the keeper we’d be sorted.

    It’s really that simple.

  17. DigitalBob

    Wow powerful post Pedro, very cool even if I disagree with a few points.

    Modern football has created and allowed these type of relationships to prosper, we tried to go against the tide during Arsene’s tenure and it left us woefully unprepared for the modern transfer market.

    I believe a Nuno appointment carries as much risk as Arteta so for me its not the worst thing in the world although I also would prefer Mikel and his immaculate hair.

  18. Graham62


    Sorry mate, you’re not the person to give logical advice on here.

    It’s folk like you who accepted regression for so long that are to blame.

    Keep playing your golf and planning your next move.

    You’d fit in the boardroom at Arsenal no problem.

    Passive and unresponsive.

  19. Gbat

    Pedro still pushing the contacts against data angle. What if the data recommends players who are clients of the super agents? Surely having these contacts is better then not having them.

  20. DigitalBob

    Also if Arsenal as a club have values and ethics above those of other clubs why the fuck do we pay such a premium for our season tickets? We’ve not had champions league footie in a while and the football on display has been dire now since Emery was appointed.

    Have the club conducted themselves with integrity when it comes to cost of watching the team? fuck no.

  21. Batistuta

    Pierre still subtlety letting all of us know that we are the cause of all of Arsenal’s problems for being ungrateful little pricks to Wenger. Least he’s consistent so full props to him

  22. Batistuta

    Oh and sorry but there isn’t anything like Arsenal values lolz we barely have a say what goes on in the club so what values pray tell are we talking about.

  23. Edu me a favour

    Hi Pedro , I could get banned for this , but let it be known – I love this blog

    I agree with some of the points , but I have a few things to respectfully disagree with you on , contained in today’s post

    You’re now defending the ‘values’ ? As you say , ‘the same values that have been used to define mediocrity over the last 10 years ‘ but we have to ‘forget that for a minute’ ? our ‘values’ have us where we are now – our values kept wenger in a job for 10 years too long. The things you mention like our community work will still happen , what does that have to do with anything ?

    The Arsenal way has made us more frustrated to be fans than proud

    You mention the Ronaldo deal – so basically, we done an ‘Arsenal’ offered pennies for one of the brightest young talents in the world – a big boy club , namely man united , come along and offer big boy money like EVERY other club do to us and have done to us for years – but this is all down to Mendes ? What happened to the story that it was sir Alex that told Ronaldo that he wasn’t going to Arsenal , he was going to the best club in the world ? How many times have been out bid for players – how many times have we all
    Complained on this blog that Arsenal arrogantly or cheaply gave their own valuations for players and then when another team comes in and offers £1 more we pull out ?

    Speaking of £1 pound more …… £40,000,001 – Arsenal values

    Arsenal values – have given us the much mocked ‘we almost signed’ list

    Next agent blame game is for the luiz deal – we should have been looking at players with high ceilings – agreed – but we have certainly done that this last window in martinelli, Pepe , tierney etc but did we look at high ceilings the time we bought a past it silvestre or a past it cech or a liability gallas or like when we waited way too long to take arteta ( who was good but his best form was for everton ) what about blaming Sebastian squillace’s agent for us giving him a deal , who is xhakas agent ? Who is Ozils agent who had us over a barrel ? Jesus , I remember a time when Theo Walcotts agent lubed us up to get £100,000 a week – there’s a long list of players that we have paid money to that is absolutely laughable , David luiz is just the another to add to it.

    All those dreadful players and we couldn’t give in to Ashley Cole’s agents demands of an extra 5 grand per week – Arsenal values

    I don’t think Jorge Mendes is to blame for luiz , I think it’s Arsenal doing what they have always done

    Arsenal have never ever been transparent- we couldn’t get less transparent right now if we tried doesn’t matter who comes in – and we aren’t in Valencia’s position , we’re not desperately trying to be sold , we’re a prized asset.

    Yes , Raul knows Mendes , of that there is no doubt – but at this moment in time Mendes’ boy Nuno is proving himself in the premier league – rauls boy emery , is not.

    If Nuno is a bland hire – then so was poch for spurs

    I want Arteta – that is my no. 1 choice , but I don’t agree with the writing off of NES , he has clearly done well in the league – and is on an upward trajectory.

    “ So what’s the problem? Outside having a bland-on-toast resume that’s been heavily fortified with great wins against top 6 sides……..” – emery’s resume is better than nunos – yet look where we are ? Emery’s resume is better than poch’s yet we would take poch – our record against top 6 sides is the most pathetic reading you will ever see for a big club – a manager comes up from the championship and has his little team holding their own against the big boys and you don’t recognise that as good work ?

    It’s not Mendes who is in the wolves dug out.

  24. Pierre

    “Though it also begs the question of why you are so critical of emery if it takes miracles to do what wenger was doing? Can’t blame the guy if it’s such an incredibly difficult task, right?”

    Who said miracles, not me ..

    What Emery is achieving is making all those fans who continually slaughtered Wenger for his tactics and style of football, look totally clueless .

    Fans are now yearning for champions league football , which is exactly what they scorned for all them years .

    I have actually been critical of the process as much as the manager.
    It was doomed to fail from day one

    Will just add that Emery has had 200 million spent on the squad in his short time at the club and there is a strong possibility that we will finish in the bottom half of the table.

    That is a cause for concern,

    The football is dire

    That is a cause for concern.

    The team is dysfunctional.

    That is a cause for concern.

    Emery is still at the club

    That is a cause for concern.

  25. Pierre

    “Pierre still subtlety letting all of us know that we are the cause of all of Arsenal’s problems for being ungrateful little pricks to Wenger. ”

    You said it

  26. Edu me a favour

    “ What Emery is achieving is making all those fans who continually slaughtered Wenger for his tactics and style of football, look totally clueless .”

    And at which point did we do that Pierre ? The first 10 years of wenger or the last 5 ?

  27. Emiratesstroller

    The Telegraph is reporting that tonight’s game against Eintracht Frankfurt may well be Emery’s last.

    Apparently the management were seriously concerned that Emery gave the
    players two days off from training after Saturday’s game!!

    Clearly what is going on at the club is a complete shambles.

  28. Champagne charlie


    Good write up, I’m not a fan of getting into bed with characters like Mendes at all – my ‘respect’, for lack of a better word, for Raul is being lost like sand through the fingers too with this Emery carry-on.

    If he brokers a deal that creates the fissure for entry for guys like Mendes he should be stoned and chased out of the UK.

    On a purely coaching level Nuno doesn’t give me any excitement or stir expectation, so when you factor in the murky cloud that he operates under I’d not lower myself to having him on the shortlist at all.

    As I noted previously… the spotlight is edging closer and closer to Raul and co. and this kind of move appears drenched in desperation to keep all eyes off.

    Maybe another reason it’s Raul reportedly dead against O’Leary joining the board, perhaps he feels suitably able to play puppet master of the situation at present. Where’s Edu in all of this? Don’t tell me his substance and character is found wanting amongst other all? That would be a huge disappointment if he’s little more than a bit of stuff in Armani with a tie to the club.

  29. Receding Hairline

    “Fans are now yearning for champions league football , which is exactly what they scorned for all them years .”


    what was scorned was getting knocked out like clockwork in the round of 16

    what was scorned was embarrassing scorelines and club representatives smiling once they pull Arsenal out of the draw

    what was scorned was playing for nothing, Santos said it the other day, he felt during his time here the club played for nothing. We didn’t play to win, we just wanted to be seen as classy

    what was scorned was an abysmal away record and an equally embarrassing record against the top teams in England

    you can jump and clap now believing the current problems somehow shows Wenger was working miracles but he has been sacked and settled for a desk job at FIFA, that tells you what the rest of the elite football world thought of his capabilities as a coach

  30. Champagne charlie

    Hiya Tony, yea I agree with much of what you’ve written there. Particularly distressing is the fragile nature of the back room staff and leadership they’re getting from Raul and co.

    Any way I chop it there’s questions I find myself asking of that crowd, and they tend to be the biggest or most important going.

    Glad you’ve got a good number of welcome distractions, must be glad the building work is coming to a close, when can you expect to first take a seat and savour the experience of Pornhub in full Dolby Atmos?

  31. CG

    If anyone had any doubts our PedRo is not the Arsenal Oracle of our times – they will be after todays post- because its a Barnstormer.

    (many many thanks)

    And as well its barnstorming content- its totally and 100% accurate.

    Post Wenger- Arsenal have been frollicking with the Devil ( Raul) but if this Wolves manager comes to Londons’ Finest- this disgusting and dangerous dalliance will now be a full blown love affair.

    Its potentially such a noxious and repulsive relationship that it makes you marrying your sister appear moral.

    The ramifications to the fabric, reputation and soul of the club are incalculable when you let these types of people run riot.

    They should be obliterated out of the game.

    And Remember Folks.

    Rauls Arsenal is not The Arsenal.

    The battle goes on – until he and his ilk go.

  32. Leedsgunner

    Although I understand Pedro’s concerns would he be this hysterical if Arteta was coming in because he was one of Mendes clients?

    Somehow I doubt it.

    I’m happy to give NES a chance before I denounce him. He may not succeed, but he equally may.

    This is a serious job, not a first job for a newbie, just because his mentor is Pep.

  33. Words on a Blog


    There are two distinct issues here:

    1) Is Nuno technically good enough and does he have the management skills to become Arsenal’s head coach?

    , and

    2) if he does come in, does this mean Arsenal is automatically beholden to Mendes and are forced to accept every player he tries to foist on the squad?

    Based on his record and his focus on counterattacking football, I can see why you and many others would have their doubts about Nuno. But I’m not sure whether I buy the line that if Nuno were to become manager, we would automatically become a Mendes satellite team/club.

    The stuff about so-called Arsenal values is pretty irrelevant Wengeresque talk, and the fact that Mendes fucked us over in search of a better deal for his clients is hardly surprising: it’s what agents do.

  34. Bergkamp63

    It does make you wonder how many kickbacks are going around, how else do you account for the hire of Emery & Now the likes of Nuno, it’s certainly not on merit that these guys could well be consecutive successors to Wenger.

    Hardly surprising either.

  35. Micheal

    First class post, Pedro. You raise vitally imporant issues about the long term interests of the club.

    Arsenal is currently one of the great untapped prizes in European football. The hands-off approach of Kroenke & Co is deeply irresponsible because it exposes AFC to the vultures like Mendes. I believe that Chips Keswick’s recent intervention is a clear signal of that concern at boardroom level, even if few of us have any respect for the board itself.

    The vultures are circling.

  36. Pierre

    I’m not sure that giving the players 2 days off is a sackable offence .

    Though I could reel off a list of reasons as to why he should be dismissed.

    Will he go with the kids today ,hope so.

    It’s a bit of a quandary for Emery.

    If he goes with the kids , Emery is in a no lose situation.
    If we win he will be praised (by some) , if he loses then no problem , its only the kids , good experience and all that.

    If he goes with an experienced side , it’s a no win situation for Emery.
    Win and it will be expected .
    Lose or draw and all hell will be let loose.

    Due to the fact that Emery has a death wish( figuratively speaking) , he’ll probably go for experience….

  37. Ishola70


    I told you before.

    Get Arteta and be done with it.

    This is ridiculous now with what is written about any manager/coach that is linked that is not called Mikel Arteta.

    Look at the list of players associated with this devil agent:


    That’s a tasty list of players right there and within that a very nice niche avenue that Arsenal could benefit from.

    I like the idea that this devil agent could be the link for Arsenal having first access to players of a nation that is seen as one of the top european footballing nations.

  38. Ishola70

    Rather than petrifying some the blog entry today could in fact intrigue.

    Especially when more than enough points are seen as crying over past spilt milk.

    Ronaldo going to United over Arsenal. Scandalous lol

  39. Marc

    To be completely honest finding it really difficult to take any thing Pedro writes at the moment too seriously. There’s such a blatant agenda running through pieces at the moment that all comes down to Pedro’s fetish for Arteta. The hypocrisy of talking about scratching beneath the surface of someone’s CV whilst promoting the idea of someone who doesn’t even have a CV is breath-taking.

    If we were to eliminate anyone who’d ever failed in a role we’d never appoint a manager.

  40. Marc


    It’s strange that Pedro’s criticising an agent for doing his job 100% properly – ie getting the best possible deal for his client.

  41. Nelson

    We all know that the way Raul works is with his contact book. It contains names of many agents. Didn’t we get Pepe also through another super agent? I trust that Raul is an experienced fox. He’ll know how to protect his power. He’ll balance out his activities with multiple agents. Emery couldn’t get the players he wanted. The new coach won’t have more power than what Emery has.

  42. Moray

    If the Kroenkes are happy to let people like Raul and Mendes into the club, then I’m afraid there’s not a lot we can do about it. It’s their investment. They could change our kit to Spurs white if they wanted.

    There is little accountability for anything at Arsenal and there hasn’t been for many years now. We were sold off by the last people who were supposed to care and who
    Made an absolute killing.

  43. Marc


    If Emery actually wants to keep his job ie he’s not just waiting for the sack and a payoff now his best course of action tonight would be to go with the younger players. If they lose there’ll be the benefit of the doubt given put out a strong team and even a narrow win will be criticised.

  44. Receding Hairline

    “The hypocrisy of talking about scratching beneath the surface of someone’s CV whilst promoting the idea of someone who doesn’t even have a CV is breath-taking.”

    We call this post an uppercut in boxing terms

  45. Champagne charlie


    An agents role is brokering a manager to a club and then rendering the clubs scouting network useless dealing with staff on his own books?

    Pretty clear you decided against reading what was written and jumped straight into some bogus Arteta-bash.

  46. Ishola70

    “It’s strange that Pedro’s criticising an agent for doing his job 100% properly – ie getting the best possible deal for his client.”

    As said this has made me more intrigued now about Nuno.

    Love the idea that this coach and agent could have direct access to the Portuguese market for Arsenal . They are known to produce very good standard footballers and over a very long time span.

    We had our French period under Wenger.

    Why not a Portuguese revolution.

    Could do far worse tbh.

  47. Words on a Blog


    It feels like (and I have no inside track) that there is an internal debate going on between two competing factions at Arsenal: one for Nuno, and another for Arteta.

    I presume that Poch/Benitez/Allegri are either not interested or are too expensive and have been ruled out.

  48. Marc


    I don’t believe we’re going to allow an agent to just fob players he choses onto us against our needs.

    My usual position is if it’s football related and in the papers then there’s a high chance it’s utter bollocks. So far the rumours seem to be that Nuno’s on a short list – who else is on it, is that actually true, is it Nuno or his people just doing a bit of self promotion which bearing in mind what was going round a week – ten days ago re Mourinho isn’t beyond the realm of possibility.

    We don’t know what’s going on and the media loves click bait.

  49. Micheal

    “Love the idea that this coach and agent could have direct access to the Portuguese market for Arsenal .”

    The crucial point is access to Mendes’ players – not necessarily all Portuguese players.

  50. Marc


    The only thing I’d say on that are who are the competing factions? The management structure now is Sanllehi and Edu who you’d assume will make a recommendation to the Kroenke’s who will either sign off a deal or bin it.

    I’d also say talk about the Poch is pointless he won’t come to us and Benitez is on £12 million a year in China so a big jump in salary plus compensation to his current club.

  51. Champagne charlie

    “I don’t believe we’re going to allow an agent to just fob players he choses onto us against our needs.“

    You don’t believe based on what?

    Happened at Valencia, happening at Wolves. And it’s not necessarily a question of players being thrown at us “against our needs”, more the best possible options being clouded for solutions that can be brokered by Mendes.

    Won’t happen at Arsenal because we’re so averse to poor decisions? Have a word.

  52. Ishola70

    ”The crucial point is access to Mendes’ players – not necessarily all Portuguese players.”

    Yeah you are right it is crucial but not in the negative sense.

    His list of players are overall impressive and there are many Portuguese in the list.

    This angle is very interesting.

  53. Dark Hei

    I think the issue is that Mendes will sell us who he wants at a price he sets all for his own benefit and those with hm given the Valencia precedents.

    We don’t need to be another Valencia.

  54. Marc

    Just a quick question everyone.

    As Mourinho’s agent is Mendes as well does that mean that the Spud’s will also be stuck with who the agent provides them rather than what they need / who they want to buy?

  55. Ishola70

    Killer question Marc.

    For some anyway.

    You will have some clearing of bodies to do after that post.

    They will be scattered.

  56. Edu me a favour

    “ As Mourinho’s agent is Mendes as well does that mean that the Spud’s will also be stuck with who the agent provides them rather than what they need / who they want to buy?”

    Absolutely not

  57. Cesc Appeal

    Some good points in the post and some justified concerns.

    I think it is slightly over the top though and runs against a lot of what you’d been saying for years about Arsenal under Wenger being restrained by their values and too cowardly to get involved with the super agents of this world…you were extolling Sanllehi for that in the summer.

    It is all about balance. Do you really think the Kroenke’s who are in favour of limited financial expenditure are just getting to let Sanllehi and Mendes throw money around with under the table deals? I doubt it.

    We need to have super agents friendly with the club we also need to scout. If you look at this summer we had some super agent signings in Pepe and Luiz but we also had some well scouted signings like Martinelli, Saliba and Tierney.

    As with everything in life, all about balance.

    I would like Pochettino personally, but there is something about Nuno that I like. He’s a personality, he’s done very well with Wolves and he could certainly get more out of our players.

    The question is going to be who shows interest in the job. First off, no non-managers like Arteta and Ljungberg. The rumour as well was that Arteta was asking for ridiculous amounts of control for someone who’s never had control and also funds for someone who has never spent any funds.

    I’m sure if a Nagelsmann, Pochettino, Ten Hag etc shows interest the club will stop and think.

  58. Edu me a favour

    Madrid didn’t swallow Mendes crap players Chelsea didn’t inter didn’t – they all won their leagues tho

  59. Micheal

    “Yeah you are right it is crucial but not in the negative sense.”

    The important point is that the players – however good or bad – would be brought in because it suits Mendes’ financial interests – not necessarily the club. It is the underlying theme of Pedro’s post – who is running the club ?

  60. Nc

    Nuno was replaced by the legendary tactician, Sir Gareth Neville, at Valencia. Also, Mendes will need to influence the Kroenkes like he has the owners at Wolves. He was already in bed with Fosun whereas with Stan and Josh it will be a different story.

  61. Edu me a favour

    So what we need to do is look at every player bought under Jose and see who their agent was – if we’re going to scrutinise Nuno and wolves that way – it’s only fair we do the same to jose

  62. Cesc Appeal

    I just find the notion Arsenal are going to buy Mendes’ players whether we want them or not as if we have some transfer exclusivity deal with him absolutely absurd.

    No doubt we will see the club interact with him more but you can still expect the scouted buys etc.

    Mendes is a tool to be used, albeit an expensive one, not a weight on us.

  63. Ishola70


    I wouldn’t care if Mendes bank balance increases if it means Arsenal get hold of players that can be of benefit.

    You can get bad buys as well as good ones big agents involved or not.

    As long as he gets in enough good ones then it is of benefit and looking at his list of players it is strong as far as agents go and of course he will build up his portfolio with upcoming players in the future and the Poruguese link is very interesting.

  64. KAY Boss

    Pedro, every appointment comes with baggage. Your analogy of Arsenal and Valencia has missed the road. Valencia at the time was on the market which arsenal isn’t now. Mendes brokered the deal to suit him and the buyer of Valencia accepted it. Don’t make it like Mendes forced his way into that club.
    In sports today, unfortunately, you’ll need these so called super agents to get the so called world class players. And the players Mendes sold to Valencia were hit and miss.
    We on the other hand, with all our bogus class, have for some time signed and offered ridiculous contracts to mediocre players with any affiliation to a super agent.
    It’s contact that got us Pepe,(yet to convince) Matinelli (hit), Luiz (so far drab) and data and analysis got us Xhaka, Mustafi.
    In all this both data and contacts can give u drab and good players.
    I’ll support whoever the club appoints till he proves he ain’t good enough.
    If Arteta is hired, we’ll read on positives about him. A hire of the Flamengo boss will keep all quiet for the time been.

  65. Micheal

    “I wouldn’t care if Mendes bank balance increases if it means Arsenal get hold of players that can be of benefit.”

    Exactly. The players brought in will be those which suit Mendes’ purpose – not necessarily Arsenal’s.

    Back to Pedro’s point of who is running the club. Kroenke does not give a toss, Josh is Daddy’s Boy, Raul hires Emery and the club is drifting aimlessly. And Mendes is waiting in the wings to fill the vaccum.

  66. Ishola70

    Valencia have been a basket case of a club for a very long time.

    This is regardless of a Mendes.

    Lim himself didn’t have a clue.

  67. Ishola70


    Mendes is a football agent.

    He is in business.

    The purpose of business is to make money.

    Why would you have an issue with this basic premise

  68. CG

    Arsenal have no cash…..to buy players.

    ….Cash coming from where?

    Revenues slipping……morale sagging…….players aging……..players leaving.
    managers being fired……directors departing…….fans alienated……..owners over leveraging……

    But What they will do if Mendes and Raul team up- is do ‘Pepe’ deals.

    ‘Luiz’ deals.

    Obscene and Ostentatious Deals to impress the masses.
    Deals on the Never Never.

    They will be long gone- when the final installment has to paid.

    Arsenal will rue the Day they allowed Raul to run amok.

    We are Going Down and we are going into uncharted waters.

  69. Micheal

    I don’t have an issue with the basic premise of making money. But I do have issues about the influence of Big Money which operates to exploit people and institutuons for their own personal gain.
    Are you saying society should turn a blind eye to how people make money – as long as they make money. Drug dealers, money-launderers, illicit arms sellers, internet scammers, etc ?
    Do you seriously believe that there is any “trickle down” effect into wider society if people like Mendes accummulates wealth at the expense of an old-established, badly managed football industry ?

  70. Ishola70

    Luiz is a red herring.

    He is a different agent.

    And as others have said Arsenal have brought crap whether they are big agent players or not.

    It is not exclusive either way.

  71. Ishola70


    So now you want to compare a football agent to a drugs dealer?

    In top end football everyone is in it for the coin. Everyone.

    Dear old Arsene loved his coin. Loved it.

  72. Sekard

    I don’t get this Arsenal class and values nonsense being thrown about nowadays.Once upon a time the Bank of England club they called The Arsenal had such qualities but we are now nothing more than a badly run London based offshore American business.Owned by an absentee owner who has no clue on how to run a football club and has delegated running of the club to a Spanish Del Boy and other incompetents while the English old boys (The 80’s club I call them) sit around like the old relics that they are.This Arsenal class bollo**s is nothing but a front for passiveness,indecision and robbing their own.I now cringe every time I hear an Arsenal fan talk about our class.Arsenal fans need to wake up from this nostalgia.I was listening to Tony Adams the other day saying how the club have stopped doing things the ‘Arsenal way’ of yesteryear.The classy years have long gone.It’s nothing but an illusion.A club that has Walmart Kroenke as it’s figurehead can’t be associated with class.We’re nothing but an number on an American spreadsheet regardless of all the bullshit platitudes him and his son come out with.The worst thing to ever happen to our club is Stan Kroenke.We are going nowhere fast as they have no clue on how to run a football club.

  73. Marc


    Nice to have some balanced thought out posts on here.

    I can understand people being nervous about getting the right appointment – I am and to be honest I really don’t know who we should go for only a few names that are either not going to happen or people I wouldn’t want us to go near.

    Deep breath everyone.

  74. Micheal

    “So now you want to compare a football agent to a drugs dealer?”
    You are missing the point – not the first time. I was asking if you believe society should turn a blind eye to how people make money and used drugs dealers as an example. Nowhere did I compare football agents with drugs dealers.

    Are you thick or being argumentative?

  75. Globalgunner

    Jeepers, this Arteta thing cuts Pedro real deep. Again I say, If Everton are not interested in Arteta, why are we. Or do they think he is simply out of their league?.

  76. azed

    If we were to eliminate anyone who’d ever failed in a role we’d never appoint a manager


    Point of correction

    If we were to eliminate anyone who’d ever failed in a role we’ll appoint Mikel ‘the saviour’ Arteta.

    He’s never failed as a manager.

  77. Pedro

    Marc, you play the balanced card, but you’re a bit of an extremist. How anyone can read the post today and feel comfortable is beyond me. I’ve had people from the club message me about how spot on it was. Be in no doubt, if Nuno is our manager, we’re going down a path we’ll struggle to recover from. The club is already on the path, this is just phase two.

  78. Ishola70


    You are obviously on the class values wagon.

    It’s a load of bullshit.

    Tell me how many players in the top european leagues have football agents as their representatives.

    They are a massive part of the football furniture now.

    And that you want to portray these agents as comic book villains is a bit daft.

    No-one would give a shit if Mendes makes some coin if it coincides with him providing good players for Arsenal.

    Oh except you and and perhaps a few select more.

  79. Spanishdave

    Nice sentiment Pedro.
    The remain classy you need an owner who wants that ideal as well.
    We have a greedy asset collector who has no idea what a football club represents in the way of history, fans,and values.
    All they want is bottom line money and asset growth which they are getting.
    Agents are part of the modern game and their industry attracts sharks as it’s easy money for them. Sky pumped millions into football and this is the result.
    We desperately need success again and our so called values are a millstone around our necks

  80. Batistuta

    But Wolves seem to be doing just fine, doesn’t look like they’re going downhill anytime soon and they’ve bought some really good and fit players

  81. TR7

    I am more concerned about playing style of Nuno and whether/how it is going to fit with our style/players. As far as I am concerned all the agent related stuff is a sideshow – important but not the most critical issue.

  82. Edu me a favour

    “ But Wolves seem to be doing just fine, doesn’t look like they’re going downhill anytime soon and they’ve bought some really good and fit players”

    And we haven’t beaten them with Nuno in charge

  83. Batistuta

    Quick question, if we brought in Arteta as manager ,would you still be okay with us doing business with Jorge Mendez?

  84. Batistuta

    If those in charge of buying and scouting talent do their jobs and do it absolutely fine, if the manager can get the players playing for him and the results are going well, everyone would be 100% behind them not minding if it’s the Devil as an agent we’re dealing with…

  85. Crusaderrabbit

    I think all Stan/Josh care about is money – and the real money comes from being in the CL. Raul & Co had sold them a ticket to getting back there as quick as possible – that ticket was Emery. That didn’t work out last year – Raul and Emery’s excuse was the quality of the players – so they agreed to speculate to accumulate for this season. It’s not working – but having sold the owners his plan, Rauls reluctant to admit he was wrong and now needs to find a solution and quick – enter Nuno and Mendes – a combo who can potentially provide a quick fix that gets us back into the CL (using the way they got back into the PL quickly as a case study to impress).

    They’re not interested in footballing culture, long term visions, values or anything like that. They not interested in winning for any other reason than it gets the club where the money is. So you can forget Arteta – what they want is a managerial setup thats as close to a sure thing CL-wise as they can get.

  86. Marc


    I don’t feel comfortable at the moment but the rumour mill around football is so full of shit it’s ridiculous.

    It’s the same with transfers: if we bought 1% of the players we’re linked with we’d have a squad of about 300 players.

    I also find it unlikely that it’s common knowledge around the club who’s being looked at / on a shortlist outside of a very small handful of people who would not communicate this to the media unless it was a planned press leak.

  87. Edu me a favour

    “ Marc, you play the balanced card, but you’re a bit of an extremist. How anyone can read the post today and feel comfortable is beyond me”

    I think we can feel comfortable because we know that the scaremongering is just that

    Why will us having Nuno be different to all
    The clubs where Mendes has brokered Jose’s deals ?

    How comes Chelsea Madrid inter then Chelsea again , weren’t subjected to an influx of Mendes unknown crap players ?

    Why will it happen at arsenal ?

    If Mendes and Raul are such great buddies then how comes we haven’t had all of Mendes’ crap since Raul joined the club ? Why is he waiting until he gets his manager in ?

  88. Batistuta


    When you see this, saw your post about German managers and thought to chirp in there, can’t think of any of them who have come here and done well, except maybe Pep but that’s an exception… Caught Leipzig again and that suicidal high line of his that he employs kept giving me PTSD from the Wenger years. Too further up the pitch and not particularly fast defenders… Still, like Upamecano though…

  89. Words on a Blog

    I agree that Mendes had an outsized and arguably pernicious influence at Valencia and Wolves. But that is only because he had a direct line to the owners and/or an indirect ownership interest.

    In the case if any potential Nuno-to-Arsenal move this would not be the case, and would be no different than any other manager he represents (e.g Mourinho) or any other manager represented by AN Other agent.

    The case against Nuno should be made on football grounds alone.

  90. Pedro

    Marc, with the greatest respect, you don’t really have an understanding of how the club operate in the current climate if you believe that.

  91. Marc


    I have a very good understanding of how business operate in these circumstances and that’s precisely what Arsenal are.

    How many rumours were there about Mourinho going to the Spud’s?

  92. Edu me a favour

    Lee Dixon said on a podcast this week that Stan Kroenke didn’t even look up from his soup he was eating , when he was introduced to him. A legend of the club didn’t even get a head nod , yet some slimey agent They don’t even know is just gonna waltz in and start dictating to the kronkes on who to spend their money on ?

  93. Pedro

    Marc, you don’t, you are talking absolute nonsense about how Arsenal operate to someone who spends more time on the subject than anyone here.

    You are literally trying to sell people on the view that Mendes/Nuno shouldn’t worry people, despite a mountain of evidence hot off the heels of telling everyone you were the balanced view on Emery.

  94. Pedro

    Edu, Stan K doesn’t run the day to day of Arsenal.

    If you’re going to try and dismiss an article, at least do it with musings that are relevant.

  95. Valentin


    At last, somebody has the courage to explain what real menace Raul is to the fabric of this club.
    I have nothing against him on a personal level. Having met him he seems a polite and amenable chap. However he represents everything that I loathe in business. The backroom deals with croony friends, the bribes made legal by calling them fees, the opaqueness that only benefit a small coterie of people, the brazen lie told with a smile and a cigar (I used to love smoking cigars before the wife put a stop to that unhealthy activity), the incompetence and lack of accountability hiding behind the cash.

    Like I said yesterday, maybe once they realise they are getting fleeced by those parasites will the Kroenke wake up. It took Liverpool getting bankrupt before a new competent owner was found.

  96. KAY Boss

    If it’s not ARTETA Pedro won’t be satisfied. For me I’m relaxed, sipping my lager with crisp grilled pork.
    Pedro, plz get some pressure pills. Your concerns are well documented but some minds are already made up. If it’s NUNO or whoever, I’m supporting him.
    Talking about values and class, can we do the unthinkable and appoint a female coach? Plz someone help me with name of the THREE best female coaches around (not males coaching female teams). And suggest the best one for the club.

  97. azed


    Is the problem with Mendes or Nuno?

    Would you be against the signing of any manager that has Mendes as their agent?

  98. China1

    Edu 10000x agree with everything you said in your long post

    Oh and big lol at Pierre. You are truly a lost cause

    Expectation was higher in years gone by because we had the foundation and means to do more but chose not to. Then we regressed majorly with your lord arsene still in charge. Top 4 is now a *short term* target because we are no longer a top 4 team since the regression wenger started and continued under emery.

    It’s really not hard Pierre. Wenger was a useless cunt in his final years however much this upsets you and however useless emery also happen to be

  99. Edu me a favour

    “ If you’re going to try and dismiss an article, at least do it with musings that are relevant”

    Who’s money is it ? Rauls or stans ? Has Raul got a blank cheque book or does he have to get money from Stan ?

    I’m not trying to dismiss your article , I never do , I read every single one and enjoy your talented writing.

    How is anything I’ve said today irrelevant? I’ve addressed your article on the points I don’t agree with. You’re trying to force us to believe that we are Valencia , we’re not. You’re trying to force us to believe that Mendes will come in and start running the show , he won’t. There are more examples to prove that he won’t than there are that he will.

    I’ll be waiting for his influence at spurs with bated breath.

  100. CG


    If Mendes and Raul are such great buddies then how comes we haven’t had all of Mendes’ crap since Raul joined the club ?

    Because he has been too busy – alone at the pigs trough- buying his ‘own crap’ perhaps?

    The Spivs Menu

    pepe -£70-100 million (inc wages and commissions)
    luiz ( 40 million all in)
    tierney (30- 50 million ( inc wages and commissions)
    cebollas (10 million loan all in)
    saliba ( £35- 50 million inc wages and commissions)

    with what he has gorged upon in commissions to date with this sorry lot he will soon be making Mr. Creosote look anorexic.

    Only Saliba would you possibly remotely break even on (and he has had only 30 odd games in his career.)

    all of the above : Over rated, over hyped , over paid and under performing garbage if being truthful.

  101. WinOrDie

    Its sad that most on here(Le-grove) have ignored all the important points highlighted by pedro in this article but are riding on the ‘values’ thing.
    Even though people have differences in their understanding of what the Arsenal values are, we should all be concerned about what Nuno and Mendes combo will mean for arsenal .

  102. Marc


    Can you answer my earlier question –

    “As Mourinho’s agent is Mendes as well does that mean that the Spud’s will also be stuck with who the agent provides them rather than what they need / who they want to buy?”

  103. Lari03

    I think you are not seeing the whole picture Pedro.

    Raul is the bigger problem here.

    Unai’s still in a job because he consented to Raul’s game, freezing Ozil out of the starting 11 as a fundraising play.

  104. KAY Boss

    Good question. Is Nuno the problem or Mendes?
    Valentin, you’ve been on the case of Raul from the get go. How’s that not personal? You and CG are the two rumbling about the new executives.
    Pierre on the other hand is a bit rational.
    If we had signed Ronaldo, Bernardo Silva etc. will all these ‘red alerts’ be highlighted? Calm down, Nuno may not even end up here.
    Marc, it all Saharan but that won’t be bad. Imagine the players scoring and getting a hug from their sexy coach.

  105. Marc


    “Saharan” No idea what that means but as a women can’t even get a job coaching Arsenal’s, City’s or England’s women’s team I think I leave the lala social experiment for someone else.

  106. Receding Hairline

    I just did a bit more reading and realized this is NES’s 7th season as a manager.

    Of course if his coming means we have our whole transfer strategy dictated by Jorge Mendes it does have it’s draw backs. This is by no means guaranteed.

    I don’t fancy the way Wolves play, they are better suited to play big teams than they are teams they are expected to beat, the setup is not that of a big club going places nor are they defensively solid as a whole.

    I really don’t see why we are attracted to NES in my humble opinion.

    The rest of the post is all pretty alarmist as i said earlier, all a bit OTT really with all due respect.

    Seems Raul is now the enemy and nothing is being said on Edu. Same way Bould got no blame for doing absolutely nothing all the years he sat beside Wenger while we diminished as a footballing club. Same way Freddie is being absolved completely of any blame for our current mess, word around here was Freddie was in charge of the cups when we played so well in them now it’s all on Emery. We seem to see no wrong in our former players turned coaches.

  107. Pedro


    Not sure you’re comparing apples to apples.

    1) Levy runs Spurs.
    2) They don’t operate a ‘contacts’ operation
    3) They have no money

    If Mourinho had the chance, no doubt he’d get back into bed with super-agents like Raiola.

    Reality is, no one would hire Jose. This is his last chance. He’ll do what he’s told and there is no greater check on a manager than Levy.

  108. Pedro

    WinOrDie, glad you raised that. When you decide values don’t matter, what are you?

    Lari, the whole point of the article was flagging Raul as the problem. Even the title.

  109. Receding Hairline

    “I have nothing against him on a personal level. Having met him he seems a polite and amenable chap. However he represents everything that I loathe in business. The backroom deals with croony friends, the bribes made legal by calling them fees, the opaqueness that only benefit a small coterie of people, the brazen lie told with a smile and a cigar (I used to love smoking cigars before the wife put a stop to that unhealthy activity), the incompetence and lack of accountability hiding behind the cash.”

    This guy

    Lot’s of Me’s in there on a subject that has nothing to do with you.

    Just drop your two cents like everyone else and spare us the insider stories and your colorful past and present.

  110. Chitom

    I’m not familiar with the exact timeline of Arsenal Ronaldo interest and Wenger/ Mendes negotiations but to hear Arsene tell it, Christiano and Yaya Toure’s would be transfers are his two biggest regrets.

    Wenger’s official Yaya Toure story was that he couldn’t sign him because of passport issues so maybe his Ronaldo story needs to be taken with a grain of salt too.

    Yaya was at Beveren when he had a trial at Arsenal and Wenger saw him as a striker even though Toure wanted to play box to box mid.
    Because of passport issues his agent recommended Metalurh D. in Ukraine in 2004 where Yaya spent one season.
    He went to Olympiacos next season for € 2.7 m , and to Monaco next season for €5.5 m.
    The following season he went to Barca for €9 m.
    Just for reference, in 2006 Arsenal paid 17m for Hleb and 11m for Walcott so the 9m Barca paid for Toure would’ve been well within our range, not to mention the 5.5 m a year before.

    Why is the Toure story relevant?
    Because Wenger’s official version to this day is the passport issue as the reason for not signing him in 2004, but the simple fact is if he really thought so highly of Yaya he could’ve gotten him in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

    If he really thought Ronaldo was such a talent in 2003, then perhaps he shouldn’t have waited till Ferguson and United’ pre season game with Sporting CP , where Ronaldo tore United defenders to shreds and they signed him right then and there at the stadium after the game.

  111. Pedro

    RH, agree with you.

    Bigger issue with Nuno is he’s simply not that impressive.

    To your second point, you take the heat where it’s needed. Raul is the biggest danger to Arsenal at the moment. His view of football isn’t aligned to where we need to go as a club. Fans need to know that.

  112. Marc


    1) Levy runs Spurs. – Levy’s a fucking moron.

    2) They don’t operate a ‘contacts’ operation – they do now!

    3) They have no money – not sure we have that much if we don’t get back into the CL.

  113. Pierre

    “all of the above : Over rated, over hyped , over paid and under performing garbage if being truthful.”

    I’m prepared to reserve judgement until Emery is gone.

    All of the squad are regressing alarmingly in Emery’s dysfunctional system , so it is difficult to get a true reflection of the new players qualities at this present time.

    I actually think there is a case for bringing Mustafi back into the side ( alongside holding) , Sokratis performance last weekend was unrecognisable from his performances last season and should be dropped .
    Mustafi is not as bad as often portrayed on here by the know nothing’s.

    Luiz , I would give a go in defensive mid(alongside willock ) for a couple of games to try and give the defence protection.. its worth a try, if he’s not up to it then drop him.

    Pretty soon we could have a team of outfield players that were already at the club before Emery arrived.

  114. Receding Hairline

    “Raul is the biggest danger to Arsenal at the moment. His view of football isn’t aligned to where we need to go as a club. Fans need to know that.”

    I don’t know what his views are so i will take your word for it.

    However he was hailed for doing a smashing job this summer window, that goodwill seems to have disappeared with our poor form. Now we are scrutinizing the Luiz and Pepe deals and feeling shortchanged.

    Everyone and his dog knew Pepe wasn’t worth 70+ million but neither was Zaha worth 80+ million. Luiz was a product of poor planning and in hindsight we would have been better off not signing anyone at all but hindsight is a beautiful thing.

    Since Raul arrived here i have not really seen anything dishonest or incompetent in his dealings. Emery was an easy mistake to make and he nearly got us in the UCL last season.

    I really don’t see this devil you and Valentin are portraying

  115. Valentin


    There is a difference between not liking somebody on a personal level and not liking somebody for what he stand for in term of work ethic.
    There are people who are charming, delightful to have a conversation with but you know that in business term they would murder their grand mother to close a deal.
    On the other hand you have colleagues you would not have a drink with but that you implicitly trust to get the job done right.
    In my view Raul is the former. And I tend to view those people as long term toxic poison for the company that employs them. Some time it is a slow burn-up until there is nothing left. At others it just bubble up along fine until the big blow up.
    As an Arsenal supporter, I would rather avoid either scenario, hence my brutal view on Raul.

  116. Pierre

    Results and performances on the pitch are everything.

    They can make people like Raul look geniuses or complete fools.

    It’s all about the manager for me , he can transform a club ( like mee, Graham and Wenger) or he can destroy a club ( like Emery is doing)