We’re nearly there people, the Arteta stories have moved from…
‘NEGOTIATIONS HIT SENSITIVE PHASE OVER OFFICE FURNISHINGS’
‘VIEIRA IS THE FAVE’
‘WENGER SPOTTED AT COLNEY’
… towards, who will he sign and who will he steal from Manchester City.
It’s being reported that Arteta will pick up £5m p/a on a 3.5 year deal.
There are lots of suggestions about who his potential assistant could be, perhaps Domènec Torrent, Pep’s 57 year ex-assistant from Barca B, Barca, Bayern and City. Or 48-year-old Rodolfo Borrell, a 13 year tenured youth coach from Barca (Pique, Pep, Messi), who worked his magic with Liverpool (Sterling) and later as a Global Tech Director with Manchester City. There’s even a story that we’re stealing one of their top youth scouts, Sam Fagbemi. According to his LinkedIn, he’s a massive Gary V fan, and specifically the Manchester City youth team scout for the South of England. He actually appears to have officially spent 15 months at Arsenal, he’s also listed 6 years prior to that with us, which might have been part-time while he studied.
Here’s how he describes himself (edited to reduce words).
I hold a strong enthusiasm and passion for the industry of sports, part of this passion and drive is identifying talents in relevant sporting areas; and a contribution in terms of development. One area of this contribution involves scouting and recruiting for ages 5-16, in specific areas in London, for football. Many who know me know my passion is scouting and recruitment. I’m an out and out scout! I also follow up on every lead given!
I am always striving to improve my performance and my knowledge, whatever you put into your work, in most cases, is what you get out of it. I aim to put in a 100% at all times.
I have very unique methods of scouting and a strong determination and hunger. I’m blessed to be part of a very good team of experienced staff, which I learn from on a day to day basis.
“THE FUTURE OF ANY BIG CLUB HAPPENS IN THE ACADEMY”.
Sam, any man that uses block capitals to power home a message is a friend of Le Grove. Me, you, Donald Trump… what a team.
Here’s some of the stuff from his Arsenal job he rocked prior to moving up north in 2017.
- Identifying players at the required level through the use of video and numerical analysis.
- Researching identified players in-depth using rigorous methods.
- Building a video scouting capability, liaising with the Chief Scout but also the Player analytics team and the scouts in the field.
- Identifying Players with whom his Club may wish to enter into negotiations with a view to securing their
- Working with PROZONE and/or SPORTSCODE, Microsoft Excel and Sony Vegas and/or Final Cut Pro.
- Working as part of a recruitment department at First Team/Academy Level.
- Leading the storage, maintenance and collection of data regarding Player performance in training and matches.
- Managing and overseeing an online scouting data resource.
- Interfacing with some of the football analysis software vendors contracted by the Club.
- Developing new and insightful initiatives and practices for evaluating Player and team performance.
- Initiating and conducting ad-hoc research projects for the benefit of team and individual performance.
Sam seems to be up to lots of things, he reads like an innovative. Scouts, coaches, has dark arts. I’m sold. This guy definitely drinks oat milk lattes, has an opinion on how you pronounce trequartista, and he reads Mundial.
I think I’d be slightly worried if I were a City fan, not because Arteta is going to snatch the league this year, more because it seems like the staff are making moves before something drastic happens this summer to the main man Pep G.
Back to Arsenal. This move, when it happens, is a huge step forward for the club. They could have taken the easy option that’d placate the ‘safety’ crowd, but they didn’t. Carlo was passed by, Martinez was rightly told where to go, Raul gave up on Nuno, and we dodged anything Kia J could throw at us.
We moved for the hottest young coach in the world. We opted for the moon-shot. Arsenal has positioned itself as a forward thinking football club and they should be applauded for the boldness of this decision.
Rumor has it Arteta will be in dugout for the Everton game this weekend, fitting, wouldn’t you say? One club has opted for the future, the other has anchored itself to the past.
So what should we expect?
Hearts and minds
Wenger (Merson), Emery (Cech) and Freddie (Xhaka) all did it. You have to play the hearts and mind game with the squad to start with, that means the unsuitable big names will likely feature. Go in dick swinging early, the senior players will down tools on you, and you’ll have a miserable start to your career. I have personally made the mistake. I started a big job, disliked the talent and the process, so I tried to make changes early. My intuitions were right, but my early actions made me the enemy of a lot of people. Always give people a chance to fail. Everyone will likely have the opportunity to prove themselves to Arteta, and so they should. This is not a caretaker situation, so hopefully we’ll see performances move up a level, if not, then the action will be taken.
Statement of Intent
I would suspect a huge part of interview process would have centered around the type of football we’re likely to see. The fans want to see excitement, it’s a simple as that, we are not about pragmatism, never will be. Mikel Arteta will have been hired to bring back Wengerball with a modern twist. He will go on the charm offensive with the fans early on and rectify all the wrongs of Unai Emery’s inane jabbering. Expect him to wax lyrical about style and vision when he sits in that first press conference, be assured that he’ll play up his Arsenal DNA, and let’s hope he can articulate a sniff of what the future holds. Maybe he’ll shed a tear? I’d like that.
No one ever cared about Emery, he couldn’t speak to us in English, let alone in authentic terms. Arteta will be different, he’s a trophy winning excaptain with a formula we want. He’ll hopefully have a ‘Mourinho walking through Chelsea in a Spurs tracksuit’ like moment that we can all get behind. Maybe a knuckle duster in his pocket at The Toilet Bowl? Too far?
A shift in style
Freddie is a fan and a solid coach. He wanted to move our football to the next level, but he lacked the resource, time, and backing to do it. Arteta is a different beast. He’s the man that controls the future, players that want to stay will know this. He’ll be confident he can move the club to another level this season. Expect a rough 3 months, but don’t be surprised to see glimpses of very exciting football well before the 3 years most of you were willing to give Emery to change things up. He’ll want to prove to the fans and the board he is a coach, first and foremost. Good coaches make magic happen with whatever tools they are handed. Jurgen Klopp had Liverpool in beast mode early on, though intermittently, with a far worse squad. Nagelsmann saved Hoffenheim from relegation in his first season, then took a team with a sub £40m wage bill to the Champions League with elite coaching. I don’t think it’s unfair to expect to see the makings of a footballing identity early on. Just don’t expect consistency this year.
Focus on Youth
Part of the hearts and minds offensive strategy will be to woo the fans with his approach to youth. I see there being two key initiatives. Firstly, like peak-Game of Thrones, there will be some senior heads that will roll. Not immediately, but rest assured, he’s taking someone big down. The solve for the molten-steel-on-the-head slaying will be bringing a kid into the mixer that we didn’t expect, or one that we didn’t expect because they’ve been average. He needs a poster child for his elite coaching to prove the fans he was worth the hype and to show the best kids in world football that they should give their early careers to us. We need to be the Ajax, Atleti or Dortmund of the Premier League. There will be a huge clear out of senior players this summer, we have to bring in replacements like Brandt, Haaland and Aouar if we’re going to push on next year. You only do that if those names are convinced by the coach.
A brutal summer
There are some great people at the club and there is some real shite. I fully expect the club to use this next 5 months to reshape the way we operate. Expect exits from the backroom team, be sure that there will be a very busy summer of players on the cards, and understand that there will likely be a lot of ‘who the fuck?’ people signing on for Arsenal.
Raul needs to make this work, he’s under pressure. Edu needs to show the fans he’s more than a well dressed, beautifully groomed, elitely (word?) fragranced man. Arsenal need some wins.
We do not have time to fuck around. The next 3 years will be the difference between us being a super club like Liverpool, or falling into complete irrelevance like Spurs in the 90s.
If Arteta is the man to take us forward, the vision is clear, the Arsenal way is about high intensity pressing, attacking football, geared around exciting young players. Now we know that, the technical team has to work their magic and make sure there are no excuses for failure.
This is it. It’s the future we’ve been waiting for. This is the most exciting move we could have made. Back it, because if it works, this really could be the next level Wenger was talking about.
I am absolutely thrilled, I hope you are too.
See you in the comments x