What’s up at Arsenal?

by .

Yesterday, I touched on the David Luiz deal that all fans should find abhorrent. Today, I wanted to map out the journey Arsenal are on. We’re fast-moving from a club that was mocked for not moving with the times because we believed in the integrity of the game, to one that is seen as a feeding trough for super-agent fees.

This is a rundown of what’s happened since Wenger was fired.

Raul hired Unai Emery despite data pointing towards him being a super bland manager. Unai Emery actually thanked his agent, Arturo Canales, in an interview he did with AS before he moved.

“Thanks in part to Arturo Canales, they insisted I was the best candidate of all.”

Canales wasn’t his agent at the time but switched over soon after. Unai Emery was a bad candidate. He couldn’t manage egos, he couldn’t speak English, and his record with defences was abysmal.

Question: Did Canales land a finders fee?

It was clear from Emery’s first season that he was an absolute disaster of epic proportions. The data around his tenure showed that he’d performed worse than Wenger across the board. His football was bland, his communication was atrocious, he fell out with big names, he was meek, and he dropped the most cowardly end to a season in living memory.

He should have been fired, he wasn’t, and to make matters even more perplexing, Raul Sanhelli tried to give him an extension to his deal. The next season got off to the worst start in 38 years, but Raul held off firing him until mid-December, to the horror of Sir Chips according to Tim Payton. Eventually, the position became so toxic, the club had to exit Emery.

Sven Mislintat left Arsenal because he didn’t like the way Raul’s approach to transfers. The contacts approach wasn’t for him, this was common knowledge around the training ground.

With no Sven at the table, what happened? We unveiled a mega signing. Arsenal brought Nicolas Pepe to Arsenal (yes, I was excited). The rumours are that the fee was eye-watering. Italian clubs were leaking they wouldn’t deal with the number. Even this deal is based on contacts. A guy called Marc Ingla used to work with Raul at Barcelona in the marketing department. Famed in France after landing a 3 month suspended sentence from footballing activity in France for alleged false reporting in May 2019. The deal helped the €140m debt arrangement Lille had Elliot Management and staved off a Milan like takeover (according to the Financial Times).

The transfer fee we paid for Pepe was outrageous. If you’d said at the start of the summer, ‘where should we spend £72m?’, I’m not sure many would have said blow that on a winger. Especially not on one that was still incredibly raw and far from the finished article at 24 years old.

This sort of weirdness was all going to be solved by Edu. The Brazilian boasted Arsenal DNA and we hoped, Arsenal values. He’d put us on the straight and narrow, right?

So what do we know about Edu? Well, we know his agent is Kia. This would be fine if he at least pretended to act independently of him. His record so far indicates he does not.

Cedric Soares. A player Southampton thought was so bad, they leaked to The Athletic they were shocked to get a fee because they thought he’d end up at a lowly club after his contract expired in June.

As deadline week drew closer, news of Arsenal’s interest surfaced and Southampton could hardly believe it was true. They saw barely any logic in the approach and put it down to certain relationships between Arsenal and Soares’s people, yet there were no complaints from the south coast. A deal was done that suited all sides — the package is worth around £5m to Saints and Arsenal feel that, once fit, in Soares they will get exactly what they were seeking from the market.

It is quite stunning that the only person in world football that Arsenal could find to play right-back came from Kia’s portfolio (the same month, we were also linked to Kurzawa). He was also injured when we signed him.

David Luiz, another very odd signing. 3 months prior to joining Arsenal, he inked a 2 year deal with Chelsea. Edu then oversaw a £24m one-year signing that involved a £6m intermediaries fee (this has been denied by Kia, or at least he says he personally didn’t take more than £600k), an £8m transfer fee and a whopping £10m a year salary. David Luiz had been average for Chelsea. He was well past his prime, but Edu thought it wise to give him a 60% pay increase. Does that strike you as a normal thing to do for someone of his age and playing profile? Kia has fought back on the fee story, saying it was only £600k. Pretend for a minute the fee didn’t exist, we still spent £18m on a player we’re either having to sign up to a new deal or letting go for free.

Who are we being linked to this summer? Willian. A 31-year-old winger from Kia’s portfolio. My suspicion is this free transfer will look great to Josh K, and the player will come for a pay rise and there will be another fee. That deal was as rumoured to be very close a few months ago. Not sure where it is now, but would it surprise you? Why would Arsenal keep lining up at the same trough?

We are also being heavily linked to Coutinho. A good player, but Arsenal, per Josh K, has a wage bill problem and we’re apparently thinking about taking the 3rd highest-paid player from Barcelona on for next season. What’s the fee there? Are we really in a position to be exploring a deal of that size when we’ve cut the entire squads earnings by 12.5%? This is a player that can’t get a bite from anywhere in Europe because he is seen as overpriced. We are literally mainlining Kia’s players into the squad.

Then we go to Pablo Mari, a player I’m sure we’d all love to see come good, but he’s had 22 top-flight games and his agent is… Arturo Canales.

Even the interview process for Emery’s vacant role saw Kia inserting his clients into the mixer. Why would anyone consider Vítor Pereira? An absolute joke suggestion. He would be nowhere near any top clubs shortlist of names, but once again, Arsenal Football club indulged agent suggestions, despite the disastrous consequences of doing that exact same thing the first time around.

Where does scouting play out in these deals? Is it just a coincidence that most of our players come from a small selection of agents Edu and Raul like? Are we using our money to sign the absolute best talent to move us forward? Looks questionable.

There are four positions that are important for the smooth flow of unaccountability in football.

The club: Raul doesn’t own Arsenal, but he might as well do. Josh doesn’t understand the game in enough detail to be potent or nuanced in his questioning. Unless he truly did think £24m was a good deal for a 33 year old for one year, then we really are fucked. Geraldo Lopez of Lille tried to build a football agency so he could ship players around the world, then third party ownership disappeared, his solve? Buy a club. Jorge Mendes runs Wolves for a reason. Own a club and it’s a fee printing machine.

The Sporting Director: Wolves Sporting Director is really a super agent. According to Reuters, Jorge Mendes sees the only profitable part of football is player trading. This from the Reuters link.

“Trading in talent is often more profitable than owning soccer clubs, say academics who study the sport. But it is also a business model that some fans, officials and club owners criticise and oppose. They say it diverts money to agents and financial investors that would otherwise go to clubs and help sustain the vibrant competition that fans pay to see.”

A Sporting Director should be single-minded in delivering a club the best players, for the best price, that offer the best value. Arsenal is a club under financial strain. Where was the value in the Luiz deal? Can anyone fathom Soares at right-back?

The board: This is the final layer of scrutiny on deals. Raul, according to The Athletic, bypasses the board now, which is part of the reason Sir Chips packed in his Chairmanship. When you have owners learning the game, the board should be packed with knowledge and be afforded the power of veto, especially without a strong CEO in place.

The manager: It helps to have a compliant manager in charge. Nuno was Jorge Mendes man at Valencia. The fans hated it even though he took them into the top 4. Now he’s at Wolves. It’s clear why. Unai Emery had very little say at Arsenal, he was lucky to have the job. He was well paid and Raul was his king, but he had no true power according to his grumblings post-sacking.

Arteta was the best candidate for the job, this is true, but he is also in a very weak position. This is his first job, he’ll have very little power at the club right now, Raul is his King. The same was true for Unai Emery; who was going to Real Sociedad before his agent put the call in.

Say what you will about Arsene Wenger, the guy always had righteous views when it came to super-agents. To a fault, no doubt, but I tell you what, I wish we had some of his values at the exec level of Arsenal football club right now. I can’t believe I’m writing that but this is not a good moment for Arsenal.

We cannot allow our club to be a vessel for agents/intermediaries/family fees. I understand that it is hard to bypass them in totality, but the simple truth is Arsenal have shifted from a mindset of paying them as a necessity because we want a great player, to almost shifting our entire transfer approach to be solely focused on certain agents portfolios… to the detriment of the football that has us sitting in 9th.

The David Luiz deal was a huge waste of money. Unai Emery was a terrible hire. Cedric Soares should never have been signed. We did not need Dennis Suarez. Nicolas Pepe was overpriced. Now we’re looking at Willian, Coutinho and continue to be open to suggestions from the same stable of ‘friends.’ It’s a worrying trend and all the traditional checks and balances have gone. Absent ownership under Arsene Wenger was bad, but at least he tried to run the club like it was his own. What is the new world? Where is the fierce independence that makes Arsenal, The Arsenal?

We are better than this. There’s never been a greater leveller in football than what has happened now. Let’s hope we don’t blow it by meekly handing over our future to fee merchants.

402 Responses to “What’s up at Arsenal?”

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  1. Freddie Ljungberg

    Pedro

    I might end up being wrong, I’m ok with that. I’ll rather stick to the facts than buying every conspiracy theory around, if the facts change I’ll change my mind. At the moment it’s all just noise though. Not a fact in sight. I’ll judge them on their actions, not links, or smear campaigns.

    I gave Emery the same chance I would have given anyone else under shit circumstances and a shit squad. It didn’t work out, bye bye. We’re still further ahead in our rebuild than if we’d kept Wenger so no massive harm done.

    The facts are that last summer was our best in a decade, we haven’t seen it fully yet, but we will.

    The facts are nowhere to be seen with all the links to the super agents you keep rehashing so I’ll ignore it until it’s facts.
    Rumour and innuendo doesn’t quite cut it with me I’m afraid. I don’t have a direct channel to the eminent and not at all completely useless and ineffective Sir Chips though so I might be wrong.

  2. Pedro

    China, who is the fake news now? He stood down because he didn’t want to be accountable for deals he wasn’t seeing.

    Now we have no governance, which I assume you think is great?

  3. Pedro

    Freddie, you can keep saying the facts aren’t there, but they are. Gaslighting reality doesn’t help your argument.

  4. China1

    Sal there’s no evidence for what rice said. It’s a conspiracy theory.

    I don’t mind conspiracy theories but you go on live tv promoting them without evidence and the news show host says ‘that’s right’ is total bullshit.

    Russia have tried to meddle in elections before too. So if Biden wins the election very narrowly and a guest on fox start saying it was Chinese and Ukrainian meddling (without evidence) and Fox hosts start agreeing ‘yes absolutely right’ I hope you will give them an equal amount of leeway for spreading conspiracy theories off nothing more than a hunch. Will you do that?

  5. China1

    Pedro you look at a decade of chips’ work which goes in direction A. Then he says he’s direction B one day and you’re like yep that’s all I needed to hear

    Actions speak much louder than words. If he cares about accountability what was he doing during the wenger regime? You literally cannot be serious that he has any record of showing an interest in accountability and involvement. He’s been as negligent as gazidis and Stan on everything until just a couple of days ago. Now he cares? Give me a break

    Also why would I want there to be no accountability? I wanted there to be accountability from the start. If chips had believed in accountability wenger and Ivan wouldn’t have been allowed to fuck us so hard and for so long. We might still be a decent team if our chairman had believed in oversight and accountability all those years

  6. Freddie Ljungberg

    Pedro

    Lay them facts on me then.

    Don’t give me links to players or one article out of dozens that supports your view. Actual facts.

    The signings we did last summer doesn’t support your contacts approach agenda.

    Edu was an invincible, one of the few with the experience we needed so that Kia was his agent doesn’t mean anything.

    We used Mendes in the Pepe signing, so what?
    For once we got a high profile signing that others wanted over the line, I’m not about to complain about that.

    Emery and Canales means nothing, we had piss poor options to choose from and ended up with Emery.
    Just because your boy Tets didn’t get the job doesn’t mean it’s all a big conspiracy man.

    Hit me with them facts Pedro.

  7. China1

    “ If Arsene has a plan we back it, if he doesn’t have a plan we keep quiet,” said Sir Chips.

    “So don’t let’s be in a muddle about who calls the shots about football at Arsenal. It is not the chairman, it is not the fans, it is Mr Arsene Wenger.”

    Sir chips keswick – believer in oversight and accountability

  8. China1

    Pedro there’s a difference between being ineffective and being negligent and not providing any oversight or accountability

    Chips was the latter and quite open about it based on both his above quote and the clear lack of action within the club on his watch

    Chips got bypassed because he had willfully demonstrated for over a decade that he was totally irrelevant to anything. He made his bed now he claims to be unhappy with it?

    I would expect there’s far more to his reasoning that this because he was irrelevant since forever and this really changes nothing

  9. China1

    Pedro as someone who works in marketing you know very well the power of words

    Rice wasn’t openly speculating that this could be a thing and is worth checking out, she was putting a very loaded message out that ‘based on her experience’ this is ‘right out of Russia’s playbook’

    The CNN host then says she’s right.

    Not ‘this is something we will need to look into more’ or ‘it has happened before so we should be looking for signs of it again’. He said you’re right.

    You’re in media Pedro, the purpose of this back and forth was quite clearly intentional. It’s the very clear promoting of a conspiracy theory based on nothing more than rice’s hunch and the supporting of it by the news channel’s talking head. It’s explicit and as a marketing man you simply cannot be unaware of this

    CNN have much to gain by supporting the protests and taking blame away for the riots. If the riots are externally influenced, less scrutiny falls on the rioters and falls onto the organizers, meaning middle ground voters who might otherwise rally behind trump’s hardline rhetoric will instead remain more supportive of the left. Ironically even if external influences are found to exist, unless Russia now has thousands of minorities on hand in America to perform the looting, its still actual Americans doing it so there cannot be any excuse. It’s a cheap get out.

    Like I said, please afford the paid shills at fox the same courtesy when they do the same thing re Biden winning and blame it on Chinese and Ukrainian interference. You can’t have it both ways

  10. Pedro

    China, America has been interfered with for the last 4 years, Russia has been at the centre. They paid for protests here. They attacked their elections. Their global strategy for interference is low cost, max disruption. Don’t compare this suggestion to promoting malaria drugs or calling covid a hoax. Especially with the actual President\govenors claiming most of the protests were out of state.

    Also, what a weird thing to get defensive about? The muddying of Russia’s rep. Get a real cause.

  11. China1

    Lol Pedro you do love to deflect by implying I want something I never said

    Where did I compare with promoting malaria drugs for covid? I literally don’t know what you’re talking about as you’re making random shit up that I never talked about. And why would I be defending Russia? Centrist leaning British man, in China, openly dislikes fragrant media bias = defender of Russia when unsubstantiated (but entirely useful) conspiracy theories are touted and supported on a news channel.

    You always do this weird kind of straw man whenever you get called out.

    Get a real cause? Is writing angry pieces about Raul every day a better cause than wanting news channels to build stories first based on facts rather than speculation?

    Yeah, never mind mate…

  12. Dissenter

    China1
    I don’t understand why you think it’s your responsibility to dismiss the possibility that foreign actors are stirring up shit with these US upheavals.

    It will be gross negligence if Chinese and Russian intelligence services weren’t pouring petrol on the open sores that exist in America. That’s what the CIA would do, if the show was on the other foot. It’s no different from the NIA spying on America’s allies.

    Susan Rice would know because she is CIA, through and through. Why do you think she spent the last decade in high level policy positions in the USA security. She was assistant sec of state, UN secretary and then national security adviser for effing sake. She has has read more security reports in her lifetime and controlled intelligence services that you can only dream of.
    Sometimes, I think you get high from these needless silly arguments
    Susan Rice knows what she is talking about, you don’t even know what you don’t know.

  13. China1

    I gave you a very direct comparison that if Biden wins and fox wheel out an old expert to suggest it looks like the Chinese or other state were meddling to help, that you must not be a hypocrite and you should totally give that a free pass

    Talking about covid treatment comparisons? I don’t know what you’re smoking. It wasn’t in the conversation at any point

  14. Pedro

    China, you’re here, posting on my daily cause, so you tell me?

    Also, what Dissenter said.

    Drawing moral equivalence to a Susan Rice suggesting that Russia is continuing to do what it has already been caught doing, to what goes on at Fox News is quite outrageous.

  15. China1

    At which point did I dismiss the possibility? I said it’s an as yet unfounded conspiracy being touted on the news by talking heads who admit they actually don’t have any intel

    There is a very important and specific distinction between the two.

  16. Dissenter

    China1
    Susan Rice would know …absolutely know because of her life and work history.
    That’s what she was trained to do – she was national security advisers FFS
    You really need to pause sometimes.

    If Iranian, Chinese and Russian intelligence weren’t making the most of these upheavals, then they are utterly stupid.

  17. Pedro

    You said this:

    ‘Susan Rice claiming without evidence that the US riots are being instigated by foreign actors (likely Russian) and CNN’s host said ‘you’re absolutely right’’

    That is not what happened. She made a suggestion that it was out of the Russia playbook and said she didn’t have intel. It’s not fake news.

  18. China1

    Looks like I was wrong then if there is some actual evidence already out there

    My issue with this is always the media piggybacking as yet unfounded claims for their own political bias. Seems there is more existing evidence on this than I was aware of

  19. Tom

    China1
    Frank Figliuzzi – the former Assistant Director for Counterintelligence at the FBI- said the same thing based on contacts he still has with the Bureau.

    Russia may want to walk a fine line between inflicting maximum damages on the US during these difficult times, while at the same time preserving the puppet in chief in the Oval Office.

    As an aside, I find it funny seeing you ragging on American fake news from where you’re sitting.
    I hope the irony isn’t completely lost on you.

  20. China1

    Tom, if you were a foreigner living in China, would you rage openly against the Chinese government?

    For a foreigner who lives in China to publicly rage against the system would not be a clever idea for all the reasons I’m sure I don’t need to explain to you

  21. Emiratesstroller

    Pedro

    Here is resignation statement of Sir Chips Kewick published on 28th May 2020.

    “It has been an honour to be Chairman of this great football club.

    Arsenal has always held a special place in my life and that will remain the case in future.

    I made my plan to retire at the end of this season clear before the global health crisis we are now experiencing.

    The club is in safe hands with Stan and Josh, the board and executive team, I know that Arsenal will emerge strongly from the situation and I look forward like all supporters around the world to seeing the team as soon as possible.”

    For all conspiracy theories there is no evidence that he walked out of club on
    account of Luiz affair. More likely his resignation coincided with the end of
    the club’s financial year, which is 31st May.

  22. Sid

    Belittling the struggle for justice and against inequality with innuendos about Russia, China even Iran(this is just absurd) is a tactic to distract the issue at hand

    Im telling you for free!

  23. Sid

    “The justice system has long been broken, but now we have a president who openly incites the murder of his fellow Americans. Change can’t come fast enough.”
    Susan Rice

  24. Sid

    There’s something familiar about a white supremacist fascist hiding in a bunker while the city burns around him.. Steven Spielberg

    Throw in the Russians in the mix and its de ja vu

  25. Moray

    When any even like this happens, if you want to find out who is behind it, look to see who gains.

    Russia has no need to bring Trump down, and causing another crisis to showcase his lack of leadership will do just that. He is splitting NATO and weakening the EU through promoting Projects like Brexit and funding withdrawals.

    I wouldn’t look much further than China. Trump has now comprehensively lost the moral high ground on Hong Kong and Taiwan. How can he possibly now rail against the army going in to restore order in Hong Kong, or in Taiwan for that matter, which is still largely conceded as part of Greater China? And a very anti-China president is now on his way out to someone more liberal.

    That’s not to say that the US wasn’t already a tinderbox, with racial and economic divisions already having worsened considerably under the poor and divisive policies And presidency of Trump.

    Watch What happens in Hong Kong and maybe Taiwan over the next few weeks and months and the reality of the situation will start to become clear.

  26. Terraloon

    ES

    I always smile when I see statements from individuals such as Sir Chips when they leave a post.

    In all probability the press release was scripted by one of the hordes of PR or press employees that Arsenal like all PL clubs employ.

    He is Arsenal through and through and financially never took anything out of the club, his annual payment was donated elsewhere. In all probability he gets a free ticket and food and that almost certainly will continue

    It’s pretty obvious you see Arsenal very much through very much rose tinted glasses and your right there isn’t any evidence he walked l

    But he resigned before before the year end ( we don’t yet know the official date) and before the end of the season as he suggested .

    As an aside the statement posted on the BBC is slightly different to the words you posted and just a quick glance at the official statement that to has in it the words that were omitted in your posting. “ I made clear to the board “

  27. Zacharse

    Damnbro i’m halfway through and i just gotta remind you that any biz where the kind of dough that passes through is big enough there are going to be criminals and we all can imagine the type of money laundering that goes on at transfer time… but shit if they send us a few Portuguese gems i do not care. Nor does stan k because he obviously knows whats goin on

  28. CG

    Great to read ,PedRo endosorsing the return of Arsene Wenger in some official capacity at the club.

    As the clubs reputation continues to erode and standards ever declining and what his with book launch in October the clamour for his return will grow and grow louder.

    Imagine Arteta having to call on the expertise, experience and class of the great Wenger than the Spivs, Dopes and Incompetents he currently is surrounded with.

    All up to Playboy Josh.
    Stick or Twist?

  29. þorkell einarsson

    Lay of the Cedric Soares prejudice.. I am sure he will come good for us when up
    and running .

  30. CG

    porky

    “””””Lay of the Cedric Soares prejudice.””””””

    its not prejudice- he is just bloody useless.

    If he was any good- Liverpool would have snapped him up- they buy all their best players.

  31. whiteydagooner

    Noisy fox-news online/foreigner pep-signs-Trump-as-repacement-for-foreigner Ederson-/starts-17th/foreigner Luiz=signed- as Trump-replacement-with-immediate.
    It’s been a long night guys…

  32. Emiratesstroller

    Terraloon

    What I posted is ‘verbatim what is posted on BBC website, but I have left out the BBC commentary which is also included in article.

    I don’t disagree that the statement was produced by someone in Communications, but the point I am making is that I doubt that he would have sanctioned it if there was a major fallout in the Boardroom over Raul.

    More importantly I think that both Lord Harris and in particular Ken Friar
    might also have something to say. Ken Friar in particular is most definitely
    “old school” when it comes to discussing ethics at the club.

  33. GoldenPL

    Mikel Arteta’s loan signings:
    Cedric
    Mari

    Unai Emery’s loan signings:
    Ceballos
    Denis

    Loan-ins we’ve had (in the last decade):
    Viviano
    Kallstorm
    Benayoun
    Henry

    Not much of a cause for jubilation or withering agony. Same reflects on the transfers too, I guess.

    Mikel looks like a man who can squeeze more out of our pickings than Arsene or Unai were able to, and at the moment showing signs of being able to thrive inspite of our transfer policy.

  34. Graham62

    Should we talk Football or should we talk Trump?

    Difficult one.

    One thing I do know is that Pedro did not endorse the return of Wenger.

    That is the last thing we need.

  35. CG

    Graham

    “”””That is the last thing we need””””””

    Watch this space old bean.

    Roll on October 2020 and:

    Luiz is making ructions in the dressing room and making Saliba look like Ian Ure.
    And Arteta struggling to keep a lid on proceedings,
    And the Pepe transfer fee breakdown hitting the public domain.
    And Rauls weight ever ballooning- making him look like Danny Devito’s Double
    And Kia looking even more slimy and sleazy in the Arsenal’s directors box.
    And Tierney is injured again and out for the season.

    The cry and clamour for our immaculate Wenger will be deafening.
    His book revelations showing us , what we are missing,

    Ps , pretty clear, PedRo was endorsing the return of our 2nd greatest manager in some capacity.

    He probably now knows, like CG always knew.

    The easiest thing in the world is to get rid of Arsene Wenger the hardest is to replace him.

  36. Graham62

    I don’t need “book revelations” to show me what I already know. I’m sure it will highlight things that will want( demand)our sympathy.

    Was he held to ransom? Was he put in the tower? Was he placed in stocks and pelted with rotten fruit? Was he lashed and tortured?

    He had choices to make but decided to tow the line. That shows an incredible weakness in my eyes and significantly highlights why the club regressed so far.

    There is nothing in his upcoming book that will change my opinions on him.

    Some on here feel sorry for him.

    I don’t.

  37. Sid

    Henry, Viera, Bergkamp took this club to the next level, they should be incharge of senior and academy management,
    Mertesacker and Arteta are a reminder of the decline years, they would do well in Milan

    Im telling you for free

  38. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    So…

    Leno
    Tutu
    Medely
    Saliba
    Tiernay

    Nelson
    Torriera
    Xhara ( regrettably) or Smith
    Saks

    Auba
    Eddie .

    Potential next season line up

  39. Gonsterous

    Watching the training videos of arsenal. Nice to see the players get physical and play a bit rough.
    Need the fighting mentality back. That’s what helps the team win. Train to win and you will start playing to win.
    Unfortunately, not too optimistic against city. If everything goes our way, we May manage a draw.

  40. Jamie

    Never understood why we didn’t go hard for former legends joining the coaching staff.

    So many tactically and technically amazing players to bring onboard, and we let Per take control of the youth setup.

  41. Marc

    I will make a prediction and I’d like a handful of the more balanced posters and those who’s only agenda is Arsenal to do well to try and remember this because it will be funny.

    The FA will publish it’s “fee’s paid to agents” figures in the near future – the Covid issue has delayed them. Now if they show we have suddenly leapt up the table in the amount we have paid to agents and it’s an eye watering sum it’ll be taken as gospel – by Pedro, Valentin, CG etc etc. If it shows an amount in line with the increased amount we spent during the period it’ll be dismissed out of hand because “X” say differently but there won’t be a shred of credible evidence to back up that claim or ignore the official figures.

  42. Nelson

    I am not satisfy with Raul’s performance. We are now a mid_table team. He has mortgaged our future with the Pepe deal. I can’t see that the team will be strengthen in the next TW. Top4 looks so far away. Depressing!

  43. Gonsterous

    Un na naii

    Not to be a downer but agueros salary would have been massive and no way he would come to arsenal. Honestly, outside of being located in London, we don’t really have much of an appeal to players born outside of England.
    The new generation of players just see arsenal as a team that finishes inside the top 10 of the EPL. Just another napoli, milan, Wolfsburg, etc. Not going to be making big headlines anytime soon.

  44. China1

    Yeah Marc if we have a good end to the season we may well have done enough

    I’m curious as to how the smaller teams above is will handle the loss of momentum this break has caused them.

  45. Valentin

    Marc,

    You were told that Emery was a dud. You were shown the evidence. Yet even after he was sacked you were still trying to convince people that he was not that a bad fit for Arsenal and that it was Wenger’s fault.

    Yesterday, you were still willing to take Kia’s word at face value. Despite the evidence that he had been convicted of lying on an official paper in a court of law.

    If I were you, I would not claim victory too quickly.

    Regarding agents payments, the previous year Arsenal paid £11 millions in agents fees despite only bringing Torreira, Sokratis, Lichsteiner.
    So either agents got grossly overpaid for those deals or Arsenal did something that I found staggering. Arsenal allowed the annualisation of agents fees.
    I know that they did for some of our players. If Arsenal had exercised their option to extend David Luiz, another chunk of money was due to the agents. Why? The work has been done once there is no need to give them more money to extend. Any further money should come from the player not the club.
    Same thing with Mhkitaryan and Mino Raiola. Extend Mhkitaryan’s contract and boom pay a few more millions to Mino Raiola.

    Any clubs that does that should impose the same results clause on the agent due payments. If your client help us win/qualify the Champion’s League, get paid X/Y amount.
    I am pretty sure that’s what Liverpool did. Hence their huge agents bill the year after they won it.

  46. Valentin

    China1,

    Momentum works both way for or against clubs.
    Clubs on a good run did not want to end.
    Clubs on a bad run run have had time to reset.

    Same with injuries.
    Teams with important players injured have now the chance to use for the remainder of the fixtures.
    Players who were not injured and raring to go in their peak condition now have more risk of injury after that period of rest.

  47. Valentin

    I suspect that the biggest impact will be in the lower leagues.
    Players who were going to be released are now a lot more wary of getting sick or injured.
    Charlton has their talisman striker informed them that he will not take part in the remainder of the season.
    Taken from the independent:

    (Lyle) Taylor, who has scored 11 goals in 22 games for Charlton this season, is out of contract at the end of the season and fears an injury could damage his chances of securing a “life-changing move”.

  48. Marc

    Valentin

    I haven’t claimed victory I’ve said let’s see what the official numbers say – why does the truth scare you?

  49. Marc

    “Momentum works both way for or against clubs.
    Clubs on a good run did not want to end.
    Clubs on a bad run run have had time to reset.”

    Now that is spot on – it’ll all come down to how individual clubs and players see playing out the season and we won’t know that until a few matches into the restart.

  50. CG

    Chris

    “”””I’m curious as to how the smaller teams above is will handle the loss of momentum this break has caused them.””””

    We will find out soon.

    Manchester City v Arsenal.

    Pep No.1 v Arteta No.2

    Ambition v Amateurs.

    Lets hope, we don’ t concede after the 1st minute.

    That would be the 3rd successive time that would have happened under 3 different managers . (The Clown and Fred)

    and I thought these defensive calamities only occurred under our Wenger,

    Clearly not.

  51. Terraloon

    Valentin

    Clubs pay agents for quite a few things other than incoming transfers.

    Agents have their mucky hands over contract renegotiating for players at the club, loans in, loans out every time they have input ( and in some cases no input) their fee will probably be paid by the club .

  52. Marc

    Valentin

    “Regarding agents payments, the previous year Arsenal paid £11 millions in agents fees despite only bringing Torreira, Sokratis, Lichsteiner.”

    Liar – We signed Leno, Guendozi, Torreira, Sok, Lich and Suarez on loan.

    Why can’t you stop lying?

  53. Marc

    I also can’t remember if there were any contract extensions etc during the period that might have seen agent payments.

  54. into the red

    Well, Raul has, like any good crime film, rapidly ascended the ranks by eliminating all the obstructions in his path. And now he is kingpin, consorting with the people who nurtured him in the knowledge that kickbacks would be forthcoming.
    Arsenal after Wenger, with the vacant empty chair at the top Silent Stan, was ripe for a power grab with the promise that rivals could be despatched easily. Now, people like Kia have access to a bank which has no oversight, and a co-operative partner on the inside. People who think there is any link to the football club called Arsenal are living on fumes.
    Can you see any of the Kroenkes dumping Raul? They have no idea what running a club at this level involves – perfect for the current mob. will be interesting to see how long Arteta lasts, and if he turns out to be another yes man.

  55. CG

    ITR

    “”””Well, Raul has, like any good crime film, rapidly ascended the ranks by eliminating all the obstructions in his path. “””””

    Absolutely.
    And expunged every part of Arsenal fabric at the same time.

    From Rambo, Kos, Monreal, Welbeck Lehmann ( coach), Giroud etc

    And surrounded him with patsys and pushovers ( Emery , Edu etc)

    As for Arteta. He seems so engrossed in his coaching- he probably is not even watching what is going on behind his back.

    He should though.

  56. Wasi

    ‘Raul hired Unai Emery’

    If you repeat something again and again people will think its true.

    Pedro

    Under Arsene , you and many others including me moaned how a few millions and agents always kept us from having top players and talents.
    Now we did it with Pepe , here you are whining again.

    Yes we are being linked with Willian and Coutinho thanks to Raul’s agent friends.
    But we are also being linked to Jonathan David , Wesley Fofana , Myron Boadu , Amiens striker , Ibrahima Diallo , Thomas Partey , Odsonne Edouard , Moussa Dembele , Ba at Olympiakos , Adil Aouchice , Ryan Fraser , Patrick Kluivert , Orkon Kokcu and many more. These names just the top off my head. Are these players related to Raul’s contact book or suggestions of the scouting team.

    Last summer’s signing under Raul
    Tierney , Saliba , Gabi – 100% data
    Pepe – Data + agent( to get the deal done) . Under Arsene he wouldve been added to the nearly signed team if Arsene’s and we would still complain.
    Luiz – A bust deal no doubt. No way should you pay 18m(or 24 if thats what you want to believe) to have an average defender for a year whos also quite old.

    Signings under precious Sven –
    Guen – Data but you many want him sold because of not being at Arsenal level.
    Torreira – Data which you and other want sold for not being good enough.
    Auba – Only good signing. AGENTS involved.
    Mkhi – One of the worst signings of the decade.
    Sokratis – Again not data driven. General consensus – average
    Lich – Flop.

    Suarez deal was pushed through heavily by Unai as confirmed by player and agent.

    Mari was a data driven + agents involved.
    Not many Left footed CB available in Jan who are also cheap and available with a loan and option to buy.

    Soares – Agent but a seemed like a good signing at the time. Only time will tell.

    Its impossible to fix a 15 year mess in just 2 years time. And becomes all the more difficult when the man given the task to fix the mess ( Gazidis), leaves just months after starting the new project.

    Give Raul time.
    Getting linked to names doesn’t mean they are wearing Red and White already.If that were the case , where would we be now.

  57. Wasi

    Its crazy how many were calling Raul – ‘Don Raul ‘

    And just one year later , everybody are making their own made up allegations how Raul is stealing from the club through his agent friends.

    As I said , you if keep repeating something over and over , People WILL think its true

  58. Pedro

    Wasi, I’m just laying out what is happening at Arsenal.

    > Influx of agents
    > People quitting because of how things are being run
    > Bad signings
    > Inefficiency

    You can’t deny these things. All I have stated is that that Raul is using super agents and I don’t like it. There’s nothing illegal about super-agents, but there is an ethical question around how they are used.

  59. rollen

    lol guys u r being brainwashed by media for years. Since about 5 years there is no truth anymore. There is huge media fight to create narrative/artificial reality. Russia China and USA are ofc major players. wake the fuck up and leave social media

  60. Left testicle

    Opinion 1: I think this.
    Opinion 2: I disagree with what you think, I think this.
    Opinion 1: I disagree with what you think.
    Opinion 2: But I disagree with what you think.

    ad infinitum

  61. Sid

    Random fact, the arsenal manager is the 2nd shortest after Brendan Rogers, passive agressiveness is proportional to height

  62. Left testicle

    Un
    Not me. I haven’t been here for months. I’m off again – haven’t missed it. It just brings you down. Ta ta.

  63. Wasi

    Un

    I would like to know the coming and going at Arsenal under Raul that you seem are not good for the club.

    Luiz was bad .
    Soares seems bad but we cant judge him yet.
    Other than that I think its an upward trend.
    Its not steep but definitely better than before.

    Some people/ news sites claim to know that Kia is leeching the club of its money. But they have no proof. Athletic published of the 6m and Kia and his team aggressively knocked it back.

    Pedro

    Im not a big fan of super agents either but some of the things you have stated here and continue to state are far from true.

    – Raul hired Emery.
    Gazidis was the top man then. He owned the decision. It was a mutual decision at best.

    – Raul was Unai’s king
    If Raul was Unai’s king why would he attack him every chance he gets since after he was fired. By him I mean the recruitment on which Raul and Josh probably have the final call on.

    – Raul only uses his contacts book
    The signings are clear proof that Raul is more than happy sign scout suggestions ( Gabi ) and give a Yes to data driven signings ( Saliba , Tierney , Pepe )

    – Bad signings
    Of all signings under Raul , Luiz is probably the only bad one. Soares seemed reasonable at the time and can only be judged after this season is over.
    Ask yourself this.
    – Would Wenger have agreed to pay agent fees for Pepe.
    – Would Wenger pay 25-30 mil for an 18 y.o. who will not even be here next season.
    – Would Wenger give in to Celtic’s demands.

    The Answer is probably a big No.
    Wenger wouldn’t do any buisness with dodgy agents for Pepe.

    Theres no way he’s paying 30 mil for 18 y.o. .
    Remember we reportedly missed out on a 17 y.o. called Mbappe for a 1 or 2 millions.

    Giving in to another club’s valuation of a player. That is also a No under Wenger.

    Instead he might have repeated a 100 mil spending spree like the one he did for Xhaka , Musti and Perez.

    -Inefficiency
    The club has been ineffecient for years. We sold Henry , Rvp , Cesc , etc for less than half their values. 350 k a week deal to an aging Mesut Ozil.
    200 k a week to Mkhi. 100k+ a week to Xhaka and Mustafi . 140k a week to Kola. Its Raul’s job to undo this large mess. And time will only tell if he can do it.

    – Your notion that Raul is the king at the club and noone can counter his decision.
    If that was true , then Unai would still be at the club after signing a new deal which Raul had planned for him. If Raul is the top man who stopped him from giving that deal to Unai. Sven was out , Gazidis was out and Edu was still in Brazil.
    It had to be Josh since the board holds no meaning after a complete takeover.

    I agree that Raul is not the best DOF in the world.
    Ideally I would love to have Ralf Ragnick or whoever is in charge at Dortmund or Madrid.

    -Raul lining up his friends’s pockets.
    Josh may not be the best owner but he is also not a 12 y.o. If something so dodgy was going at the club im sure he would see it and take action. Also there are many people in such deals that you say Raul uses to line his friends’s pockets. If that is true he would first have to have in his own pocket
    1) Vinai ( who has more loyalty to Arsenal since his time is way more than that if Raul)
    2) Edu ( an invincible who says he loves the club and clearly wants us to do better)
    3) Huss Fahmy.

    My point is that Raul has been unfairly criticized. Especially by you . Ony time will tell how good he is and can he do the job we require him to do.

    He was at Barca when they were at their very best.
    He signed Neymar which was a dodgy deal sure. But they got a top 3 player in the world and also 222m from his sale. + all his commercial value when he was at the club. So Raul has to be some good right. No way Gazidis or Wenger could pull a signing like Neymar’s.

  64. Daniel Altos

    Habesha GoonerJune 1, 2020 19:47:03
    Pedro, This is what’s annoying about you. You state a statement like it’s fact and when asked to back it up you say go and dig the information you stated as fact. You should post links and articles that back up your narrative. You shouldn’t say go and read to prove my point.

    Haha this is so true,saw Marc earlier asking him about the Pl figures putting wolves 16th in terms of agent fees. …the response was ‘do some research’ or someone else who mentioned his two contradicting positions on Luiz….or someone asking which contacts signing that the Raul the villain has done apart from Luiz.Raul isn’t my cup of tea either but for Christ’s sake some of the things being blamed on him are hilarious.Unless I am missing something mislintat is the one who brought us contacts signings.We have signed some pretty good young players about to reach their peak and some of you who are blaming the man even agreed that we had the so called best summer transfer window lol….if am not wrong,this was the stick that was used to beat the former manager

  65. Habesha Gooner

    Pedro,
    Bad signings?
    when you have an agenda you will make up anything. Who has been the terrible signing during the Raul era so far? you have to clarify the bad signings part. Who are the players most fans want to get rid of?
    Mustafi, Xhaka, Ozil, Sokratis, Miki, Elneny and some Lacazette. All have been signed either Wenger or Emery in Mislintat Era.
    Inefficiency?
    What inefficiency? Players that we have signed last summer are all future starters apart from Luiz. When we had no money we got a free backup euro winner right-back who is still 28. Mari was signed because your darling arteta wanted a Left footed CB and within our budget we got what he wanted.
    People quitting?
    sir chips? you are having a laugh surely. People who aren’t at arsenal either sucked at their job like Mislintat and Emery or Theu have been CONTRACTUAL scouts who we are hiring back I. September.
    Influx of agents?
    I don’t mind having good relationship with agents because they have the best players. If they are running Arsenal then I would have a problem with it. And there is little evidence of that so far.And Every player has an agent now. If it gets us a Haaland sometime I am down to pay them then.

    Every bit of your Comment was agenda driven. But I will say this You are never boring.

    Luiz is extending. Good thing for 1 year and 8 mil transfer doesn’t look bad for two years offset by the 6 mil we got for koscielny. We will need his experience. We need Either Mari or another CB. Not two Centerbacks. Either he is quality or he isn’t.

  66. Marc

    Wasi

    I’d add to your statement that if Sanllehi was some how “funneling” money into agents in an illegal manor not only would it be picked up – our accounts will still be audited even if the full accounts are made public but the Kroenke’s would go after him for fraud.

  67. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    So maybe 25m for bel to psg…
    Is that a good deal…
    Questions over will he come back the same player,,.

    Personally take the money have tutu n soares as cover .

  68. Marc

    RSPC

    I’d be very tempted – only thing that would stop me taking the money is if some of the stories about Atletico being interested and there’s a chance to do some swap deals.

    Of course the same could be true with PSG!

  69. Gonsterous

    Partey rumours just won’t go away. Don’t want to pay 40m for another alex song.
    Song had better stats at his age though.

  70. Chris

    Un

    Not sure exactly what type of reading material you are after but if it is fiction I have just refinished reading something that you may like, Headhunters by John King, follows a group of guys who set themselves up in a ‘sex League’, extremely amusing with a sudden shocker of an ending.

    It may be a bit mainstream but I have always enjoyed Ian McEwan’s work, Machines Like Me, Solar, The Children Act, Black Dogs and Enduring Love are great.

  71. Pierre

    Un
    “I’m bored
    Somebody needs to jump in and give me something interesting to read”

    Arsenal fans were robbed of a midfield that had the potential to be up there with Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets.

    Jack Wilshere, Diaby and Cazorla I believe were as talented as the Barcelona trio.

    However , they were afforded little or no protection from the officials and the opposition were given licence to stop this talented 3 using any means possible.

    Wenger must have been heartbroken( as were many fans) to see this potentially world class midfield kicked out of the game time and time again.

    Wilshere was a dream to watch, his one touch football, his drop of the shoulder to beat a player , superb balance on the ball made him a truly exceptional talent who would have linked up perfectly with the skill and intelligence of Cazorla and the power and drive of Diaby.

    What a midfield Wenger had at his finger tips and he would have known how to get the very best out of them.

    The back up of Rosicky, Ramsey, Hleb and Flamini were also exceptional but sadly too many were allowed to be kicked out of the game which was a criminal waste of talent.

  72. Wasi

    Un

    ‘before.WasiCome now. Better than being in the top 4?
    Better than watching jack, Ramsey, ox, Theo, Sanchez, santi and giroud play beautiful football
    Not our finest but a damned sight better than what we’ve seen since?’

    OFC id wan to watch Ramsey , Cazorla and Wilshere play beautiful football rather than the Chameleon football we have had to watch.

    I was talking about the upward trend in transfer dealings.
    The ins and out. Under Gazidis and Wenger would we get 30-35 mil for Iwobi?
    6 mil for Kos who was crying out to leave?
    8 mil for the young player who we sold to Derby and 3 mil each for Dominc thompson and Xavier Amaechi who had 0 senior appearances combined?
    The answer to all the above questions is probably NO. Iwobi would have gone for half his market value and rest all for free or fees in the amount we got for the likes of Bennacer.
    In the incoming department we got our 1st choice at LB , 1 st choice loan midfielder and young CB ( Both reportedly ahead of Spuds ), 1st choice RW ahead of some big clubs that were being linked.
    Most of these deals probably wouldnt have happened under the last regime for various reasons.

    ‘And you believe him? The man has set us up with two deals which benefit him and his players a lot more than the club we support in 6 months
    I agree there have been positive transfers but the Luiz Soares and above all, emery signings were not only awful for the club but highly questionable ethics wise’

    Ofc im beleiving him. At least in this case. The story was run my Ame Lawrence who with all due respect is not known for her Arsenal related news.
    No other journo has backed this up. Not even Orny who is her colleague at The Athletic. If there was even some truth in her story she would have come with some sort of statment to the aggressive stance taken by Kia. Also the 200k a week wage thing seems too steep. It was earlier reported by many its around 150k a week which is still a lot for an average player like him but still 50k less than some making out to be ti suit their agendas.

    ‘By the way
    I really enjoy your long mini blog within a blog posts. Missed them lately.
    Keep them coming.’
    Thanks . Appreciate your support. 😊
    Just wish I had Pedro-like ability to keep up with my mini-blogs in such dry times.

  73. Pierre

    Sadly , Wenger then opted for midfield players like Xhaka Arteta, Coquelin who could look after themselves but lacked the flair and invention of Wilshere, cazorla and Diaby.