From Barca bagman to running Arsenal. How? (long read)

by .

People on the internet are making a big mistake. They are fighting over the records of Raul and Sven. This is an incorrect comparison. We need to put a stop to the madness because it is making it difficult to see the mess at Arsenal with any sort of clarity. My patronising hope is that this article might help you understand why the situation at Arsenal is as nuts as it is at the moment.

First things first, let’s get into the history of Arsenal’s latest mess.

Ivan Gazidis had a pretty good plan post-Arsene Wenger (give it a chance), at least on paper. He had three things he needed to accomplish:

Firstly, he had to find someone that could upgrade the way Arsenal scouted. We’d become bloated, dated, and the hits had dried up. We were Disney under 90s-Katzenberg. After Alladin, The Lion King and the Little Mermaid the future wasn’t more 2D animation, it was guys like 3D world builders like Steve Jobs and John Lasseter at Pixar. Disney moved on their problem, Ivan didn’t have the power to, but when he sensed the end, he geared up for action.

There was very little creativity in the way Arsenal approached things and the good people were being crowded out of the important decisions. We were missing out on too many gems and there was a bottleneck in the system. Gazidis spent a very long time headhunting Sven Mislintat from Dortmund, who arguably had/has one of the best scouting records in the world over the last 15 years. We beat out other Premier League clubs for his signature (Spurs/United). What we were hiring was a data-centric approach to recruitment and a new way of doing things.

Secondly, Ivan needed to replace Dick Law, who was the man in charge of negotiating deals for Arsenal during the Wenger reign. The club needed someone ruthless, that knew the dark arts of agents, that could work the angles with UEFA. He found Raul Sanhelli, reportedly Ivan had been captivated by him at UEFA shindigs.

Now, let’s talk about what Raul did at Barcelona, because people get very confused.

He was not a scout or a talent guy. In the industry, they call his role a fixer, a runner, or a bagman. The role is important because you can’t have actual talent messing around on long flights or doing laborious jobs they aren’t suited for. There is a clear split between bagmen and talent spotters.

The Barca approach to buying football players is as followed.

The Sporting Directors picks the players, likely sourced through intense data and scouting. Once they decide on a player, then people like Raul would be activated to make the deal happen. They’d be given the rules of the road and sent wherever they needed to go in the world to make the deals happen. Raul would be instructed to lowball clubs, work with the agents and families involved, to plant stories in the media to unsettle the target players, to do what was necessary to bring the deal home. Arguably, the murkier side of this process (though legal) was what we lacked. Remember, we were the club that missed out on Mbappe because of a £7m fee.

Let’s get this straight. Raul is not a football guy. That is not what he did at Barcelona. He was a fixer of deals. He executed whatever plan was handed to him. To bring it back to film, the magic of an excellent production is technically down to the person that negotiated the fee for an Oscar-winning actress (Raul fan mindset), but the truth is the real smarts lie with the casting director or the film director that helped the actor bring the story to life.

The idea on paper was that Sven would find the players using data-driven smarts, because that’s what he was excellent at, and Raul would push the deal over the line because that was his thing.

If Sven was the architect, Raul was the estate agent.

Simple, right? Wrong.

There was a third thing Ivan had to oversee. A new manager.

Ivan G set up the new system, then caved to a Raul-special-friend-agent recommendation to bring in Unai Emery. To make matters more complicated, he had promised that Sven would be made the Sporting Director at Arsenal when Wenger left. However, when Ivan was supposed to be CEOing and ensuring his new leadership team was playing nicely, he was actually negotiating a sweet deal with The Elliot Management Group to take over at AC Milan.


He quit without seeing his plan through. When he fucked off he left a big fat power vacuum at Arsenal. A bland CEO was allowed to suggest what his succession plan looked like and it was fucking garbage.

The club decided, in its infinite wisdom, to give the leadership of the club to a 37-year-old finance guy, and to make Raul his partner. One did commercial deals, the other ran the football side of things.

This was a huge mistake.

Sven was not given the position of Sporting Director. We can point to many reasons why this didn’t happen, but the reality is that his process wouldn’t have worked for Raul who doesn’t seem to believe in data, and that eventually played out when Sven decided to leave because he didn’t like the way the new leadership team did business. I was told there were allegedly tensions dating back to the Auba deal, with someone preferring to bring in a Brazilian forward that is now playing in Russia instead. An additional clue to Sven’s angst might be how the Iwobi deal grew in complexity (adding more agents to deals), per the Nick Ames Guardian story yesterday. That is pure speculation of course. Whatever the issue was, Sven didn’t like the way Raul did business, and Raul didn’t like Sven. The friction between the conflicting philosophies was well known on the training ground.

Sven left.

Now Arsenal was fully at the mercy of a bagman who had ambitions to be the club lead who ran the football side of things despite not being qualified in that role.

Say what you want about Sven Mislintat, we were a very short amount of time into the tenure of someone that had an actual track record with talent.

He was responsible for: Saliba, Auba, Leno, Guendouzi, Tierney, and Torreira.

No one has truly thrived at Arsenal over the past two years, but it’s hard to sniff at those players and not think that we were at least on the path to a smarter way of working.

Raul ran last summer then brought in Edu, who was represented by Kia. As far as I am aware, Sven didn’t have a super-agent repping him. Let’s try and imagine a world where it’s a good idea that a super-agent brings a Technical Director to a big club, and then starts buying from his portfolio. If you were Business Affairs Manager at any reputable company, what would you think about that setup?

As expected, the Raul/Edu era hasn’t exactly been coherent. We blew £72m on a winger last season when central midfield and defence was the problem. I won’t relitigate some of the oddities of that deal (read here), but needless to say, there was a connection to Raul in the Lille exec team. We spent £24m on David Luiz for a single year according to The Athletic who as far as I am aware have not retracted the story. We signed Pablo Mari to a 4-year deal after about 22 competitive games in his career (out for 4 months), we’re having to justify giving a 29-year-old right-back that Southampton thought was good for glue a 4-year deal, and we signed David Luiz for another year despite performance issues (now injured). Yes, Gabriel Martinelli was a good signing. He was a recco from Cagigao. Do with think he’d have recommended the other players? I have my reservations.

Letting Sven Mislintat go has been a disaster for Arsenal, not because of the person, but because what ditching someone like that means for your standing as a club. We don’t believe in data, we’ve put scouting on the back burner, we are making it clear even to other agents that the game at Arsenal is only played by a select few. It’s so bad, we have Kia in the press talking like he’s an Arsenal representative.

We have cleared out a bunch of scouts. We didn’t replace Sven. The StatDNA guy left. We lost Lord Harris and Sir Chips from the board. There’s very little accountability. According to multiple outlets, there was a fight to make sure David O’Leary was not added to the board, why? I have my concerns it was his behaviour at Leeds that was the tipping point.

The best thing Arsenal have done in the last 6 months is Arteta, but even that decision is slightly tainted by the kingmaker concern. Though I will reiterate, he is not a mistake and I don’t care how the club landed on him. He’ll be the reason Edu and Raul keep their jobs for longer than they should.

So in short, we’re not being run by a football guy. We’re being run by a fixer who made deals happen. The guy that was widely praised for his role in the Neymar deal is the person we’ve entrusted to use his contacts to get us back to the top. Does it look like that’s working out? Do you read the story of Liverpool and think Arsenal’s leadership is capable of making that many good decisions over a 4 year period?

I have my doubts. We’ll see this summer though. Will we bring back the scouts we lost and add something different? Will Edu put forth a plan and explain what value he’s offering the club? Will we put the Willian deal in the bin and spend £150k a week on players that actually have a future in the game beyond one season?

It remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, the pressure on those two is now immense. They have to deliver this summer and the deals have to look like they are for the good of Arsenal, not their mates.

It’s time for Josh and Stan to wake up. Every year we entrust chancers with the keys to our club is another £50m down the drain. We need to act smart, build out a proper infrastructure around Arteta, hire in the right talent and put the super-agent recommendations in a very deep hole. Contacts football sounds sexy, but it’s a load of shit. It’s like pining after dickhead players that cause problems because they are perceived as more passionate than the cause. No serious business would allow this type of carry-on. No one would let the conflicts of interest slide so easily. Ownership needs to put a stop to the madness now before we have another shocking summer.

I will leave on a positive because there is always a path to a better future.

Liverpool just won the league.

They did it the proper way.

It wasn’t grotesque, it was about smart people, and money well spent.

Tomorrow, I’m going to lay out how Arsenal can borrow from their playbook and bring back greatness to N5.

Right, that’s me done, see you in the comments. x

295 Responses to “From Barca bagman to running Arsenal. How? (long read)”

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  1. Daniel Altos

    Only three players in Europe’s top five leagues have scored 10+ non-penalty goals away from home this season:

    Robert Lewandowski (15)
    Timo Werner (11)
    Danny Ings (10)
    Not bad company for the Saints striker. Thoughts on him in case lacazette and auba go?He knows the league and knows how to find the back of the net

  2. Ishola70


    Where is your proof that Saliba was a post Sven signing? That he had no say in it at all.

    You may have already offered proof but I missed it.

    As said previously this is all a waste of time really talking about who is responsible for signings but your absolute certainty in this is intriguing in itself.

  3. The Backpass


    “You sort of get bored in what is blindingly obvious about him.And Xhaka is no longer the player least liked in the team by me. That has now fallen to David Luiz”

    Fair enough.

    I can deal with Xhaka next season as long as we get Partey and a creative player next to him. It’s not like we are winning thw league next year with this squad.

    P.S I don’t even like Raul, Kronke’s and co, just want us to stop being shit.

  4. Valentin


    Which two stories are you referring to?

    My point regarding Guendouzi is that he may be petulant, but dealing with an immature kid with extreme severity never ends up well.

    Moreover he has enough talent that at this stage of his career he will fail upward and Arsenal will lose out.

    Fell out with the U21 coach at PSG, got a move to first team at Lorient after refusing to sign an extension.
    Fell out with the Lorient coach, got a move to Arsenal after refusing to sign an extension.
    I would rather that Arsenal avoid being the next stepping stone of his career and in fact make a full benefit of his talent.

    I have no doubt that if he is confronted by Arteta he will do the same thing again. So my point is let’s be smart and work with the kid. Send him to a shrink to better channel his anger and frustration or whatever is necessary instead of antagonising him.
    We went from an internal spat with the headcoach to him requesting to leave. He may be a drama queen, but that’s a still huge escalation.

  5. Receding Hairline

    “If Arsenal’s financial troubles prevent the manager from buying his own team, his coaching skills must come to the fore.

    Under Guardiola, Arteta impressed with his one-to-one work and man-management of players, while Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney recently said: ‘It’s been an absolute joy to train with him. I feel as if I’m learning every single day.’

    For now, that may be where Arteta can make the biggest difference. Players such as Pepe, bought for £72million, have showed in flashes what they can do.

    Like the best coaches of recent years – Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Pochettino – Arteta must prove he can create top quality, not just buy it.”

    The last paragraph hits the nail on the head

    Time we start seeing some coaching and progression. Not talk of standards and dressing room power plays

  6. salparadisenyc

    Find it strange those that beat Mislintat with a stick, look what happened over the course of his very limited time with club from Wenger to Raul. Thats quite a tidal shift to work under.

    If we really need a punching bag lets line up Gazidas and the owners, this clubs been trending downward for a decade with the football on a gradual decline. The last several years have taken us to new lows on the pitch, thats what matters. Its was all born in the latter part of the Wenger years.

    What is being done to arrest that? Its all on Raul and Edu alluded to in this post. The pressure is ON.

  7. Pedro

    ‘Plus this Matty G debate is starting to enter the, is Theo better then Hazard territory of ridiculousness.’


  8. Wasi


    Is that even a seriously question ?

    Saliba was signed last summer. Sven wasnt at the club , Raul was in-charge .

    Is that proof enough.

  9. Guns of SF

    It is all Wengers fault. Even 10 years fro now. Wengers fault .

    Everything is Wengers fault!

    Damn Wenger

  10. Pedro

    Valentin, he’s a football coach, not a kindergarten teacher.

    Let’s not talk about how discipline and standards is a problem.

    Jose Mourinho savaged Drogba when he lied to him, asked him if his mother would be proud of his lies, then dropped him very publicly.

    Alex Ferguson was the boss, he sent spies to follow youth players around Salford to check they were behaving.

    Arsene Wenger was very reluctant to let young players take breaks in midseason because he knew they’d go wild.

    Jurgen Klopp does not take shit from anyone, ever.

    Guendouzi hasn’t been hitting the standards of behavior, when he does, he’ll be back in the team.

    You are trying to create a drama out of standard management practice. No one is bigger than the club. Everyone is treated equally.

    Case in point: Ozil gets the same deal as Matteo

  11. Wasi

    See rumours linking us to another Kia agent.
    Joelson Fernandes. 17 year old player regarded as one of the top talents in Portugal. From the reports I have read about him ( before he was linked to us ) say he has potential to be world class.

    Hope this gets over the line.

  12. David Smith

    Wenger, Gazidis, Raul, Emery, and that’s before starting on things stateside, but the Kroenkes do have a tendency to let things drift, don’t they?

  13. Pedro

    Wasi, Sven will have left a list of players he was hunting. That didn’t go in the bin when he left. Also, we were working on that deal long before the summer.

  14. Dream10


    Probably a bit of both. A smart club like Brentford wanted to pay 5m for Balogun in January before he made a senior appearance for us. Think this one deal we may Aubameyang and Lacazette will likely both be gone by next summer too

    I believe Balogun is the most talented forward prospect at the club. Ahead of Martinelli, Nketiah and John Jules.

  15. Habesha Gooner

    Guns of SF
    you have to admit most our problematic players were signed on huge wages during the end of Wenger years. Mustafi, Xhaka, Miki,Elneny, Kolasinac all senior dross Wenger signed. I wouldn’t Include Lacazette but he has lost form this year and he was also signed by Wenger. The new regime is at fault for the likes of Sokratis and David Luiz. Both short term stopgaps. Other than that we have done well in the market since he left.

  16. Ishola70


    “Is that proof enough.”

    No it’s not I’m afraid.

    That a signing is made a season after an employee has left doesn’t mean that that signing was not previously recommended while that employee was still at the club.

    So you have no concrete proof then.

  17. salparadisenyc


    Think you may of missed the point there, which is the Kroenkes let it go too long with Wenger, thus missing out a plethora of game changers and somehow hired Unai with the help of Raul.

    If theres more of that type of leadership on offer, were fucked.

  18. Receding Hairline

    Jose Mourinho, Sir Alex, Klopp, Wenger ……wow

    Reading all this one wouldn’t believe Arteta is just 12 games into his managerial career, you have to at least achieve something before looking to behave like some of the greatest in the game.

  19. Pedro

    RH, so your take is that great managers of the past have just eased into setting standards and holding people accountable?

  20. Graham62


    The AKB’s will never let go. A very unique breed indeed.

    You are correct though, our midfield needs fixing……BIG TIME!

    Our problem at Arsenal is the snobbery when it comes to purchasing players , who we feel would make us a better team. This has always been the case.

    Look at John Fleck at Sheffield United. I know he’s 28( past it according to some)but would you say he’s a better option than those currently we have. I would.

    Imo, there have always been better and cheaper options than manyof the players we purchased over the years.

    I harp back to players like Gary Cahill , Chris Samba and even VVD, who we could/should have purchased. Who did we bring in? That’s right, players of the calibre of Squillachi, Santos, Luzhny, Stephanovs etc.

    The “excuse” of many was we never had the money to compete with the likes of Chelski, MC and MU. That’s a load of poppycock!!

    Our problem was that we had a manager that didn’t want to have leaders and winners in his ranks, just as he had when he first arrived at Arsenal. He wanted to try and prove that we(he) could do things differently. Imo he was intimidated by those that he knew would confront him over issues.

    A simple fact of life, in any team environment, is that you’ll never progress if you have too many cloned mindsets not prepared to die for the cause.

    That’s why, without the likes of born winners such as Adams and co at his disposal, when Wenger first arrived, we’d never have achieved what we did.

    Just an opinion.

  21. Graham62

    Those fans that talk of all these glamour players we could be bringing to the club should look at things closer to home.

    I am convinced, to this day, that if we had purchased Chris Samba from Blackburn, at the height of his powers, he would have inspired the entire team and we could have taken that extra step.

    Too intimidating for some though.

  22. MidwestGun

    Hopefully, Arteta channels his inner Sean Mcvay. Seems the only way the Kroenke’s know how to turn things around.
    Not real optimistic about them noticing bad agent deals, or bad long term contracts. As I pointed out yesterday their other teams are filled with them. The Rams were one of the worst run teams for a decade after Dick Vermeil left a huge void there.

    I think London gunner was the Theo champion.. but he was not alone to be fair. Just the sheer length of that debate is what still stands as amazing

  23. Valentin


    I like Balogun. I have not seen him live for a while now. He is a quick tenacious player.
    Unless Arsenal change their style of play his chances here will be extremely limited. He likes to play on the shoulder of the last defender. He said that he model his game on Aubameyang, but I think that he would be better off modeling his game on Aguero.
    He has his quickness of reaction, short backlift allowing to shoot on sight and like the latest crop of strikers at Conley he like to make a nuisance of himself.
    Right now he looks like a faster but not as technically proficient younger version of Nkethia and Lacazette.

    Once Aubameyang is sold, I do expect the next striker to be more in the mould of Giroud in order to be able to hold the ball and uses his head. And that is not his Forte.
    Going to Brentford or elsewhere may be his best option.

  24. Receding Hairline

    RH, so your take is that great managers of the past have just eased into setting standards and holding people accountable?

    No Pedro, i just find all the comparisons to the greats a bit premature. He should be looking at the guys at RB Leipzig and Monch over at Germany, young dudes doing things their own way, picking on 20 year old’s as some sort of power play to enact standards all seems a bit too “look at me i am strict”, distracting from the simple fact we are not getting better on the pitch where it matters.

    The ones who have met the so called standards are not actually playing any better for it. I see no joy in our football

  25. Wasi

    Ishola , Pedro

    Maybe Sven was working on Saliba. Maybe anyone of the number of scouts we employ was working on him. Maybe someone from our data analaytics team or youth scouting team was working on him.
    All these are maybes. Also as far as I remember there wasn’t even a twitter rumour linking us to Saliba until very close to the summer window.

    The facts are these –

    1- Labelling Sven as the one who unearthed Saliba is factually wrong because, one there is no proof of it , two he hasnt claimed it nor any of the big journos have credited him for it.Our scouting team has proven it worked pretty well even before Sven arrived ( Malen , Bannacer , Mbappe , Gnabry some of the examples).So theres also a good chance Sven was spotted and scouted by someone else.

    2- Raul signed Saliba. FACT. I know he didn’t scout him and thats not his job. He was presented with data of how good the kid is and reports of how high his ceiling is. What he did was what he was/is here to do. Get the deal over the line. This throws yours Pedros assumption that Raul doesn’t work well with data into the dumpster. Gabi and KT also being the other examples that Raul when presented with good data-driven options will act on it.
    Doubt the meek Ivan-Wenger duo would of paid 30mil and agreed a loan back for Saliba when they couldn’t take a 7mil risk on a generation talent like Mbappe.

  26. Dissenter

    “Wasi, Sven will have left a list of players he was hunting. That didn’t go in the bin when he left. Also, we were working on that deal long before the summer.”

    Has it occurred to you that Sven may have also met a scouting list in place when he resumed at Arsenal?
    It’s not like we never had excellent scouts before he came. The scouting was never an issue, it was Wenger’s inability to see the forest from the trees that was holding us back.
    Has it occurred to you that Guendouzi, Torriera and all the reasonable signings of 2018 may have been Francis Cagigao’s body of work?

  27. Hobart

    As far as I am concerned we have had 4 power struggles at the top, and every time the wrong person has won. Every time we’ve lost some soul, leadership and brains. Leading to our current disaster.

    Fiszman beat Dein weakening Wengers purchasing.
    Kroenke beat Usmanov locking us in to be a cash cow instead of ambitious.
    Gazidis Sliced Wengers power away until he left.
    Sanllehi beat Sven and now we play and pay for agent roulette.

    Not sure if we’ll properly recover in my lifetime.

  28. Dream10


    Balogun looks to better on the ball. Hes a decent size striker who can come deep.

    Yep. I’m with you with the next #9 being a big guy like Giroud. Last summer, I wanted us to sell Lacazette and sign Haller. Would do the same now. He’ll be cheaper now. Would take him and Issa Diop from West Ham. They’re both mature characters in their mid 20s who will be ready to go.

  29. Aussie Gooner

    Folarin Balogun:
    Games – 71
    Goals – 52
    Assists – 12

    Why go on about who signed whom or we should sign such and such? This is an 18 year old player we have at the club now and we are willing to let him walk!

  30. Dissenter

    How many times did Wenger say – we almost signed player X or we came close to signing player Y?

    The scouting at Arsenal was always top-notch. It was the absence of good executive action on the scouting and the dearth of an over-arching strategic plan that was screwing us up.

    We have always had excellent scouts – go through the recent histories of what-ifs – Xabi Alonso, Mbappe, Hazard, Kante, Jadon Sancho, Roanldo, Buffon, Vincent Kompany, Verane Yaya Toure, Ronaldinho, Zlatan, – Our scouts did their jobs.

    It was Wenger quibbling over a few millions in valuation, refusing to do third party deals for south American players or trying to protect the pathway of one of his babies that held us back.

    People will be amazed at how close we came to becoming a mega club when that Wenger memoirs comes out.
    We were always there but for Wenger’s indecisison. The scouting at Arsenal was always excellent before Mislintat.

  31. Batistuta

    Don’t think it’s the smartest thing getting rid of Balogun. Should be resigning him up and then sending him on loan. Better player and prospect than Nketiah in my opinion, and we should be looking to get rid of Lacazette too, just doesn’t do enough.

    Balogun is the sort of raw talent we should be looking to sign and harness and not look to sell off

  32. Batistuta

    If we’re all agreeing that project Arteta is a long term one then we shouldn’t be selling off some of our more talented youngsters and filling up the first team with journeymen, doesn’t make any sense

  33. Guns of SF

    Folarin Balogun:
    Games – 71
    Goals – 52
    Assists – 12

    This is utterly ridiculous.
    We are selling??? Heck this guy is better than Eddie N and Laca already

  34. Ishola70


    I have not said that Saliba was a Sven signing.

    In contrast you have categorically stated on here previously that he most definitely wasn’t a Sven signing.

    Therein lies the difference.

    As said before fans need to get over Mislintat.

    And yes that includes getting all agitated and prickly if someone states that he had a say in a certain transfer.

    Mislintat is kaput. No more. Finished. in regards Arsenal.

  35. Alex James

    ‘Bloody well right, he’s celebration when Leeds beat us in the 37th game of the season to deny us the title was disgusting, see below at 2:34, what a cunt:‘ Beat me to it. Leeds supporters must have been very pleased to hand the title to MU, given the bad history between the two clubs.

  36. Wasi


    100% accurate.
    Many of the brainwashed sheep don’t understand that Scouting was never a problem for us. They think the Sven was the be , all end all. A Sven no one wanted after he lost a power struggle.
    Maybe he is good at scouting ( wasnt that good for tbh) but his debacles at Dortmund and Arsenal prove that power is something he craves and is always up for a fight or two for that matter .
    Btw this same herd would cry and moan when we missed out on top players thanks to Wenger being stubborn about throwing a few mils over the top or involving an agent or Gazidis being Gazidis and having no guts to intervene and do whats right.
    Even just the Mbappe or Sancho or Kante deal in the recent past would have dramatically and positively impacted where we are now.

  37. Zacharse


    Part of being arsenal is bringing in class players. I don’t think an Ings signing would appropriately replace laca or auba and imagine the fan bCklash after the contracts offered to soares and luiz.

  38. Wasi


    If you check back you’ll see what I have stated.
    It is Saliba was SIGNED by Raul. Never gave him credit for scouting him or unearthing him.
    I full well agree that there is a possibility albeit a small one thay Sven may have found Saliba.
    But the way Pedro and some hail Sven as the one who made the deal happen gets me a little agitated.

    Dont you get agitated when someone is spinning flat lies and pushing forward his agenda .
    Pedro even credited Sven for Tierney. Theres a limit to how much one can lie , right.

  39. Valentin


    I would take ISSA Diop and combine him with Saliba. Diop can play on the left side of the defense. I can’t see West Ham selling him for less than £40 millions which is outside of our price range.

    I would not take Haller. He has the body and strength but he lacks technique and his run are not very good.

  40. CG

    This Balogun,

    Ask yourself this.

    What would Chelsea do in the same circumstances?
    And I hazard a guess……

    They would get him signed up before anything else. Then get him out on loan for 2 years maybe even for a lucrative loan fee.

    Posters ,like Wasi ,defending Raul is comical.

    We are 9th and out of Europe!
    He is our head of football.
    He arrived when we were 6th and in Europe
    He has spent over £250 million

    And We will finish 9th next year( if we are lucky) to if he stays in position.

    What more does a man need to sacked than this tubby imposter?

    PedRo- bang on the money with this Raul.

  41. Zacharse


    Are you crazy? Pushing an agenda? Dude writes a daily blog and when his content gets too real you imagine he has some power to create change at arsenal. Lolz. We are owned by the kroenkes, its their money laundering and real estate agenda you should be worried about

  42. Valentin


    Raul is in charge so EVERY contract are signed under his watch. So arguing that Raul signed the contract is pointless.
    What we are arguing is that finding the player was done by hard work by Sven and his team rather than Raul taking a phone call from Kia and Canales.
    You will have difficulty arguing that Raul personally researched and discovered David Luiz via hard work.

    Finding gems before everybody else is lot more difficult than dining at the Savoy with your agent mates.

  43. Dissenter

    Mislintat was an excellent chief scout at Dortmund- he scouted the players, wrote up his reports and submitted for for executive action from the sporting director. That was the scope of his work. Arsenal wasn’t prepared to let him go further than this so he left.
    It was the Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc who made those key decisions as to who to sign and who to take a pass on.
    Our pre-Mislintat scouts did their jobs too and submitted the dossiers to Wenger – that where those scouting reports died. Wenger has confirmed how close we came to signing so many good player, meaning the scouting was done properly.
    Sven Mislintat would have met a very good scouting lists at Arsenal when he came on board so stop crediting everything to him.

  44. Freddie Ljungberg

    How has Marcus Thuram been doing this season? Wanted us to sign him on the cheap last summer but haven’t followed him after he went to the bundesliga.

    Binning Laca for him last season would have left us with a ready made striker now.

    Ok, looked it up, 10 goals and 9 assists in 38 games, not Auba levels but not too shabby for a 22 year old in a new league.

    Wouldn’t have replaced Aubas output for us but he can do everything Auba can’t, hold up and distribution, winning headers etc.

    Probably missed that train by now.

  45. Dissenter

    Wenger on Drogba: ‘I missed him when he played in France at Le Mans – not even in the top league,’ Wenger admitted. ‘I knew he was good player there and I missed him. And secondly because he hurt us so much in big games that all this pain would not have happened.’ ”
    Scoting report success – poor follow-up on report
    Wenger on Ronaldinho” ‘We could have got Ronaldinho before he went to PSG,’
    Wenger revealed. ‘I met his brother, who is his agent, a long, long time before he went to PSG – when he was 20 – but we just could not get him to England because of the rules here.’
    Scouting success, lack of bravery on getting around third party ownership rules. Chelsea used to solve these all the time.

  46. Dissenter

    Wenger on Kante: “‘I tried to sign Kante when he was in France and when he was at Leicester,’ Wenger said. ‘We can’t explain everything – transfers are transfers – but it is quite obvious when you look at where he has gone. I believe Kante has had a huge impact. It’s no coincidence Chelsea are where they are and Leicester did what they did.’
    Scouting success, failure of executive action from the manager- he had to bites at the pie ans still got it wrong.
    Wenger on Yaya Toure: ”It would be up at the top [of my list of regrets],’ Wenger lamented when remembering the passport trouble that prevented Toure from joining the Gunners. ‘He had an agreement with us – and it’s not because we didn’t want to sign him that he went to Ukraine.’
    We had Toure on a month log trial, his brother was already at Arsenal
    100% scouting success – 100% executive action FAILURE from Wenger, he was a dithering extraordinaire

    ****I’m posting these failures to show that there’s nothing special about Sven; Our pre-Mislintat scouts brought us to the verge of greater deals that anything Sven has ever done. It was Wenger who was not making the right calls.

  47. Valentin


    Nothing to do with 3rd party ownership issue for Ronaldhino. He just was not an international at the time and would not have met the work Permit criteria.
    Arsenal, but also a lot of other English club missed on South American talent because of the work permit rules. At the time players had to be fully international with up to 75% of international appearance to qualify. Hence that list of Brazilian players caught with fake passports given to them by dodgy agents.

  48. azed

    “If we really need a punching bag lets line up Gazidas ”

    I’m not sure Pedro is ready to confront his “ex”..

  49. Valentin


    Again you are wrong for Yaya Toure. The rules meant that if he stayed a further six month in Belgium he qualified for citizenship and as a European citizen he would be allowed in UK.
    He refused and joined a club in Ukraine or Greece. When Yaya Toure joined ManCity, he was a full international.

    The entire agreement between Arsenal, Jean-Marc Guillou and Beveren was entirely based on that premises. Have a Belgium club hosting Ivorians until they have Belgium nationality and Arsenal had first choice on those players.

    Eboue joined earlier than his 3 years stint because he had married a Belgium citizen, and so was entitled to stay in UK under European spouse right.

    There is a picture somewhere on internet of the Beveren senior team of the time. All 10 outfield players are Ivorian and the goalkeeper (Irish lad Graham Stack) was on loan from Arsenal. Their national FA was up in arms.

  50. Dissenter

    With all due respect, you’re wrong about Ronaldinho
    He got his international all-up for Brazil for the copa America in 1999. He was already an international for Brazil for two years when he moved to PSG in 2001.

    Chelsea have signed three Brazilian players with third party ownership – Ramires , Kenedy and Oscar. There were creative fixes to these deals- you have to negotiate with all parties with ONE agent or buy out the minority owners and negotiate with the majority owner. We we so goddamn conservatively lazy. It was murky, involved more work but was doable.

  51. Wasi


    We have many have hard-working scouts at the club. And anyone could have discovered. If you read my comment above , you’ll see I agree that there’s a slight chance Sven may have found him.
    But there’s a very high chance that he didnt and someone’s from our pre existing scouting team did.

    If not an agenda then what. Im not against someone who has an agenda (maybe even a biased ) and pushes it but when the one in question spouts flat lies and blames someone innocent ( Raul ) .


    ‘Posters ,like Wasi ,defending Raul is comical’

    Feels like it is my responsibility. Defending someone who is innocent.

    Check this out. The two things Raul is constantly criticized for

    1- Doesn’t believe in Data driven scouting.

    Saliba , Gabi and KT prove that this allegation is flat out wrong. In his first summer in charge 4/5 of his signings were data driven. Ceballos being the 4th.

    2- He is at Arsenal to suck the money out of the club and line up his friends’s pockets.

    Well , the FA reports came out last week and clearly proved these allegations false.
    And even if we do pay some more money to the agents in the future it wont be because they are Raul’s buddies but because its the norm now.
    (Liverpool this term paid out 30m to agents. Their total transfer outlay was around 10 mil. )

    Im sure you have heard the saying
    Innocent until proven guilty.

  52. Wasi

    ‘I’m not sure Pedro is ready to confront his “ex”’

    Maybe there are some still feelings there. 🤪

  53. Sid

    Issa Diop is a black Mustafinovs,
    Alex Ferguson wss known to be fatherly as well as authoritarian,
    Diet Pep is plain passive aggressive,

  54. Dissenter

    We coukld have signed Yaya Toure and sent him away on loan

    Duh.. is that so hard… c’mon man.
    All that long story when the answer was staring at you in the face.
    How much do you think Metalurh Donetsk paid for him?

    My point is unchanged; our scouts did their jobs exceptionally well. It’s the failure of out-the-box problem solving and conservatism that let us down.

  55. englandsbest

    Thank heavens, Pedro, you are homing in on Stan. A bit late in the day but, hey, better late than never. How a guy can allow a billion pound plus asset sink to this level beggars belief. He is either a dope, or buying Arsenal was an act of vengeance.

    I am with you all the way on Arteta. I make him our best (only?) hope. Stan should hand him the keys of the kingdom.

  56. Graham62


    I’m sure these stories will come out in his upcoming book.

    ‘My Life in Red and White’ and all in his own words. This folks is the reason many Arsenal fans will take what Wenger has to say with a pinch of salt.

    I’m sure he’ll be looking for a sympathy vote from us all.

    Worth the read though.

  57. Dissenter

    “I am with you all the way on Arteta. I make him our best (only?) hope. Stan should hand him the keys of the kingdom.”

    Hand over the keys of the kingdom to a rookie manager with 6 months of on-the-job head coaching experience?
    We’ve gone from Wenger-knows-best to Arteta-knows-best.
    From giving control to a manager with 50,000 substitutions to trying to give control to another with less than 50 substitutions .
    Arteta needs help to save him from himself so he can focus on the head coaching job only.

  58. Graham62

    Come on, how many of you actually absorbed(believed) the Wenger rhetoric after 2010?

    Oops, almost forgot.

    Sorry CG and Pierre.

  59. englandsbest

    No question Arteta’s hands are tied, judging by the latest signings/extensions. They directly contradict his avowed policy, and suit Raul’s very nicely.

    Will his hands be be untied in the summer? Will he be allowed to rid the club of the overpaid and the underperforming, to bring in the young and vigorous? If not, will he hang around to carry the can, take the flak? IMO not a chance.

  60. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    The Arsenal board are reminiscent of the grace bros off are you being served.

    You know who will fill it at the end of season.


  61. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    We are meant to be building for the future…
    So we sell an 19 year old

    Forget Gomes he’s of to kraut land.

  62. Ishola70


    “No question Arteta’s hands are tied”

    Not a free pass at all.

    He will be judged and expected to reach certain standards. He knows it. Everyone knows it.

    If he fails to meet these required standards he will be on his way. Tied hands and all.

  63. Ishola70

    The requirements are that he has to make a challenge for top four next season.

    Same requirements as before for the previous managers.

    No different for Mr Arteta.

  64. Nelson

    “Even two shitcunt teams like Burnley and Crystal Palace can muster some tempo to their play.”

    I like the way Burney deveelope their attack. If they have their two strikers available, they can cause some damages.

  65. Valentin

    Ronaldhino was supposed to join in 1999, before he was an international. He only met the qualification for an UK work permit at the end of 2000. Because you needed to have played 75% of the last two years of international games.
    He was able to join PSG because the work permit rules were different.

    Arsenal wanted Yaya Toure to stay in Belgium for an extra six months, so he could get Belgium citizenship. His new agent convinced him that moving to Greece rather spend six months in Belgium was a better move. We could not have loaned him, because he wanted a permanent move and refused any idea of a loan.

    Wenger did missed a lot of players because of his dithering but not those two.

  66. Receding Hairline

    Hands are tied? Man is directly responsible for four year deals handed to two players no one is convinced on ( no one but Charles of course).

    No one is going to be drinking up all this Raul is the devil distractions next season regardless of whatever happens in the transfer market.

    We had a squad good enough to challenge for the top three last season despite being coached by a “disaster”, surely the sauce can do one better considering his Standards are set pretty high

  67. Dissenter

    You’re quickly devolving
    You’re saying Yaya Toure didn’t want a loan but preferred to go to Metaluh Donesk on a permanent transfer from Beveren??? That’s like going to Siberia for a young African.
    We missed out because we were too conservative and unwilling to do the dirty with our transfers.

  68. Dissenter

    The hands are tied mantra is one of the manifestations of the new AKBS [ Arteta Knows Best]
    Arteta-sauce needs only the best ingredients or it won’t come out well.

  69. Daniel Altos

    ZacharseJune 29, 2020 17:14:29
    DanielPart of being arsenal is bringing in class players. I don’t think an Ings signing would appropriately replace laca or auba and imagine the fan bCklash after the contracts offered to soares and

    Zarchase and how many ‘class players’ have we bought?I don’t understand why Arsenal fans are obsessed with glamourous players when there are good players who are better than what we have…Ollie Watkins at Brentford for example could literally blow up next year we should be all over signings like this but no,they don’t have exotic names If Ings was called Dany Inglesias am pretty sure fans would be creaming with joy

  70. Daniel Altos

    Freddie LjungbergJune 29, 2020 17:32:03
    How has Marcus Thuram been doing this season? Wanted us to sign him on the cheap last summer but haven’t followed him after he went to the bundesliga.Binning Laca for him last season would have left us with a ready made striker now.Ok, looked it up, 10 goals and 9 assists in 38 games, not Auba levels but not too shabby for a 22 year old in a new league.Wouldn’t have replaced Aubas output for us but he can do everything Auba can’t, hold up and distribution, winning headers etc.Probably missed that train by now

    Freddy I am one in the Marcus Thuram hype train for a very long time..the guy has the body of a target man but the pace and technique of a winger …he is so good but I think Mino Raiola is his agent and Legrove is against super agents so

  71. salparadisenyc


    Safe to say if Arteta tanks the side in similar fashion to Emery there will be none of your “AKBs” about.

    It’ll be onto the next manager.

  72. Useroz

    We blew £72m on a winger last season when central midfield and defence was the problem. I won’t relitigate some of the oddities of that deal (read here), but needless to say, there was a connection to Raul in the Lille exec team. We spent £24m on David Luiz for a single year according to The Athletic who as far as I am aware have not retracted the story. We signed Pablo Mari to a 4-year deal after about 22 competitive games in his career (out for 4 months), we’re having to justify giving a 29-year-old right-back that Southampton thought was good for glue a 4-year deal, and we signed David Luiz for another year despite performance issues (now injured).”

    If that isn’t enough to sack Raul effective immediately, don’t know what is. And Pedro wants to see what happens after the season? Edu can fuck off with Raul holding hands for all I care.

    No proper MNCs would be as negligently managed as Arsenal It’s criminal. No stories yet but wouldn’t surprise anyone if these fixers personally benefit financially in some ways

    No Hollywood and Oscar actors would play the sleazy and slimy character that Raul himself. #RaulOutNow!

  73. Champagne Charlie

    “ Man is directly responsible for four year deals handed to two players no one is convinced on ( no one but Charles of course).“

    😂😂 man is fresh off a year of using Emery’s briefs as a face mask and wants to throw shade about who is convinced by this or that player.

    Absolutely state of this goldfish, back in your bowl.

  74. Receding Hairline

    Go on Charles, do tell more tales how they both fit the standards of professionalism Arteta demands and how they save us money to spend on the midfield.

    As for the briefs part no need sharing stories from your AKB days, keep em private

  75. Champagne Charlie


    I’ve very little to tell you, you’re just a continual embarrassment on here. Spent over a year defending Emery tooth and nail only to flip the script and discover scathing levels of scrutiny for Arteta after a dozen games.

    You’re a boring cunt fact of the matter.

  76. Receding Hairline

    Yea and that year we finished on 70 points and got to the EL final. Had the third best home record in the division only bettered by City and Pool. Outscored both Chelsea and Spurs in the league.

    Wonder what exactly I’m supposed to be ashamed of. The you supported Emery thing can’t be used as a diss, man did his best first season here. Lost it this season and was rightly sacked. Change the record.

    Now tell me more about the positive changes you have seen and the style of football and identity gradually being built, you seem to have dropped all that for standards.

    Charles calling someone an embarrassment on here, I have read it all.

  77. Champagne Charlie

    “Now tell me more about the positive changes you have seen and the style of football and identity gradually being built, you seem to have dropped all that for standards.“

    Don’t impose your own scorned views unto me. I said this season was a wash when your lover was still here pissing up the walls.

    The matter of a pandemic interrupting the new manager, in his first gig no less, makes the level of expectation this season plummet still.

    Would worry about yourself a touch more, sad little man you are.

  78. Receding Hairline

    Sad? Amused more like. Reading you daily fighting every criticism or perceived criticism of Arteta like a medieval Knight has been most amusing. No one but you has defended the two bums handed four year deals not even Pedro. You on the other hand…….lol

    Enjoy fighting the good fight.

    Drop the whole lover bit by the way, not really that witty

  79. Receding Hairline

    The pandemic wasn’t restricted to the Arsenal first team by the way. Ideas already taking shape, your words not mine, don’t disappear because you went on a small break. Many teams came back still playing decent football.

    We play like petrified kids with zero confidence and zero game plan

  80. Redtruth


    People often say it doesn’t matter how you win as long as you do. That may apply in certain circumstances, but it’s not a long-term strategy for a club of Arsenal’s repute two years into a rebuilding process.

    Wenger left Emery a squad that was unmotivated, arrogant, part-decrepit and psychologically moribund. Arteta inherited a better group with lots of young players to work with. They still lack experience, but at least they’re 18 months further down the road in their development.

    This elicits hope and gives the manager something to work with, but the group cannot fulfill its potential when it’s still being obliterated by the remnants of Wenger’s failed regime. Ozil, Mustafi, Kolasinac and Xhaka are not players that will evolve Arsenal in any shape or form, and you can probably add the declining Bellerin to that list.

    While it’s recognised that not everything can be improved, some things can and, unfortunately, as we witnessed yesterday, Arteta is making things worse with his lack of attention to detail on set pieces. I’ve flagged this up before on previous blogs but yesterday’s FA Cup tie was shambolic.

    Some defenders may be uncoachable in open play, but defending set pieces is completely different. First, the idea is to attack the ball – not the man. Any player can do it, whether defensive or offensive. It’s about organisation, concentration, desire and pre-match planning. None of this was on display yesterday.

    Arsenal lost virtually every ball lunged into the box. Against Brighton, Bellerin got roasted on a two-on-one from a corner that led to a goal. At Southampton, the Spaniard was left marking some giant in what was an embarrassing defensive mismatch. Yesterday, it was hard to fathom how Oli McBurnie, a 6’2” brute who’d won every header bar none for 60 minutes, was being man marked by Ceballos instead of the lanky Holding.

  81. Graham62


    Yeh, that was a strange one with Ceballos man marking McBurnie.

    Is it not common sense to get your biggest players marking their biggest players?

  82. Champagne Charlie


    I don’t get attached to individuals the same way you do so spare me. Arteta represents a progressive view that I’m more than glad the club have taken after the dogshit one they chose last time out.

    It’s yourself that’s on here day after day going after a manager that represents the downfall of your lover. Had it been any other manager we’d be fully appreciating the manner of destruction Emery left, but because it’s Arteta (the guy many wanted from the start) it’s prime opportunity to land blow after blow in the name of your hero.

    Do me a favour you bellend, you’ve gone from backing Denis Suarez transfers to lambasting players that haven’t even had a go to show their worth. Easy write offs because hey, makes Arteta look a mug. Yawn.

  83. Dissenter

    C’mon and subject that reasoning to some Socratic questioning.
    Yaya Toure preferred to go to Metalugh Donesk that to stay in Belgium on loan from Arsenal?
    Does that even make sense to you?
    Ever been in a Ukrainian winter before?

    I makes no sense.
    We effed up the deal like we seems to do under Wenger. We were not thinking out of the box and were too conservative with out loan deals.

    It’s the same way with third part ownership. It never stopped Chelsea from signing Ramires and Oscar who had third party ownerships.

  84. Dissenter

    Our transfer deals under Wenger stopped at the pearly gates of heaven
    Chelsea were ready to go into Hades to sign a player, that’s what Emenalo specialized in.
    Third party ownership for a Brazilian player? – Pompous Arsenal walk away…but Chelsea will find a Brazilian fixer to buy the ownerships, one by one, then buy the 100% rights from that that one fixer.

    Bayern did a similar thing with us; Got Werder Bremen to purchase Gnabry off us for 5 million, park him there for a year and then brought him over. They showed us you have to be nasty to survive.
    We were the nice suckers of the transfer world. Unfortunately Raul is still a sucker with the Soares and Luiz deals.

  85. Valentin

    The last three years of Wenger reign Steve Bould was in charge of organising set pieces and we were playing a zonal marking. We had one of the best defensive record at set pieces (one we season we had the BEST in the league).

    Emery decided to switch to a man marking approach at Crystal Palace which was unfathomable. Guendouzi and I think Torreira were marking Scott Dan and Benteke.

    Knowing that Arsenal squad is one of the shortest in the league, I had hoped that Arteta would have switched away from man marking back to zonal marking. I still don’t understand why we kept an approach that put us at a big (pun intended) disadvantage.

    Teams rarely play a full 10v10 man marking system. Opposition tens to keep a midfield and a fullback back to defend. So there is always 2~3 players free. The best headers of the ball are put at strategic points to head the ball away. Giroud used to be at the first corner and Koscielny in the middle in front of the goalkeeper.

    Arsenal issue is that outside of our CBs nobody is tall nor a good header of the ball so we have those massive height discrepancies.

  86. Nelson

    To be fair, they have more than one tall player. Our players are just shorter than them. They kept sending high balls into our box. Auba would be more helpful than Laca/Eddie.

  87. Receding Hairline

    You started the whole comment with a lie…you don’t get attached to individuals… Yea right!!

    Arteta represents the downfall of Emery? How? How did you even type that and it made sense to you? In what way was Arteta Emery’s downfall? You see what happens when you start off with lies.

    Manner of destruction Emery left…again with this gem. He led them to a cup final and 2 points off third. The next season started poorly and he was sacked before November. Some destruction that… How can we ever survive that? …go to sleep you are drunk

  88. Champagne Charlie

    “In what way was Arteta Emery’s downfall?“

    Arteta replaces Emery, he serves a reminder your lover failed. Not a hard one to fathom. It’s made all the better for you as a scorned lover that Arteta took over, because prior to Emery he gained some traction with folk and now you have ample opportunity to fling mud daily to distract from the piss poor job Emery did.

    “Manner of destruction Emery left…again with this gem. He led them to a cup final and 2 points off third. The next season started poorly and he was sacked before November“

    What happened in the cup final?
    Why did we finish 2 points off 3rd?

    Started “poorly” hahahahahahahaha, yea, and Wenger was Arsenal manager first a couple of seasons. You’re talking about lies? Looooool

    We started poorly everyone, that’s all. No big deal, happens to the best.

  89. Receding Hairline

    Makes it kind of hard to take you seriously with all the lover thing, this isn’t high school dude, you are a grown man.

    Yes we started the season poorly, dunno whats funny about that either, Emery was in November, we were 8 points off fourth place then, so what exactly do you want to call it? Disaster? Great disaster…what now?

    The rest of your post is nonsense. A manager replacing another does not his downfall make …calling Arteta Emery’s downfall was just thick but then its you.

    Goodnight you sad lonely mess

  90. azed


    We are a short team so we place our taller players in the zone. The shorter players are responsible for disrupting the run of our opponents.

    It’s why you see Ceballos and Torriera marking players far taller than them.

  91. Champagne Charlie

    “calling Arteta Emery’s downfall was just thick but then its you“

    Oh Receding…

    “It’s yourself that’s on here day after day going after a manager that represents the downfall of your lover.“

    But I’m thick? Fuck me what do we get to call you then you dribbly prick?

  92. Pierre

    “Yes we started the season poorly, dunno whats funny about that either, Emery was in November, we were 8 points off fourth place then, so what exactly do you want to call it? Disaster? Great disaster…what now?”

    I’m not sure you quite get it .

    If it was just a case of starting the season badly but the players and the team were showing signs of understanding what the manager required , then you have an argument.

    But that wasn’t the case was it , we were sliding towards the relegation zone, the football ( if you could call it that) was a shambles and the players had lost all confidence .

    We were on a run of 9 games in which we won only one game (europa) and the fixtures were not exactly the hardest, they included
    Frankfurt, guimaraes, palace , Sheffield united , liverpool reserves, Southampton along with wolves and Leicester…

    The harder fixtures against city , united and Chelsea twice came after Emery had gone.

    So when you say “we were 8 points off 4th” you may be correct , but we were dropping like a stone and with all the tougher fixtures to come, relegation was starting to become a reality…

    You are defending the indefensible for the way Emery left the club in a shambles.

  93. Ishola70

    It was serious yes the downfall and it was very quick and rapid regarding Emery.

    But with a “disaster” hire well these types fail really early on. Fail really hard early. Emery may have fallen short in his first season but a massive failure it was not his first season.

    In that case we also need to look at the players rather than just the simplistic view that just one horrible bogeyman was all that was wrong.

    And there is a possibility if Arteta doesn’t meet requirements in his first full campaign next season with these players then they will flounder again thereafter.

    History repeating itself.

    I think we need Arteta to hit the mark early next season. To get the team just that bit further than Emery did in his first season. Otherwise there is the real danger that these petals will flounder again.

  94. The Godfather


    A lot of people give Juergen Klopp credit but fail to recognize how the synergy of Manager, scouting and executive follow through helped bring success to Anfield.

    When Arsenal had David Dein, we were the perfect model in Recognizing talent and having the assertive Dein close the deal in spite of Wenger’s dithering.

    When Dein left (something Wenger could’ve prevented) the Prof’s ego got in the way of reason. He saw total power and believed too much in his own hype.

    He must’ve read too many X-men comic books and thought he was Charles Xavier who could locate these exceptionally talented young kids with mutant like soccer skills and mold them into a unit capable of beating the Manchester Empire of Fergie.

    Little did he know that other enemies in the form of City, Abramo, Bigger TV money and AFTV were on the horizon.

    It was in these moments that he missed a person with authority that he could trust and also have to answer to. Dein was gone and we suddenly kept losing key players, missing out on available replacements and I could go on and on.

    Griezman, Mbappe, Van Dijk, Suarez … all were within our grasp and could’ve been history changing buys and some way and somehow we managed to blow it … leaving us with the Mustafi’s, Bendtner’s , Xhaka’s and David Luiz’s of this world.

    It was astute Liverpool execution that saw them secure services of Van Dijk and Allison after recognizing that their rebuild would be useless without a solid defense. Wenger would never have that kind of clarity of thought and execution in a million years … and especially without an authoritative and competent hand to guide him.

    They also recognized the need for speed in order to implement his pressing style and also to be able to make that quick transition from defense to attack.
    It’s no surprise that they were decisive in acquiring pace at the wings and at the fullback position …. with players possessing all around speed that’s unmatched in this league.

    Since the departure of Flamini to Italy, Arsenal had been crying for a defensive enforcer in the center of the park. And yet we saw Denilson, Coquelin, Song, instead of an available Wanyama in his prime …

    Point is that despite Klopp’s great coaching, if the deal makers hadn’t executed the blockbuster signings of VVD and Allison, he would have been run off like Wenger with each passing blunder from Mignolet, Karius or Lovren.

    So until we get the right synergy between manager and deal executor, we will forever keep struggling and changing managers.

  95. The Godfather

    I remember watching the champions league game when Barcelona was at their pomp, and Wanyama at Celtic totally dominating the field in a shock win. I remember being shocked that he ended up at Southampton and later Van Dijk.

    Imagine how much less it would have cost then and how much success we could have had with those two instead of Mustafi And Chaka.

    When I think and talk of Xhaka, I remember all the arguments Tottenham fans used to have with me about huddlestone … another slow, hulking wanker who had this great shot and supposed range of passing, but couldn’t tackle, couldn’t handle minimal pressure and was free kick magnet for the opposition … Sound familiar?

    If you notice Tottenham never moved forward until they upgraded in the middle with Wanyama and Dembele, who were outstanding as a pair until injuries did them in. Point is we will never make progress until we strengthen our defense and get more mobile and athletic in the center of the park.

    The improvement begins with getting rid of Xhaka ..

  96. Pedro

    ‘A lot of people give Juergen Klopp credit but fail to recognize how the synergy of Manager, scouting and executive follow through helped bring success to Anfield.‘

    Elite observation here

  97. Dissenter

    I agree with that post addressed to me
    My premise is just that the Arsenal scouting has always been elite and excellent, even under Wenger
    The scouts work is done once they turn in their dossiers and brief the sporting director/executives. This was the missing piece at Arsenal.

    Pedro has been acting like Mislintat was dong any thing other that scouting at BVB and arrogating the success of Michael Zorc to Sven

    Our pre-Mislintat scouting body of work is greater than anything Sven ever did.
    Our problem has never been a failure of scouting.

  98. The Godfather


    I am actually in agreement with you in regards to the problem not being the scouting but in the congruence of ideas and execution btw scouting, manager and deal closers …. we lost the closer aspect when Dein left.

    And believe it or not, I think Mislintat might still be here if Gazidis didn’t bail.

    And that’s where Liverpool and City have had the edge on us. And yes Chelsea.

    They scout the player and then execute the transfer. I still remember how Mourinho closed the deal on Cesc and Costa and strolled to a title.

    Arsenal on the other would hand …, ahh never mind … what’s the point

  99. The Godfather

    If we are serious about business this summer we can pay for Upamecano and Partey by selling :

    El Neny

    I’d give Auba a take it or leave extension offer and if he refuses I’d let him play out the season and gamble on the introduction of


    Changing our fortunes and convincing him that he could still make something happen with us

  100. Aussie Gooner

    You have to marvel at the reverse engineering going on at the club. Since Dien left no one has had the bottle to pull the trigger on deals for players identified by the extensive and efficient scouting network. I won’t go on about all the talent that we were first to identify and let slip through our hands (I’ll leave that to Wenger to sell a few more books!).

    Because the executive is so dysfunctional we have not capitalised on the work the scouts have done and consequently not signed the talent identified. That is one reason we are where we are, left with a series of expensive and unsuitable players; other teams have moved ahead of us. Answer:- dismantle the scouting network and leave it to Raul! You couldn’t make it up!

  101. Freddie Ljungberg

    Yeah, we haven’t dismantled the scouting network though. We have let some of the bloated mess leave, something Sven wanted to do the year before.

    We’ll still have plenty of scouts, people talk like we now have no one out there discovering talent and it’s just Raul on the phone to Kia, smh.

    Raul is doing what we didn’t really do since Dein left, getting the deals we want done, not quibbling over a mill here or there, thought that was what people wanted?

    Last window was great long term imo, let’s see how this one turns out before judging, it hasn’t even opened yet.

    I think the Luiz, Soares, Mari signings are cost cutting measures, especially if Luiz took the massive wage cut from his 120k like reported.

    get all 3 in for 5-6m up front, less than 200k wages and we can sell Mustafi, Sok, Mavrapanos for 20-25m. Maybe even sell Bellerin and get a top prospect in his place now we have an PL experienced player in his position.

    Who knows, if the midfield isn’t fixed it’s going to be a shite season again next year and heads should roll, we’re not at that stage yet though so no point dusting off the guillotine.

  102. Receding Hairline

    Pierre I guess the football is great now isn’t it? Last time I checked he still left in the Europa with a chance of progression in Europe, someone else dropped out of it. The Emery PTSD has grown stale, no one is buying that crap. You all argued he had a quality crop of players and was mismanaging them which he was this season, he ran out of ideas and out of friends, now let’s see a better manager take them to new heights next season, none of that hands are tired nonsense.

    Next season we should be in and around the top three/four places and should finish top four, none of that every season is different mental gymnastics. And the football on show is still a long way from fluid.

    Don’t even know why anyone still brings him name up, oh I do, to distract from the football on display

  103. Wasi


    ‘We’ll still have plenty of scouts, people talk like we now have no one out there discovering talent and it’s just Raul on the phone to Kia, smh.’

    Pedro has hammered it into their brains and now many seriously believe theres no scouts left at Arsenal just Raul and his buddy Kia.

    ‘Raul is doing what we didn’t really do since Dein left, getting the deals we want done, not quibbling over a mill here or there, thought that was what people wanted?’

    We wanted it but then we moan when we finally get someone to do it. Also at a way less premium to agents than other clubs as the FA agent fees reports showed us.

  104. Receding Hairline

    Filipo Inzaghi leading Benevento back to Serie A with record points in the league was nice to see. One of my a time favorite strikers

    We will have two siblings facing each other in the dug out next season in Serie A

  105. Northbanker

    There are far too many people on here being negative and panicking over a couple of defeats. So great to see so many more rational and calm posting with proper debate this morning.

    The structure at AFC is nowhere near as bad as some are making out although I would like to see a proper CEO in charge. Actually I’d like Josh to grow a pair and take the role over and live in the UK. He’s the heir to the throne so we really need him on the case while the Kroenkes own the club. Whether Raul is a useful lieutenant I’m more doubtful about but get him to fix the deals and others to assess the deals and I’d be way more comfortable.

  106. Northbanker

    One aspect of our scouting system i would take sure with – we haven’t produced a decent defender for years. When was the last time anyone emerged and became a first team regular who came through our academy? The nearest is Bellerin, who was poached from Barca. Ashley Cole perhaps before him – but he was a converted LW. No CBs have emerged at all since the days of Adams and Keown.

    This is a huge blemish on our scouting system.

  107. Valentin


    This is an issue with the academy coaching not the scouting network.
    The defensive part of the game is viewed as an afterthought. Because the club focus so much on proper ball players, it ignores defensive prowess.
    Most of our academy defensive players are converted players not good enough to play in attack rather than proper defenders.
    However nowadays players cannot move from winger to fullback or DM to CB at 19 years old and expect to be as good at 21 or later than people who have been defenders for 4 or more years before. Some do, but most don’t. Defending is a specialist job.

    Most of our academy defenders are technically good, but because of the late conversion, they don’t think like defenders. They don’t smell the danger like a proper defender would.

    If Tony Adams were today at Arsenal academy, he would be released as not good enough on the ball.

  108. Graham62

    Aussie Gooner

    Unfortunately, there are now many “teams that have moved ahead of us”.

    The attraction of Arsenal FC started to deteriorate long ago. It was then that the footballing world started to realise that winning for us was not a priority.

    This had nothing to do with money because, with a few adjustments here and there, we could have competed far more. This had to do with an acceptance of failure. “Yeh, but how do you expect us to compete when the top teams have so much financial power”. You mean teams like Leicester City? Leicester won the EPL because they had a belief within the club that they could do it. When was the last time Arsenal had that?

    This is what Arteta has to overcome. If he manages to instil a winning philosophy back into the club and a mindset/desire to compete with the very best, we may get out of this mess.

    The downside to all of is that we still have an owner and board that don’t quite get this.

    Interesting times ahead.

  109. Aussie Gooner


    “The structure at AFC is nowhere near as bad as some are making out….”

    Are you for real? The current structure at the club is appalling from the top down! We have an owner who owns 100% of the club and knows/cares nothing about football or the club. He is a sports investor and is only concerned about his collateral. We have a puppet board with only one true Arsenal member. They have no financial stake in the club, no influence on policy or procedure and can only wring their hands when shit happens.

    We have an executive in bed with top salesmen….sorry, agents who are only looking to exploit the club for personal financial gain. We have no true leaders in the executive that would bleed for Arsenal and no CEO to bring it all into line. Have you not seen pictures of Kia in the Directors box? He is so at home there. As someone who has sat in the Directors box at Highbury and is familiar with how the club used to be run, I am appalled by the current situation. Add to that we have a new, inexperienced head coach, director of football, medical/fitness staff and coaching team.

    Please read Pedro’s post again!

  110. Aussie Gooner


    ” Leicester won the EPL because they had a belief within the club that they could do it. When was the last time Arsenal had that?”

    Spot on! Leicester had an owner that was passionate about football, the club and the City of Leicester. He was indeed a foreign owner but that did not matter – the commitment and passion was there for all to see!

  111. englandsbest

    Am I right, there is no longer a BoD at AFC? Not that it matters: the last bunch were Stan’s yes-men who didn’t own an Arsenal share between them.

  112. David Smith

    It should be becoming abundantly clear to all that our ownership is an issue, and has been for some time. You don’t need me to plot the trajectory of the club since Stan took over , and that decline is getting steeper.
    Stan isn’t a tyrant, he allows club made money to be spent, he lets those on the ground get on with it, to a fault, but has a lot of other things on his mind. Josh seems to care , but is very inexperienced at running a club over here, and is liable to be taken for a ride.
    All the while, they put those unsuitable running the club on a day to day basis, let them stay for a long time, unaccountable, and hope for the best. We all know what that attracts to the club, we can see it in the directors box.
    Can only see further decline, and hopefully the club will eventually be sold.
    We are winning nothing major under Stan

  113. Aussie Gooner


    We still have a board of 4 directors (if you could call it that!):

    Stan Kroenke
    Josh Kroenke
    Ken Friar (60 years at the club – last man standing!)
    Lord Harris (rich carpet bagger in for his political connections)

    And that, I am afraid, is it!

  114. David Smith

    The best thing about Raul, he might well be given enough time, doing what he is doing, to put the Kroenkes in a position whereby they have to sell, this club could easily end up as Leeds ++.
    but will be painful for those who follow the club and see the mistakes they are making

  115. Graham62

    Aussie Gooner

    Kroenke has not got where he is without a desire and commitment to succeed, however, in Sport, when it comes to winning and achieving success, it is a slightly different ball game(to coin a phrase).

    Kroenke has no feel for the club or the game in general. He has no connection with the fans, is unable to communicate in a constructive and positive manner and is only concerned with expanding his business empire. Good for him but bad for us.

    Look at Chelski, Man City, Liverpool and Leicester with their owners. Yes, they want to expand and develop but they want the fans and the club to move forward. They show their passion and love for the club and the game in general. The Kroenke clan don’t have this.

    As fans we can complain and rant, which we do very well but, if we genuinely love our club and I think we all do, the only way forward is to get Kroenke out.

    This, imo, is the only real solution.

    If Kroenke had this in his armoury, Wenger would not have been allowed to continue on his merry way for so long and Emery would never have been hired, which would have avoided all these years of turmoil.

  116. Terraloon

    The story emerging about Guendozi is that he wants out because he feels he is now bigger than the club and that he is deserving of a far bigger pay packet than he is getting or indeed been offered.

    Be careful the door doesn’t smack you on the arse on your way out !

  117. Northbanker

    Kroenke isn’t going anywhere – so we need Josh to step up and at least manage his club properly by taking over as CEO. At least then there’s a hope that the club can be reviewed And run properly rather than acting as absentee landlords and leaving Raul to his own devices.

  118. Valentin


    You should really seek help for your Wenger obsession.

    Most English academies suffer from the same problems. They overlook forming defenders because the reward of making a great attackers are greater. Moreover most great defenders need experiences that U21 football does not give them. Hence good British defenders tend to be players coming from lower league or less fortunate leagues where they are used at an earlier age.

    Before Wenger arrived the academy was a shambles. Liam Brady improved it but could not come to grip with the change in the social representation of young players. Discipline was at a all time low. Between young players being arrested, mouthing off opponents, throwing stuff at coaches. He was pushed aside and more character selection was introduced.

    Per was named and I hoped that he would create a better youth team players loan management structure. So far it has been a mixed bag. At least the academy has been decisive in pulling the plug when a loan doesn’t work such as Eddie at Leeds.