Something rumbling at Arsenal HQ (long read)

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Buckle-up people, I think something is going down at Arsenal HQ. Smoke is in the hallways and it looks like there’s a good chance it’s fire. I’ve heard from multiple sources that there is movement at the club.

The rumblings on the internet are centered around there being an abrupt leadership change at Arsenal. Factor that in with the searing story from ESPN yesterday about the internal investigations into the way Arsenal deal with transfers, particularly the outrageous fee we paid for Pepe, and it’s not hard to see where this could be heading.

That particular story is interesting, I understand that the source wasn’t an official leak as such. ESPN had the news from corroborating sources elsewhere and they ran it with no comment from Arsenal despite asking.

What is absolutely clear is this: Tim Lewis is putting our dealings under the microscope. Do not be surprised if he doesn’t like what he sees.

That shouldn’t be a surprise if you’ve been reading Le Grove for the last year. Under the leadership of Raul, we’ve gone from a club that wouldn’t know how to contact a super-agent if they wanted to… to a club that probably has an office with Kia’s name on the door.

The optics have been really poor. Raul isn’t even subtle about how he does business. He’s Donald Trump shooting someone on 5th Avenue. To be clear, I’m not accusing anyone of doing illegal things, my focus is on the dreadful waste at Arsenal football club when money is tight.

The long and short of it: We do a lot of business with close pals of Raul, that business isn’t good, subsequently we are not succeeding on the football pitch. Those three working in tandem would raise red flags at any organisation, and let me tell you, it has not gone unnoticed among Arsenal staffers.

Decisions at a football club should always be transparent in nature. Fans should be able to look at a deal and know that the best intentions were always at the heart of the rationale. Under Arsene, love or hate him, you always knew he was doing things because he thought them right by the fans. Under Sven, love or hate him, you knew he was bringing in players because he thought the data supported the move. Under Raul, it’s hard to discern any sort of coherence in his dealings, outside him really, really enjoying working with a small collection of people and clubs. That is a recipe for wastage, average decisions, and conflicts of interest.

Let’s talk through some of the deals I’d be asking about if I were Tim Lewis:

Unai Emery:

Arsenal had a list of candidates to replace Wenger, it looked like we were going to appoint Mikel Arteta, then out of nowhere Unai Emery dropped into contention. This is Unai talking to the Spanish press.

“As Ivan Gazidis explained on the day of the presentation, I was on a list of eight candidates they were going to interview,”

“Thanks in part to Arturo Canales (his now agent), they insisted I was the best candidate of all.”

I simply refuse to believe that the Arsenal analysts pulling info on managers looked at Emery’s record and said he was a top drawer manager that was perfect for the job. I’m not even an expert and 3 hours of Google told me all I needed to know about him.

  • He couldn’t speak English.
  • Every foreign job he’d taken he’d been maligned for his poor grasp of language.
  • Big players didn’t respect him.
  • He couldn’t organize a defence.
  • Players thought he was negative in his approach.
  • He had no sauce and wore gilets seriously.

… but then a super-agent pal of Raul makes a big recommendation and we sign him up. Canales lands a new client. Did he get a fee?

After year one, it was clear things were going south. Underlying stats were atrocious, he hadn’t fixed the defence, and there was no clear identity. So what did Raul suggest? Let Emery tell you.

“We were now looking to how we could develop together, even to the point where they were looking to offer a renewed contract.”

Why? On any level, how could that be a justified suggestion knowing what we knew?

The following season predictably went off the rails and Raul delayed and delayed the decision to pull the trigger on his man, saying he wouldn’t listen to the ‘noise’ from the fans. The delay for me was the difference between top 6 and 8th. Why delay?

Well, I think we can all see that it’d be advantageous to have a weak manager in control of your club…

Nicolas Pepe:

‘I met Zaha and he wanted to come. The club decided Pepe was one for the future. I said: ‘Yes, but we need to win now and this lad wins games.’ He beat us on his own.’ Big Un, wearing a gilet in a studio

Emery was a soft touch, he knew he was lucky to be in the job, he did what he was told. Raul shifted attention to Lille’s wide man. Clearly an exciting player, but no one in world football expected Arsenal to pull budget from the next season’s transfer pot to land a prospect for £72m! It was a mad bet and it’s now the focus of an investigation according to ESPN. Did Arsenal’s analysts recommend Pepe? Which agents were involved in the deal? How did we land on the valuation? The connect? Marc Ingla, exBarca.

Edu:

Raul scoured the world for a Technical Director. He landed on Edu. Handsome, an invincible, with some work under his belt in Brazil. His agent? Kia. So far, we’ve signed Luiz, Soares, Mari (Canales), and Willian. Does signing your own agent’s players seem like a normal thing you would do if you were trying to come across as a data and analytics type of person? I’m not so sure. It seems super dim to me and a bad way to show your new boss you are creative in your approach.

Denis Suarez:

The squad needed bolstering last January. We lacked wide players with power and pace. Who did we bring in? Denis Suarez. A meek player accused of lacking character, power, and the ability to impose himself on games. £5m loan deal for barely a full 90 minutes.

David Luiz:

The club knew Laurent Koscielny was leaving Arsenal 3 months before the end of the season. We eventually cave after he goes on strike, Arsenal immediately go out and sign the Brazilian. A 32-year-old in decline, a rep for being disruptive in the dressing room, and, very error-prone. His agent? Kia. The Athletic ran a piece that suggested that deal, all-in, was worth £24m. I was told that he was on about £200k a week in December. Why would a club with money issues do that to themselves?

Cedric Soares:

Southampton thought he was going to leave on a free transfer at the end of his contract in June and go to a lower league club. Arsenal picked him up for a loan fee + wages deal worth £5m. The jury is still out, but again, who was the agent? Kia.

Kia:

Let’s talk about this guy because he’s basically on the staff. A few weeks ago, he went on Talksport to lament the deal issues with David Luiz, he assured everyone that structural changes were coming to Arsenal. 3 weeks later, all the scouts were laid off, and we made 55 redundancies. On any level, it is pretty horrendous that an outside supplier has the inside track on our HR reworks. The fact he goes on national radio to tell everyone he knows is so painfully amateur. It’s also unprofessional. This sort of thing would never have happened under any regime prior, it’s shambolic.

Two days ago, he goes on Talksport AGAIN, this time to take aim at Sven Mislintat’s record and to set the record straight that he doesn’t influence Arsenal. It is absolutely outrageous that he has the swagger to take aim at Arsenal like that. Raul should have banished him after the last appearance, and at the very least told him not to do that… but, he has no control over his friend.

A day later, we do a deal for…

Willian:

Now, there’s been a lot of debate on how you frame costs for players, so let me be clear, when you bring in a free transfer, it’s quite fine to lay out what the total deal is. Sami Mokbel, the closest person to Ornstein levels of insight at Arsenal, thinks the whole deal could be worth £220k a week. It is not unfair to describe a deal like this, because if that’s what ends up in Willian’s pocket, that is what he’s paid. Bonuses are easily attainable, otherwise, players wouldn’t agree to them… according to the article, there’s a loyalty bonus. Imagine needing to put that into the deal of 32-year-old player?!

Forget about the player for a moment, we’ve taken another older player from a rival and basically paid them double to join. The player didn’t want to go to Miami. He didn’t want to go to Spain. He wanted to stay in London, he stated that publicly. We had all the leverage and it looks like we’ve been rolled hard here.

Last week Arsenal were pleading poverty saying we needed to pull the trigger on 55 people, this week we’re topping up Kia’s fee pot, and giving a player £35m. It looks awful

BUT BUT BUT… what about Martinelli? Tierney? Saliba?

Yes, good players… but the litmus test for non-wasteful leadership isn’t whether there’s at least one player in there that cuts the mustard. Look at the body of work and the outlay, it’s not good.

I have no idea what is going to happen at Arsenal over the next few weeks, but I struggle to see how anyone delves into the above deals and walks away saying, ‘damn, these guys are fucking sharp.’ Tim Lewis is a Clifford Chance partner, I assume he loves Arsenal, let’s hope he sees what we all see.

The bigger question for me is why this sort of ‘maybe’ movement taken so long? KSE waste so much time with average hacks. It is really painful.

Let’s see how the next few days pan out… see you in the comments.

UPDATE: Raul is gone.

308 Responses to “Something rumbling at Arsenal HQ (long read)”

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  1. Sean Mukiza

    Something illegal is going on at Arsenal. There we go- I said it! Big Big money heist. Get that Fraud out of the club.

  2. Ramsay

    Really love your blog and have been reading it since 2010.

    Can I suggest you contact Tim Lewis so he knows of this blog?

  3. Batistuta

    Can’t wait for football to come back to be honest, it’s all moaning and crying at the every single thing the club does at the moment.

    Auba’s new deal will probably be met with same over thinking and over calculations of what he earns forgetting what these persons bring to the playing side which is the most important.

    Arsenal aren’t going under anytime soon and don’t really care that much how much extra millionaires are making as long as the service on the pitch is successful

  4. Gbat

    Pedro

    Who should we have signed instead of Willian? I keep reading that we should have signed someone cheaper that’s on the same level as him but they never put forward any names.

  5. Batistuta

    Also the former manager is now at a new club, give it a rest and move on. He wasn’t here long enough to be constantly dragged into every negative conversation about the club.

    As long as Arteta believes that the signings coming in will work for his vision and set goals, then I’ve got to back the manager, that’s so much more important to me than internal investigations and who we’re buying the players he needs from

  6. Danny

    Simple answer to your post Pedro – we have an absentee owner who knows fuck all about “soccer”.
    If Raul is making millions out of Arsenal because of Kroeke’s stupidity then good for him.

  7. Freddie Ljungberg

    Sven – Data driven? He signed 3 players from his former club ffs, only 1 of them good. The less said about the rest of his signings the better.

    Zaha 80m in one go

    Pepe 72 in installments, younger and better, with a much higher ceiling. No brainer. Maybe overpaid a little due to how we had to structure the deal.

    Suarez – was our 3rd choice that winter, we couldn’t get any of the others because our limited budget. He only played 90 minutes because he got injured

    Luiz didn’t cost 24m

    Soares didn’t cost 5m

    Edu – if I remember correctly several others turned us down so we went with an ex player with experience in the role. No problem with that. He hasn’t even had a summer window to be judged on yet ffs.

    Willian – even if that daily mail article was right and it’s a worst case scenario and all the bonuses are realised that means we as a team is doing better. He would also cost us the same over 3 years as Sokratis and is a far better player than him. Maybe that signing should also be investigated.

    Kia gets constantly hammered by the press and in Arsenal blogs, can’t really blame him from hitting back, it’s not a sign of a nefarious plot for world domination.

    Other than that great post Pedro. It contained words and everything.

  8. Aces

    Agree with that bit about Kia, the fact that he feels he has the strength to talk about the club’s proceedings as if he is some sort of an executive is a little bit disturbing.

  9. Freddie Ljungberg

    Also in that report from ESPN it said it was Edu doing the auditing of all aspects of the club, which would include the Pepe deal but also the way we deal with all other transfers, it’s also the reason we let go the scouts. Don’t know how Tim Lewis got dragged into this? Just the new hero figure I guess.

  10. SpanishDave

    It’s the same in all businesses.
    Companies have directors who favour certain suppliers , and for years they will overpay them because it’s an easier life for them.
    This happens a lot in government and millions are wasted in the process.
    Arsenal is not a public company so it’s up to Stan to look into it and it appears to be happening.
    When there’s all this money sloshing about the chancers and scum bags will line their pockets.
    We need a clear out of board members and directors to move forward otherwise this will act as a drag on the club and continue to destroy it.

  11. Silverhawk

    Arsenal is full of whining fans. Always complaining about everything the club does. The worst ones are the ones with agenda.

    Each and every signing made since January as been great backed and bigged up by Arteta. You know, that same guy who folks on here worshipped like the second coming of jesus Christ.

    Why not wait the the end of the window before ranting?? Smh

  12. Captain Tierney

    Lets see if the smoke is actually coming from a fire or a Partey announcement video.
    Just hope your sources are not the same as Val’s but from the numbers you’ve provided here it looks like you both have the same sources.

    Lets just look at the bad deals ofc and forget how much Saliba , Tierney , Martinelli will have saved us when they become top players 3 years down the line.

  13. Kaz

    Just like Ivan was a bad fit, so is Raul. I expect the lawyer is there to report on behalf of the Kroenke’s and put real pressure on Raul. I believe Josh Kroenke wants Arsenal to succeed. He just doesn’t know where to turn to, signing a former CEO of Barcelona can never be considered a small club move. But it has turned out to be a bad one.

    I really believe he wants us to succeed, I just hope he is able to recruit the right senior execs. I have no idea what to think on Vinai and if he needs to be moved on to.

  14. Captain Tierney

    And oh ofc lets not even give a mention that it was Arteta who green lit Soares and Mari and pushed for Willian.
    And who even hired Arteta? Maybe it was Sven working behind the scenes for the good of Arsenal like he did with Tierney , Saliba and Martinelli.
    The biased Agenda. Smh.

  15. David Smith

    Very well structured article, and very worrying.
    As for KSE, it is clear they take far too long to act on anything, when it comes to this club at least, what has gone wrong is in a very big part down to them. It also looks like Stan wants no involvement in running the club, Josh might be willing but inexperienced. They were happy to let Wenger do it all, then Ivan, then ran out of ideas , so trusted Raul.
    Looks to me like Raul is toast , this Tim Lewis is apparently a lifelong Gooner, and hopefully someone who knows what he is doing Hopefully guy is a trustworthy source who the Kroenkes can rely on to run things properly
    Raul got some players right, think Pepe could yet turn out one of them, but some of the things he has been doing have just taken the piss

  16. Maureen

    TBH it is all z bit late. We had 3 months lockdown, plenty of time to get the drains up. We are now IN silly season. Another precious summer wasted.

  17. bacaryisgod

    Good post Pedro.

    Right now there are only three reasons for enthusiasm.

    1. Arteta
    2. Talented young nucleus
    3. Recent F.A Cup win

    Everything else is just horrendous. I still can’t believe how people were so dazzled by Raul in the first place. This is a guy who took Hleb and Song (both who were decent for us) and they did nothing at Barca. He also grabbed a crocked Vermaelen from us who did nothing too. He spent a fortune and most of the time it was money badly spent. His biggest successes were with no-brainer players like Neymar and Suarez, moved anyone with a massive bankroll and the best brand in football could have pulled off.

    Sven was mostly a disappointment though. His history with Dortmund worked with Aubameyang but let’s not forget he was a massive compensation package and it was a big transfer fee. He lived up to the hype but he needed to. Mkhitaryan and Sokratis were disappointments, although I do have a soft spot for our ‘Desperate Dan’ defender. I assume he was influential in the deal for Leno, which has definitely been a success.

    What I can’t understand is that with a young, ambitious manager why have we failed to implement a long-term plan to support him? We have the young players to build around and this summer and next we could almost turf out all the over 25 players with a couple of exceptions. None of us would care if we truly transitioned for a couple of seasons but instead we’ve overpaid for average journeymen like Soares and Mari. I happen to like Willian but this deal reeks too.

    This story will run for quite some time. In the meantime, we’ll lose some young prospects like Maitland-Niles and Balogun (even not including the Guendouzi situation which I explained earlier has been mismanaged by Arteta by tanking the value of the player). Ozil can rot-we’ve all accepted that but other him I would have had no problem clearing every major expensive older player out of the club. Aubu will only extend his deal if we spend heaps on transfers. Thank him for a great run and sell him for a good fee, especially now we’ve seen the impact of our wage bill on employee layoffs. Lazcazette is a lovely guy but has confidence issues? Let him go too. Luiz for another year? Nope. Mari/Soares? Never should have extended beyond loans. The list goes on but we have to accept that this has become a bloated, dysfunctional club that is very, very hard to love right now.

    Many fans were saying be careful what you wish for Arsene was for the chop. Turns out it wasn’t his management skills that were missed-he was clearly past his peak. What we did lose with his departure was his sense of decency and commitment to the club. Yes, he was involved in some of the bad transfers at the end and many many bizarre moves before that (Park, Kallstrom etc) but you always felt he wasn’t making those transfers to enrich himself personally. Now, it all looks terribly like this could be the case with Raul.

    At this point, I wouldn’t mind if we gave Arsene a seat on the board, an advisory role (NOT DoF). The time that has elapsed since he left might give it a better chance of working now and Arteta is very much his own man.

    Either way, Raul and quite possibly Edu have to go. We have to clean up the club quickly. Absentee owners haven’t helped either but that’s something we can do little about.

  18. GunnerDNA

    Mikel Arteta wanted Luiz extension, Mari, William, and Soares deals and they’re all now at Arsenal, so why Mikel not mentioned? Agenda/Fake News insert which applicable!

  19. The backpass

    Val

    You are so full of Shit.

    https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1150460/Arsenal-transfer-news-William-Saliba-Saint-Etienne

    There is no reason to keep arguing with you.

    You claimed St Etienne wanted €20 for him and wanted didn’t want to loan.

    Facts on ground.

    ASSE president wanted him to stay for a year.

    Arsenal were supposed to pay a certain amount if Saliba played a certain amount of game.

    Tottenham made a bid of £27 million, but you claimed St. Etienne would have sold him for €20 million.

    Saliba wanted to stay in france and play more.

  20. azed

    1) Ivan was the CEO when Emery was hired. How the f**k does Raul get the blame?
    2) If Emery was weak for allowing the club sign Pepe over Zaha, what does that make Arteta who allowed the signing of ……wait for it **drum roll**
    Pablo “the tortoise” Mari and Cedric Soares?

  21. Ernest Reed

    This so-called investigation is odd. Not because of the signing itself, but rather the length of time it has taken to just start to conduct it, a year after the fact? Sounds more like a case of buyers remorse if you ask me.

  22. JAMES WOOD

    Thats a lot to take in.?
    But what i ask is anyone sackable.?
    And who holds the level of being able to sack.?
    I read it from your text that Lewis and probably Josh?
    would be the executors.?
    “O,what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to decieve.”

  23. azed

    Oh by the way, I’m pretty sure the data analyst that recommended Emery probably said

    “Hey Ivan, there’s this coach called Emery who’s won the Europa cup 3 times in a roll and he was just let go by PSG.
    Why don’t we sign him and see if we could get into the Champions League via Europa incase we miss out on top 4?”

    To which Ivan probably asked
    “Have you crunched the numbers and what do they say?”

    And the analyst replied
    “The chance of Sevilla winning the Europa League three times in a role was one in bazillion and this guy pulled it off, we should probably let him pick our lottery numbers also.”

  24. Karsa

    Arsenal picked him up for a loan fee + wages deal worth £5m

    But not costing Arsenal £5 million.

    we’ve taken another older player from a rival and basically paid them double to join.

    Who Arteta clearly wanted.

  25. Banky

    I feel your opinion is lobsided and biased. True, Luiz is error prone, but which of our defenders have his quality or experience, plus he adds his wealth of experience to the young lads which Saka and Tierney have attested to.
    Willian is old but has premier league experience, has a winning mentality. The young lads will look up to him and step up their game to model him.

  26. RockyRoe

    Pedro

    Why do you still stick to the data-driven Sven line of argument? I get it that you don’t like Raul for xyz reason but using sven as a counter point to Rauls performance makes no sense. Sven was an abject faliure with arsenal there is no way anyone can mask that. He got us 2 players from his old club, 1 dm who doesn’t play, 1 youngster who can’t get into the team, where the heck is the data driven BS that you keep driving?

    Also its amazing how these sensation half truths have a life of their own, now the £220k amount is being mentioned as if that is the actual weekly wage. Is mustafis wage quoted as 150k? Sokratis 150k? Laca at 240k? Auba at 300k? Because all these players get appearance fee, goals bonus, loyalty bonus etc. So why is that we are using the lets-club-all-the-bonuses metric to get to a weekly wage for willian? Because it ties in well with how Raul doesn’t know what he is doing? BTW arteta convinced willian to join us, maybe some of you outrage should be aimed at your lover boy?

  27. Mr Serge

    Wow so much negativety the window has just opened let’s see what happens I am delighted we got willian on a free

  28. azed

    Also if we are going to be sensational about William,
    How about we do the numbers for Kolasinac?
    120k PW basic plus sign on fee, loyalty bonus et al, comes down to about 200k PW.
    Between Kolasinac and William, I know who I’ll rather give money to.

    Mustafi and Xhaka combined would also be costing us like 100M.

  29. RockyRoe

    Azed

    I kid you not, it’s no infuriating that any bullshit spewed on social media is taken as fact and repeated so many times, that in a year it would seem like the truth. Case in point £24 million for Luiz.

  30. RockyRoe

    On a different topic coz I’m done with the willian wages bullshit.

    So assuming we get partey and are able to renew cabellos, are we we looking at a midfield 3 of partey, xhaka and willian? Or cabellos, partey and willian?

  31. Rich

    So how come Emery is weak for accepting Pepe when he wanted Zaha?

    But Arteta who’s accepted Soares, Mari, Willian, and a new contract for Luiz, is ironed willed?

    4 year contract for Southampton’s back up right back

    4 year contract for a centre half who looks slow, when we’ve already got 7 senior centre half’s on our books

    3 year £30,000,000+ contract for a 32 year old, I think we could have all lived with a 2 year deal.

    And a new contract for Luiz, who can only play in a 3, because his legs have gone, and who’s best performances have come when we’ve been pegged in our own half by superior teams.

    I like Arteta and want him to be given time, but if he’s rubber stamped these deals? Serious questions need to be asked.

  32. Buzzy

    What a depressing and boring read..this blog is turning into a boredom fest..concentrate on football ..other things are not under your control because you’ll simply never know what actually goes on there..its all guess work..so stop the depressing whining and write something exciting!

  33. Hoksilato

    Terrible timing that’s for sure….
    Pedro, I know you’d rather avoid any legal issues but there is no way the Club would run a serious investigation if fraudulent activity was not suspected. Nobody, you included, thinks Raul is a very naive dumbo

  34. Champagne Charlie

    Sigh… I wrote a lengthy comment and the site crashed or some shit.

    Basically, hard to read this and not feel the agenda like morning vodka breath. Not an ounce of balance here and it’s reading hard like a ‘I hate Raul and Kia’ piece. Which is cool, but the facts being used are weak as piss.

    Here’s top tier Diet Ornstein, Sami Mokbel on Twitter the last 24 hours regarding the article of Willians wages:

    “Hi, my contribution is that he will sign by Sunday. I cannot take credit for wages info. Thanks.”

    “Just to be clear: my info on this story is simply that he will sign by the end of the weekend.“

    “All I know he is signing by the weekend. Just that. That’s the info I have.“

    Absolutely spamming high profile retweets and putting clear daylight between him and the wage nonsense. Just look at his recent tweets/replies. This ain’t Mokbel endorsed, farthest thing from it.

  35. Marc

    Well good too see so many calling out Pedro for warping “the truth”.

    As for bonuses are always easy to achieve? Good grief Pedro the whole point of a bonus is that whilst it can be achieved with hard work / good performance it’s not easy.

    I said some weeks ago that if Sanllehi was pulling the type of shit Pedro is implying the Kroenke ‘s wouldn’t fuck about they’d fire him. I find it strange that if there’s even any doubt they’d dick about with an investigation.

    The problem with this is a couple of years ago you’d believe what Pedro had written in the above post as being genuine rumours he’d heard – now I think Pedro has a major issue in distinguishing between what he wants to be true and what actually is.

    That’s not saying he’s lying – I know how sensitive he is on people questioning his integrity I just don’t think he can be objective at the moment.

  36. China1

    Interesting article Pedro

    On a different topic, all the noise around the possible free transfer of malang sarr has dried up. I wonder what happened there? Meanwhile Lille have just openly stated that they’ve oked him to leave and have received a sufficient offer (at least one) so he has a week or two to make his own decision. Not clear if we’ve actually made an offer but one would think it likely given all the noise

  37. Roy Bloom

    i’m afraid this is la nonsense. you are seeking to criticise without detail, Pepe who with other players from Europe take time to settle, have you forgotten the Bergkamp , Petit who took time to settle along with others who became legends. you omit the the defensive woes under Wenger and Emery along with the injuries and the need to bring in short term answers to these injuries, you omit to the progress in progress of players you criticise under Arteta . You are quoting people, who are they? Yes we are in this position because of bad decisions and inability of previous manager’s to organise a defence. You seem to be looking at conspiracy theories as fact. at the moment the management are trying to rebuild with a lack of finance of which only Kroenke has the purse strings. some of the players we need to clear out were purchased not by the people you seek to investigate or who authorised the ridiculous wages being paid. Arteta with his team need to be backed and not be accused or accused of conspiracy theories of current staff. it is a sad fact that all clubs have to deal with super agents but it is necessary evil. finally did you call for investigations when David Dein brought in and handled many our stars in the past, I doubt it.

  38. curse

    rauls probably effin with it!!!

    fair play Pedro, you was up his ass from day one. now he’s gone. vinny to take the reigns 😮

  39. Freddie Ljungberg

    https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1323221/Arsenal-news-Raul-Sanllehi-Vinai-Venkatesham

    Holy fuck Pedro was right about something.
    Not sure he’s right about the reasons though

    “We are announcing today that head of football Raul Sanllehi is leaving the club and Vinai Venkatesham, our current managing director, will lead us going forward.

    “In a statement on behalf of our owners, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, Stan and Josh Kroenke said: ‘Raul has made a big contribution during his time with us and will always be part of the Arsenal family.

    “We thank him for all his hard work and expertise and wish him every future success.”

    Guessing his role is redundant now when Edu is fully adapted to his job, he’s handling the footballing aspects of the club and Vinai the economics.

    Thank fuck for no more Raul is the devil posts, who’s the next target? Tune in tomorrow to find out.

  40. Radio Raheem

    Willian has got to be Arteta’s, otherwise why approve the signing of a departing Raul.

    There is nothing I’ve seen or heard of Edu that impresses so would expect that he follows Raul out of the door.

    Rangnick still available.

    Didn’t I suggest Pochettino for the barca job few days ago? Let’s wait and see.

  41. Gonsterous

    We are worst club when it comes to signing players. We dither for so long, then we pay enormous fees to try to get the players to take on a reasonable wage.

    We need more martinelli type signings. Unknown, with a lot of expressiveness and potential.
    Torr and guen, two players who are young and haven’t reached their prime, get valued for less than players over the age of 30. They are better than iwobi and he got us 30m.

  42. Loucas Parikos

    I have been reading Le Grove since the Bear & Pedro combo days and have never witnessed such a negative and ignorant bunch of supporters.
    Pedro has been rarely wrong, so I expect a shit load of apologies going his way…and then hopefully alot of humility!

  43. Marko

    Anyway the significance of Raul leaving may or may not be felt on the negotiation of transfers but other than that I don’t think we’ll skip a beat. It’s Edu’s show now and finger’s crossed he gives us a good summer

  44. 5am

    I actually preferred reading the majority of comments here instead of the article, as a far more balanced and rational view.

    Pedro has his own opinion/agenda and then uses the phrase what “we” can all clearly see – hmmmm…..well, anyone reading on in the posts can actually clearly see quite the opposite 🙄

  45. sarge

    Wow, Raul gone. Your post Pedro very prescient. Did Tim Lewis finding a smoking gun digging into the Pepe deal?

    But Vinai as new Head of Football, didn’t realise he had a football background, does that make any sense?

  46. CG

    “””There is a different type of knock”””””

    There sure is, tubby

    Now, close the door behind you.

    Ps. Take your pillock Edu with you

    I knew this Lewis was a Good – Un.
    (Best signing for years )

  47. CG

    Two huge soccer clubs in turmoil today.

    Arsenal and Barcelona
    The Fat Spiv has worked at both.

    He can get back to selling automobiles now.

  48. Marko

    Absolutely spamming high profile retweets and putting clear daylight between him and the wage nonsense. Just look at his recent tweets/replies. This ain’t Mokbel endorsed, farthest thing from it.

    And yet the wages are still going to get mentioned by certain types on signings they don’t like despite anyone with half a brain knowing that it doesn’t make sense

  49. Jude

    All this nonsense will stop when the football fan of Arsenal, Aliko Dangote buys the club from Stan who is obviously aloof

  50. SpanishDave

    Marc
    Internet very slow today, our third world internet is struggling.
    My son went to Albania last year and got 5g everywhere.
    Meanwhile Boris takes his dog for a walk.

  51. Marko

    But yeah anyone thinking we’re about to hire Ralf Rangnick will be disappointed it looks like Vinai is the replacement or anyone thinking about Campos joining Edu holds his position.

    Also the Tim Lewis rimming has to stop it’s total hypocrisy. He’s here to make sure that the money is spent correctly but at the same time people are perpetuating Willian on 240,000 a week and we’re pissing money up the wall Makes sense

  52. salparadisenyc

    Incredibly timed post Pete you gunslinger, not a pretty read for those that have fallen.

    Thats the post Wenger trifecta all gone, one can only assume Arteta has a huge say in transfers looking forward as Vinnai looks more suited to selling used automobiles, Edu just happy to still be standing.

  53. Freddie Ljungberg

    Marc

    The site is struggling here too. Think it’s Rauls team of evil super hackers getting revenge now when he has nothing to lose.

  54. Uwot?

    For those advocating swap deals for the likes of Gwen Dozy,Torreirra lacazette etc.It would appear the various clubs involved are not interested.Only want cash.Cash is king at present.A major problem for us in trying to flog the deadwood we have.

  55. Freddie Ljungberg

    Sal

    According to the report Pedro referenced it was Edu conducting the investigation into all parts of the senior set up as part of the restructuring that has already seen the scouts let go.
    Doubt he was going to fire himself.

    Haven’t seen Tim Lewis being connected with any of this anywhere except here.

  56. Tom

    The only thing missing from the time tested, corporate, politically correct cookie cutter comment from the Arsenal on Raul leaving is “ he is leaving to spend more time with his family”
    If he’s been so great then why is he leaving? Lol.

    Pedro has his own agendas and biases , shocking , I know………it’s not like it says “Le Grove- the Arsenal OPINION blog “ right at the top ……….but he did call this one, well kinda he did ha ha.

  57. DUIFG

    Hats off. Pedro on the button on Raul for time. The direction of travel was worrying, kia influence was shocking, picking up old men, hasn’t facilitated one stand out deal.

    I worry now for this summer, is edu a lame duck, how do you sell a dream to a player when people think you’re a dead man walking?

  58. Jamie

    Raul is radioactive now, surely. What half-decent European club is going to let him run things knowing he’s been sacked for effectively diverting club cash to his super agent friend(s)?

    CG is rubbing himself raw.

  59. Marko

    Edu just happy to still be standing.

    Yeah that must be it. He’s next in line on the agenda for sure. There’s too much of a connection with Kia for him not to be targeted

  60. salparadisenyc

    Freddie

    Pretty clear Tim Lewis was hired specifically to come in and unearth recent dealings and report back to the Kroenke’s. Did the job quickly, likely wasn’t hard to find the gold.

  61. Uwot?

    Raul has left the building! Can we now revamp the Board with one or two “ Arsenal( relatively young men) on it?A step in the right direction.Maybe even a certain Mr wenger in an “ advisory/ ambassador capacity only” now that he’s turned down Barcelona the losers 😂 lol!

  62. China1

    Glad he’s gone tbh.

    Partly because I’m suspicious of the agent dealings and think it’s embarrassing seeing Kia as a defacto club representative in the media and also because it demonstrates that the club are doing enough due diligence and care enough to actually make a big decision like this. I will give the club the benefit of the doubt that they’ve got this right

    Pedro is now winning 2-1 (Arteta + Raul vs gazidis)!

    On a side now China Gunner are you new here? You are Chinese or live in China? this is like meeting your doppelgänger at the bus stop!

  63. China1

    I think the best thing about Raul getting sacked is you would presume everyone involved from here on will know they are going to be accountable and will need to be able to fully justify every decision they make

  64. Trask

    Raul gone

    Was wondering yesterday why Edu in his interview for Willian mentioned himself and Arteta as the key players going forward in the TW

    Hmm

  65. CG

    Jamie

    “””””What half-decent European club is going to let him run things knowing he’s been sacked for effectively diverting club cash to his super agent friend(s)?””””

    He will find a home.
    He is owed a lot of favors by clubs.

    (Eg. Paying over the odds for overrated players)

    Sometimes even stray dogs with fleas find a home.

  66. salparadisenyc

    Marko

    As Radio said, Arteta must of really wanted the player. And to be fair he’s earned a bit of latitude to maneuver in building his side.

    In the end good managers get what they want.

  67. China1

    Marko the situation with Tim Lewis is a bit unclear

    His remit might have been entirely to focus on past dealings with no involvement in Willian. You’d think the club wouldn’t sign off on Willian without already knowing Raul is in big trouble and reviewing it – but still who knows how the Willian deal has gone down

  68. NJ Gooner

    Pedro,

    I work in a world where you spend years on a project. So, I don’t know what instant gratification looks like. But you must be enjoying the afterglow this morning.

    Congratulations!

    What comes next? Are we to be led into this brave new world by Vinai, a person without any football knowledge? Doesn’t sound promising.

  69. Mr Serge

    Well done Pedro you were right and it’s going to be a great day
    Reckon we are going the data driven route after all hooray

  70. Receding Hairline

    Interesting turn of events… Now we are being run by Vinai, Edu and Arteta.

    Can’t see much experience and leadership in there. And is Kia Edu’s man or Raul’s.

    If Raul’s then he is gone too. If he is Edu’s then yikes!!

  71. Mr Serge

    NJ Vinai will run the business side not the footballing side hopefully that’s down to Edu and the team now maybe Kia can do one after we sign Coutinho

  72. DivineSherlock

    If Raul is gone and Edu is in charge of footballing matters is it still not worrying ? Considering Kia is Edu’s agent ? Feels like a false dawn to me . I think Raul knew his goose was cooked as soon as ESPN ran that story .

  73. andy1886

    It is indeed a Good morning Pedro.

    I’m sure more will come out in the wash but Raul has form so I’m glad he’s gone before he did something that might drag the club down with him (as he did with the Neymar deal at Barca previously).

  74. Pedro

    Jamie, I’m told Tim Lewis was at the heart of the probe.

    I suspect the family in America was informed things weren’t quite right, they brought in someone they trusted, and it didn’t take long to see what was going on.

    This is a fucking excellent day for Arsenal FC.

  75. Marc

    I posted a longer comment earlier that failed to appear.

    Sanllehi’s gone – I’ll live, my concern is the timing. If there was an issue (which clearly someone in power thinks there was) the timing is terrible. You do this 3 months ago not a few days after the transfer window has opened when we need to do some serious business (incoming and outgoing).

    I hope that Edu and whoever is supporting him is up to doing what we need done because if they’re not we’re in trouble.

    Of course it could be we’ve seen all the incoming’s this summer already – which doesn’t bear thinking about.

  76. NJ Gooner

    Serge,

    Let’s hope at least some authority over transfers devolves to Arteta. Who knows given the current state of affairs at the club..

    I still want to know Vinci’s credentials for anything to do with AFC.

  77. Pedro

    NJ Gooner, it’s been anything but instant for me. I’ve been writing about this for a long time. It’s been a hard topic to broach and a very unpopular one. It’s also a very different one, you have sleepless nights worrying about whether you crossed a legal line.

    But you gotta write on principle and I truly believed what he was doing was not to Arsenal standard… and here we are.

  78. Tom

    I feel Kia isn’t getting the credit he deserves though………he did say there were changes afoot at the Arsenal structure- wise. I wonder if that’s what he meant ha ha ha!

  79. Marc

    Sherlock

    “If Raul is gone and Edu is in charge of footballing matters is it still not worrying ? Considering Kia is Edu’s agent ? Feels like a false dawn to me . I think Raul knew his goose was cooked as soon as ESPN ran that story .”

    Well exactly – it’s like arresting the bank robber but letting the getaway drive off.

    I’d say it looks like the story was leaked to “prepare the ground”.

    My concern is still about the other transfer’s we desperately need to get done.

  80. Spudnik

    Raul is gone. Thank fuck. Let’s hope there is some serious old fashioned Arsenal decision making from now on. GOoooooooooooonersssssssssss.

  81. CG

    The GUVNOR

    “”””This is a fucking excellent day for Arsenal FC.””””

    Agreement here.

    Emery the Clown gone – Tick
    Raul the Spiv gone – Tick
    One more to go. Edu the Ponce.

    What a shame , we cant pull the clock back and annul this obscene Willian deal.

    Ozil back in the frame.
    Wenger back in the frame( consultation)
    Rambo back in the frame.

  82. englandsbest

    Somehow Arsene still wears a cloak of respectability, the quaint idea that he always did what he thought was right for the Club. To set the record straight, he always did what he thought was right for himself.

    Often the two coincided: what was good for him was good for the Club. But with transfer dealings they often did not coincide, because his ego, his self-importance intruded.

    There were many instances, but I’ll give two. With Ozil’s transfer it was sheer ego after he messed up the deal with Liverpool for Suarez. Digging his heels in with Sanchez when he could have sold him for £60 million is another example.

    A final point: none of this happened while DD was around.

    When the cat’s away, the mice do play.

  83. Freddie Ljungberg

    China

    Vinai is.

    Nj

    Vinais credentials about Arsenal? He’s been at the club since 2010 and slowly worked himself up.

    No footballing background though I think so that’s a worry, but that’s what Edu is there for.

    “They have a staff base that is, for instance, double the size of Manchester City’s with £145million less revenue.”

    No wonder we’re streamlining and have to deal with redundancies, talk about bloat.

  84. andy1886

    From the official statement (Raul’s departing words):

    The academy is in very safe hands with Per, and Huss Fahmy is a talented and highly-capable leader of our football operations”

    Is that a clue? Is Huss the new Raul? (‘leader of our football operations’)

    It certainly wont be Vinai.

  85. Tom

    Sanllehi’s gone – I’ll live, my concern is the timing. If there was an issue (which clearly someone in power thinks there was) the timing is terrible. You do this 3 months ago not a few days after the transfer window has opened when we need to do some serious business (incoming and outgoing).
    ———-
    Marc
    Maybe 3 months ago there wasn’t enough information to raise red flags , or act on them.
    You’d rather let Raul continue on into another window if there were “irregularities “ ?!?!?
    That’s crazy.
    Oversight ,even if arriving late ,is better than lack there of.
    You can’t blame Pedro for being agenda driven while comfortably pushing your own.

  86. China1

    I doubt Edu is about to get fired. If the club found him worthy of getting sacked he’d be out the door with Raul.

    Obviously for whatever reason they’re giving him another chance but you’d assume he’s been warned.

    I would guess it’s because Edu is newer to the club and Raul was his manager that it’s maybe a bit harsher to lay so much blame at his feet. But I believe and hope he’s been warned anyway

  87. Marko

    In the end good managers get what they want.

    Kinda dodged what was being asked Sal. How do you feel about Tim Lewis being okay with Willian “getting” 240,000 a week when Raul is apparently getting sacked for another high profile deal. Seems a bit at odds with each other

  88. DivineSherlock

    Pedro

    I have to say you have done an amazing job , again . I bet you want to say ” I told you so ” to so many people . Cheers .

  89. China1

    Marko but tbf we are only assuming that Tim is ok with that deal.

    Maybe he wasn’t involved in the process for Willian. You’d imagine we do involve him in everything now but we’re still just speculating at this stage

  90. Mr Serge

    Marc they did the checks and a few days later Raul was a goner instead of a gooner that’s quick going
    The restructuring has started there will be a plan in place

  91. DivineSherlock

    Marc

    Yeah thats what I feel , you can sack Raul but then you have to question the legitimacy of who he has hired too . The other thing might be that since Vinai is in charge , he will have to veto the signings before it gets cleared ? is that how it will work now ?

  92. TR7

    Edu too must be under Tim’s radar now. He’s got to be careful. Stan won’t tolerate anyone pissing his money away. I prefer manager calling all the shots, so kind of happy that Arteta will have more say in transfer dealings.

  93. China1

    Pedro gonna be smug strutting like griezman on his trip to Seven11 to buy a pack of gum later

    DAT WINNING FEELING

  94. Freddie Ljungberg

    Looks like Gabriel is still in play, Edu needs to get moving.

    “Gianluca Di Marzio claims Lille rejected a €20m offer from Everton on Wednesday”

  95. Marko

    Cheers Sal. Way to put your neck out even a little.

    Anyway lad is gone feel a bit for him given that he was instrumental in a lot of good things for Arsenal these last couple of years. Sacking Wenger hiring Arteta signing up Saliba, Tierney, Martinelli and Pepe for example. Unfortunately all that gets overlooked because of Emery (even though Ivan and Sven were also involved in his hiring) and Kia. Mostly Kia. But ah well no doubt our dealings with super agents are over…said no major club in european football ever