The Aftermath

by .

Let it out

Arsenal rocked the football universe yesterday when they acted decisively on their Head of Football.

The framing around the story has been absolutely predictable. If you work in big business, you’ll recognize the familiar feel to the ‘my work is done’ narrative put forward by Raul here and Vinai in this ‘interview.’

… and you know what, who cares how it’s framed, the reality is Arsenal have moved on an exec that operated in a way that wasn’t conducive to the sort of efficiency you need to have when running a club like Arsenal in a moment like the one we’re going through.

Here’s how I imagine it went down.

Arsenal hired in Tim Lewis to look at costs in and out of the club.

He identified areas of waste within the player dealings process that reflected badly on the exec in question.

There are two options in this moment. The club either goes to war with the exec in a drawn-out gardening leave type investigation. Or they agree to part ways on amicable terms if certain stipulations are met as part of the exit package.

For Raul, the best thing for him was going to be to escape the club with his head held high. A ‘job well done’ and ‘I love the club and respect everyone’ works for his next role. For Arsenal, moving on from the situation cleanly, likely without having to offer a massive pay-out or going through a big media circus, is absolutely perfect. Big business, in any industry, will go out of their way to avoid bad PR. I suspect the club is gagging to have an ‘AUBA SIGNS DA TING’ or a ‘Gabriel joins the revolution’ headline to shift the news cycle.

Covid-19 as cover is perfect for both parties. If it makes you happy as a fan to think that’s why we no longer have our top football exec in position, then stick with that story. If you are of a more curious nature, just read some of the previous posts I’ve penned that might lead you towards the reasoning as to why Arsenal put the highest-paid non-first team football person at the club on the cut list.

Everyone wins in this situation. The club can plot a more modern approach forward. The fans can be safe in the knowledge that the deals being done are in the best interests of the football. The execs in America know there’s a sharper focus on making sure their dollars are spent well.

The cold hard reality is that we’re still skint. There’s not a lot of money swilling around the coffers. That’ll mean this summer has to be very creative.

Someone asked yesterday what Edu would have to do for the fans to see this summer as a success.

Sell well

We’re starting from a pretty low cash position this summer. That means we’ll likely have to sell to buy anyone of substance. Selling in a market where Barcelona are delaying firing their coach because of the £3m contract he’s on tells you how big the challenge of cash will be this summer. There’s not a lot swilling around. There are players that will attract the attention of cash-rich clubs, we need to be strategic there and make sure we max out those opps.

Barter hard

You’ll see a lot of player exchanges and you might see more players given free transfers to move. Arsenal needs to be smart here. If we’re going to swap Lacazette, we need to make sure what we get in return justifies the move. If we’re considering swapping Matteo, it has to be for a talent like Aouar. I don’t want to see Ashley Cole for Gallas like deals going down.

Reshape the profile

Part of the challenge we’ve had over the past few windows is a lack of coherrance on our player profile. We need to get back to Arsene Wenger basics when he was good. High levels of technical ability, rugged fitness, and outrageous athleticism. The midfield is where we need the most attention, and clearly, central defence.

Communicate a plan

Edu has very much been behind the scenes at Arsenal, it’s unclear exactly what his role is at the club, and he’s been shy about talking to the press. I like that we have a visionary coach and I’m a fan of his bromance with Edu… however, we can’t go back to an Arsene Wenger situation where it’s all on the one with the special sauce. I’d love to know what the vision is for the club. Where are we going? What does ‘data and analytics’ mean? Who are we promoting to bring this to life? Who needs to be hired? How long is the plan?

I read somewhere that player recruitment isn’t Edu’s strength, not sure how true that is, but if it is, how are we solving that? A manager doesn’t have time to run that side of the club as well. We need him focused on making the team great. How are we structuring that side of things?

Arsenal fans are rabid. We need information. If we know where we’re going, we’re less likely to fill the gaps ourselves. The club, particularly Vinai, has a history of being open with the fans. It’d be great to get back to that after a fairly opaque period in our history.

Moving forward

We’re constantly in transition at Arsenal, but right now, I feel like we’ve found our ground zero. I worried for a long time that we’d have to waste a few more transfer windows before the powers that be realised we were on a path to nowhere. Now they’ve acted, I think we can expect to see aggressive progress.

I have my reservations about Edu, but I think it’d be unfair to expect him to take us to promised-land in one window. This is arguably the hardest transfer window in history. What I’m looking for is a progression of the thinking and some decisive action that excites. If we can get to that and the football next season is a little more expansive, I’ll be very happy. Arsenal should be seriously threatening the top 4 next season, we have the young players, we have the coach, and should we make a few really smart moves this summer, hopefully, the squad.

This really is the time to ‘be excited’ about the future. We have all the component parts needed to kick on. Let’s see what the new direction of the club can bring.

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365 Responses to “The Aftermath”

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  1. Frost

    James Olley saying he’s signed. 99%. Only thing left is announcement & making of the commercial video penciled for when he comes back from holiday.

  2. Champagne Charlie

    Marko

    It’s happened….

    Gabriel’s father has now liked a post of him nearing a deal with Arsenal. We have a parent, throw away the key. Cousin, brother, parent, the divine triad.

  3. Markymark

    Bamford seek help, we had similar crazies on the Gooner website.
    Take up gardening or Indeed anything as long as it’s not Arsenal related

  4. HighburyLegend

    “Auba signs.👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍”

    Laca out ?? Juventus are interested…

  5. Dissenter

    The Daily Mail is reporting that the unveiling photographs for Willian.were shot at Kia’s house rather than on the club’s premises.
    If those reports are true then it’s just corroborates Pedro’s point all along. There’s something g fishy about Kia’s undue influence at the club.

    I hope the exit of Raul ends his insider status.

  6. Habesha Gooner

    Edu was talking about rebalancing the squad. Selling Lacazette and Bringing in a CAM would definitely do that. It was a colossal mistake by Wenger two Center forwards for big money.

    Aubameyang can be the main centerforward and Martinelli and Nketiah can back him up. Willian/Saka will be left wingers and Pepe/Nelson can play on the right. That way we will have an abundance of creativity.

    We have to try to move forward on two or three CBs this summer though. We need the money and we can’t just pay them to sit doing nothing. 8 CBs is insane.

  7. Dissenter

    Unai na
    Did you see that DM story about how Willian was unveiled at his agent’s house?
    What’s done is done but we have to operate in a very different way going forward.

  8. Bojangles

    “The Daily Mail is reporting that the unveiling photographs for Willian.were shot at Kia’s house rather than on the club’s premises.”

    Possible but it also could have been at anyone’s house. They only stated it wasn’t at Arsenal and made assumptions it was at Kia’s house.

    More shit stirring from the mail. Seems to be having the desired effect here, anyway.

  9. Graham62

    Pierre

    You mean the FA Cup win, after being 2-9 down,against a team who we would beat 99 times out of 100.

    Coming from behind against Hull had nothing to do with Arsenal reaching other finals since then.

  10. Champagne Charlie

    Dissenter

    Let’s assume the Daily Mail are reporting honestly as usual…

    Can you unravel the terror behind taking photos at an agents house for me? You absolutely adore outrage about nothing, 100% the kind of guy to moan about how wet the rain is.

  11. Northbanker

    Auba’s deal when finally confirmed will be another great step in our renaissance. Even though in reality it simply means we are not going backwards as opposed to forwards (as we already had him) it is a massive step to keep our talisman. I think there will be progress if we sell Laca and start playing him as CF though.

  12. The backpass

    “Can you unravel the terror behind taking photos at an agents house for me? You absolutely adore outrage about nothing, 100% the kind of guy to moan about how wet the rain is.”

    😂😂😂

  13. Jamie

    If Auba doesn’t sign his contract extension in full view of the photographers at London Colney, definitely something fishy is going on.

  14. Left testicle

    I don’t care where players sign the bloody contract, as long as we’re signing decent players at the going rate.

  15. Left testicle

    Not practical in the current climate. A player isn’t going to travel half way round the world to scribble his signature on a piece of paper.

  16. Jamie

    Left, did you even read the Daily Mail article? Top level reporting.

    Go to the website and read it. First scroll past the Daily Mail Exclusive about how pregnant and smiling Tamara Ecclestone is rubbing her tummy on holiday in Gstaad.

  17. Champagne Charlie

    Personally quite appalled that Willian didn’t sign his deal and get his photos snapped on the Emirates centre circle.

    Clearly Kia’s influence is poisonous

  18. Champagne Charlie

    If you ever needed proof of the absolute fuckery involved at the Daily Mail I present the following:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-8626947/amp/Willians-220K-week-Arsenal-deal-sees-one-10-highest-Premier-League-earners.html?ico=amp_articleRelated

    Willians wages (including speculated sign on fee and bonuses) levied against the basic weekly wage of others in the league.

    If you do anything except floss your gooch with that paper you’re doing it wrong.

  19. Bojangles

    Keown echoing comments made by Arteta last month suggesting fans not to expect Saliba to walk into the team from the off and to not pressure the young man.

  20. London gunner

    Guys explain to me like I’m five

    But what did raul sanelli do wrong?

    Like no one including arseblog really actually paint it black and white where he fucked up its all aspirations and cloak and dagger shit.

  21. Champagne Charlie

    Cap

    It’s pathetic mate, pounced on the redundancies and have spent the last week driving feverish outrage at transfers pending, Willian, Coutinho, Gabriel all spoken in context of us making redundancies.

    Joke paper, prick ‘journalism’.

  22. Pedro

    London, read the last 3 days worth of LG blogs, then read Arseblog, then read The Athletic article from today and you’ll get the picture.

    But officially: ‘Streamlining management structures’

  23. Nelson

    London gunner

    That lawyer must have uncovered quite a bit of wrong doings by Raul. Surely, Arsenal will not be stupid enough to show the world all the dirty underwears.. Raul is so power hungry. If there were not enough dirt discovered, do you think he would agree to walk away.

  24. Gonsterous

    So why are we chasing Gabriel from Lillie ?
    Seems to be an excess of CBs in the club. We need to save money and sort the midfield.

  25. Pedro

    CC, there might not be a horror in the photos if the incident wasn’t deeply entrenched in all the other issues.

    1) We’ve done some very odd deals with Kia
    2) He’s been talking about internal club matters on the radio
    3) There’s a lot of bad press around our closeness to super-agents
    4) We drop another deal with Kia and shoot the signing ceremony in his living room

    That’s bad optics. If you run a £2b football club, you should know that is really not a sharp move.

  26. Nelson

    Gonsterous

    Areta needs a left footed CB and Marie is not available for awhile. Also there are three CB’s who are still injured.

  27. Habesha Gooner

    London Gunner
    They can’t paint it black and white. Because there isn’t any thing to paint. It’s all based on their intuition and dislike for the guy. All they will say is connect the dots and make sense out of it. Not one factual evidence.

  28. Champagne Charlie

    “1) We’ve done some very odd deals with Kia
    2) He’s been talking about internal club matters on the radio
    3) There’s a lot of bad press around our closeness to super-agents
    4) We drop another deal with Kia and shoot the signing ceremony in his living room“

    1) odd is subjective, and that particular criticism is being wildly oversold imo

    2) I’d prefer to hear much less from him, but if he wasn’t a beacon of doom his insight would be met entirely different

    3) just not a point worthy, there’s more bad press about us being 8th place

    4) which does what exactly? It’s a pathetic point of contention that’s purposely being dropped to cause a stir. Utterly meaningless. Or is the power play that he wants to sell his house and this is free publicity?

  29. Captain Tierney

    Arsenal have signed 19 yo Tim Akinola after he was released by Huddersfield.

    One thing I can say about him – He loves a good tackle.

  30. Captain Tierney

    Daily Mail reporting that this lad will cost Arsenal upwards of 50mil after including all the bonuses , Vat , pension and tackle fees.

    Also he still needs to pass the judge my age test by Legrovers as he is from Nigerian descent.

  31. Dissenter

    Koeman is going to quit the Dutch team to take over Barca?
    What a dick, he took that national team job just to idle away
    He’ll be gone in not time when Messi gets tired of him, where will he go then?

  32. Freddie Ljungberg

    LT

    Was just going to write that.

    Mentalbris is going to have another age related meltdown today. Hate to see it.

    Can’t say we’re not digging deep for cheap youngsters, a winger from the Norwegian 3rd tier and now a player released from Huddersfield. Let’s just hope it works out.

  33. Dissenter

    CC
    Of course I’ll take rainy advice from you everyday of the week. You Brits are the experts at determining the wetness of rain.

    It’s not like the player was outside the country or training with his national team. He was in London for bloody sake, sine when did unveiling photos start taking place at the home of the agent rather than at London Colney or the Emirates.
    Please post a precedent for this.

  34. Freddie Ljungberg

    Have to defend Bamford here a little too, sure he comes off a bit strong sometimes and rubs people the wrong way but tbf there’s been a lot of shit talked about him when he’s been binned and he couldn’t defend himself.

    Did he do it in a bamford-esque weird way, sure but what was the alternative? You know not saying anything wasn’t an option for him:)

  35. Left testicle

    Personally I don’t think anyone should get banned for their views unless they are really extrem and offensive. One mans offensive is another mans bantz.

  36. Tom

    “Have to defend Bamford here a little too, sure he comes off a bit strong sometimes and rubs people the wrong way but tbf there’s been a lot of shit talked about him when he’s been binned and he couldn’t defend himself.“

    FL
    I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one thinking that.

  37. Northbanker

    Got to be honest -looking at that photo if Akinola is 19 then I am 12.

    What’s more disconcerting Is that we’re signing a player who’s been released by Huddersfield. What??

    I’m getting this horrible Sanaogo type vibe

  38. Tom

    “Personally I don’t think anyone should get banned for their views unless they are really extrem and offensive. One mans offensive is another mans bantz.“
    ————
    It’s the snowflakification of society I blame.
    Everyone gets offended se easily.

  39. Left testicle

    Mansfield > Lincoln City > Huddersfield

    So we’re signing a 32 year old Huddersfield reject journeyman on the back of YouTube footages.