New CEO and Manager titles announced. Let’s talk about that (long read)

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Arsenal dropped a Vinai x Edu collab so dense in information, I’m about to give you a 2000 word analysis so you can digest it.  The newly empowered duo rolled up on a fancy lawn looking like the two new Godfathers in town. There was a lot to unpack.

The big news.

  • Vinai is now the CEO of Arsenal Football Club
  • Mikel Arteta is now the Manager of the first team
  • Edu and Mikel are on the same level in a shared football leadership role

Ok, so let’s go deep on this.

Overall Messaging:

Le Grove has called for this sort of communication for a while. We need to know how the club is setting up for success, we need to know what the new structure looks like, and we need to hear from our leaders. Vinai acknowledged Arsenal had been weak on this a few weeks ago. So what is the plan? Well, here it is.

‘We belong in the Champions League. Yes we’ve been in European football for the past 25 years, which is a great record. But the past three years and this one, we are in a competition we don’t want to be in.’

‘We want to get back in the mix competing for the Premier League – and doing it the way Arsenal have always done, playing the entertaining, engaging football our fans want to see.’

We don’t need to ask for the timescale, Mikel Arteta has told Willian he wants to win the Champions League in 3 seasons, it’s clear how fast we’re moving.

The CEO Title

Arsenal made a huge error when Ivan G left in handing over the keys of power to two people. It generally doesn’t work in business. Human nature is a one leader system, don’t fuck with nature. What tends to happen without clear leadership is a power vacuum opens and people land grab. If you work with two leaders, you can play them off against each other. If you are the two leaders, it creates paranoia, arguments, and stand-offs that are unproductive. I know because I work in an industry where you have to partner with people in leadership and I hate it. No one is truly accountable (or one person is totally accountable), which can also lead to excuse-making and dropped balls (‘I thought you were doing that!’).

Netflix recently turned to this leadership approach and its share price dropped. Raul was not of the standard needed when he was paired with Vinai and the lack of oversight on what he was up to led us down a very dark road. Vinai taking on the CEO job in its totality is what is needed. Pure accountability for direction, execution, and performance. He is the leader of the commercial side of the business as well as the football side. That is how it should be. Is he young? Yes. But he has 10 years under his belt at the club. He knows what has worked and what has not (bit like Arteta). He needs to be ambitious, bring everyone together, drive the staff forward, and keep the fans (and sponsors) excited. Today was a good first step.

The Manager

Mikel Arteta has been given a promotion in a pandemic, saucy. The Adidas kit launch video positioned him as a rockstar at the club. The job title bump gives him the power to really make changes.

“This is recognition of what he has been doing from the day he walked in the door and also the capabilities we believe Mikel has,”

“He has walked into probably the toughest nine-month period this football club has had in its 134-year history. He’s on a long term contract and we’re really comfortable with what he’s doing.”

This is massive. As I’ve said on numerous occasions, Arteta is a generational coach. He’s an obsessive freak of nature. Creative, driven, innovative, as well as being an elite communicator. This bump is recognition of those traits. It’s also a reflection of the love he’s getting from everyone at the club, especially the players. The bet Arsenal is making is that he’ll bring some of the Manchester City IP into our setup, but also bring people in that can help him shape that knowledge into something uniquely Arsenal. The best artists copy and build upon the greats work. There’s no greater manager in world football than Pep. He is the ultimate artist.

Additionally, I think this is a protective measure. The club is hedging that the chances are, Arteta will do pretty well and attract attention from other clubs looking to jump on the young manager bandwagon. The concern, I suspect, is that when Pep bins off Manchester City, they’ll come knocking for Arteta with a big deal. Remember, they were promising him the head coach role the first time we came knocking. This is horse before the cart, but at the top end of business, you have to plan for every eventuality.

The Technical Director

It was great to see Edu rolled out to talk about his plans and step out of the shadows. He spoke glowingly about the manager and the project.. then Vinai dropped a bombshell.

“So in terms of how that will work, going forward Mikel will join a really strong team with Edu and they’ll be working really, really closely together to manage all the other elements of our football operations that are so important, whether that is analysis, recruitment, high performance or medical, they’ll be looking after those areas together.

“And they’ll also together be responsible for our technical recommendations, whether that’s players that we’re going to buy, whether that’s players that we’re going to sell, whether that’s players that we’re going to loan.

“Of course, working closely with me and the board and working closely with the owners on the financial elements to make final decisions. But those are going to be their responsibilities and I think we’re going to have a really dynamic team to drive this club forward.”

Yes, you read correctly. After experiencing first hand what power-sharing looks like, Vinai has dropped the same model on his subordinates, placing the Technical Director and the Manager on the same level.

Let’s have this clear: Power sharing does not work. 

This is a demotion for Edu. There will always be a dominant partner in a ‘power share’ and that is going to be Mikel Arteta. ‘We really love each other’ is not a technical rationale for this move. I don’t want to hammer anyone, but I have heard whispers that there is a lot of convincing that needs to happen for Edu to work his way into the good graces of the Arsenal people.

My overarching concern here is that we’ve spent years trying to move away from a superstar manager structure, and we’ve just walked right back into one. If things go well, then the concern is moot… the problems come when things go badly, or, the superstar manager leaves. What are you left with?

That’s a story for another day. What I will say is this: Edu was the driving force behind hiring Arteta. His trip up to see the City coaching assistant in December blew the race wide open. If it wasn’t for his pressure, we’d be looking at Perreira or Nuno as the Arsenal coach at the moment. So, we have to give him credit for recognising elite talent and making an effort to bond with our ex-captain.

What does a Technical Director do?

We all asked wtf is an Edu? Well, let him explain.

“It is simple for me,”

“With my position here I want to put in place one clear process how we are going to sign, who gets the responsibilities, where we start to understand where we need the player, the position we need, the characteristics we need. That has to be very clear internally right now.

“The decision we made, to change a little bit our infrastructure, it is clear for me. I want to work with less people. I want to work with StatDNA a lot more, which we have internally here at the club and is very important.

“I don’t want individual people working in one area or for one country. I want a group working together. Less people with much more responsibility. That is my vision and for me in this process the most important thing is that everyone is very clear on the responsibilities which everyone has to make the right decision.”

I love this. The old scouting approach of 50 people sitting around clocking timesheets is over. The technology these analysts have now is unbelievable. We have had all the tools needed to be a top data club since 2013 when we purchased StatDNA, now, it seems like we’re finally going to activate the tools with elite people that can pull the insights and action them.

What people don’t realise is there has always been a lot of very talented people working at Arsenal, we just haven’t used them properly. Edu is speaking the language of elite business. The job of a director is to unleash talent. We want the best people in the world employed at Arsenal feeling absolutely empowered to do their best possible work. When you create a high-performance culture, every cog is vital, the competition between people should be real, but healthy, and all in the name of the best possible work outcome. I am excited that the talk now is about how well we’re executing against that vision, versus having to debate whether the ‘contacts’ approach was about to come roaring back into relevance.

The other comment I liked is the stake in the ground when it comes to agents.

“It is important to be clear,”

“What I would like from now is that everything related to football has to come through me. All the contacts, agents, internally, externally, people outside Arsenal, have to see me — and my name — as the first one to call or connect to. It is important because sometimes they feel unclear about it. To be clear and open that is how we are going to operate.”

Vinai had a crack at this, trying to pretend that the last 24 months didn’t happen when he stated the people writing about agent influence were wrong. No we weren’t, but I guess he wasn’t about to dig up the past. The important thing Edu now knows is that if you step out of line, you will not be working at the club. Part of this rebirth has to be about restoring the values we hold dear as fans. Edu, like Vinai, has made it clear, he is in charge when it comes to this part of the club, and everyone has to fall into line.

What about transfers?

Edu seemed to be fairly bullish about moves.

“Everybody is waiting, everybody wants to do swaps, everybody is talking about loans. What is important is that we have a clear plan on the players we want to keep, the players we want to loan and the players we want to sell. After that, we have to be patient, to understand how the markets are reacting, and then to make the right decision.” 

I think we’re going to make the signings we need to make. I suspect there will be a few days when everything goes crazy and we make all the signings we need in quick succession. It appears that we’re about to move on Martinez for £20m. It’d be sad, but if it adds to the coffers so we can sign Aouar, I’ll take having an average back-up keeper. I am very confident we’ll have the squad we need to compete for top 4 this season.

Concluding Thoughts

Arsenal is mostly doing the right things. The power share thing is a nonsense, but in a relationship based on bromance, it might just work out. For the moment, as long as it’s being led by smart people making smart decisions, for the right reasons, we’re in a great place.

We now have a proper club to support, the banter is hopefully in the past. We have a young and dynamic leadership team. We have one CEO. We have a manager. We have a Technical Director that wants to lean on data to drive the club. We have our best player signed. There is wind in the sails and momentum is working with us, not against.

This is a GOOD time to be an Arsenal fan. You should BE excited this time. I cannot WAIT to share this season with you.

Big love, now fire up the record player and inject some Le Grove into your ears and listen to our NEW podcast.

P.S. The new Newsletter lands today. Let me know what you think.

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504 Responses to “New CEO and Manager titles announced. Let’s talk about that (long read)”

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  1. Alex

    Awesome article.Every pricess will be judged by result in short and long term. I think Edu and Arteta can do it.Better fir Vinai to stay at bay focusung on firm financial matter.

  2. Smo

    Excellent as always Pete. I don’t think being tech director and manager a bad setup. The TD has higher level oversight whereas MA is on the ground doing operational work. Makes sense for me

  3. Left testicle

    We now have a proper club to support, the banter is hopefully in the past. We have a young and dynamic leadership team. We have one CEO. We have a manager. We have a Technical Director that wants to lean on data to drive the club. We have our best player signed. There is wind in the sails and momentum is working with us, not against.
    ……..

    Saturday 12 August
    Fulham…..3 Arsenal…..1

  4. Left testicle

    Martinez over Leno all day.

    Just the fact that he catches the ball instead of punching means we retain the ball and can dictate the play. Leno’s punches just put us under more pressure. Martinez also has more authority and is superior with his feet.

    You watch. Martinez will be sold. Leno will get injured and we’ll be left with a second rate keeper between the sticks.

  5. Emiratesstroller

    Realistically there are two players specifically in midfield that we want to recruit and those are Partey and Aouar.

    Ideally Arsenal want to make a swap for one of these two. The most likely scenario is that
    the “swap” player is Lacazette. Ideally Arsenal would like to offer Guendouzi in a swap, but it
    would seem that neither Lyon nor Athletico Madrid are interested.

    The idea that Arsenal would consider a swap of Bellerin or Guendouzi for Draxler if being considered is complete nonsense. Draxler is an injury prone player on the way down.

    Arsenal should only be considering swaps if there is a clear player performance or financial advantage to the deal.

    Whilst I appreciate that Arsenal would like to get Guendouzi off the books the best route to
    achieving that is for the player to be reinstated and prove that he is the player that he seems
    to believe he is. If he plays well then there will be a host of clubs coming in for his services.

  6. TheGodfather

    We have had way too many restructures and false dawns that have yielded next to nothing in terms of how we recruit and retain players, our style, mode of business and the end of goal of winning the EPL and champions league.

    So I will hold my judgement until things develop.

    But when you hear rumblings about selling the keeper who inspired so much confidence at a time when we down in the dumps, for a pittance to Villa, and the foot dragging on their top two signings you start to wonder if you being sold another bridge to nowhere.

  7. Northbanker

    LT – completely agree. They have got Martinez wrong and he should be given assurances he is our no 1. I cant believe Villa are going to get him for such a paltry sum. What’s the point of signing great outfield players if we’re going to give away one of our stand out players from last season and one of the best keepers to have emerged for Arsenal in decades.

    Leno is a distant no 2 by comparison and Macey not at the races. We are giving ourselves a massive problem.

  8. Northbanker

    It used to be a trait of continental keepers that they punched the ball whereas British keepers used to catch it. This was why for years we had what many regarded as superior players in Clemence, Jennings, Shilton, Parkes.

    That actually is still the case although there are fewer British keepers on display and many of these have got this punching habit.

    So when we finally get a gut who is comfortable catching it and is totally commanding in his box, partly sue to that, Why the fuck would we give him away.

    Someone really needs to address this. I just don’t get why MA is favouring Leno and not doing his selling job that he seems to be doing with Gabriel and Auba.

  9. Habesha Gooner

    Wow, I know Arsenal fans have short memories but this is insane. Leno was voted the 2nd best player of the season FFS.

    “One of the best goalkeepers to have emerged for Arsenal in decades”????

    He was good for 15 games. We aren’t giving away a keeper that led us to a champions league and premier league win. If he stays he deserves to start the season as No 1 but that doesn’t mean he is first choice. How do you guys know this isn’t his purple patch? How come he didn’t show this form before? It took 10 years for him to break in to our team. I like the player but this is a lot overreacting.

  10. Left testicle

    Wow, I know Arsenal fans have short memories but this is insane. Leno was voted the 2nd best player of the season FFS.
    …………..
    That might have something to do with being bombarded with shots every game. We’re a different animal now. We’re playing out of the back with more authority.

    How do you guys know this isn’t his purple patch?
    ……………..
    How do you know that it is a purple patch?

  11. Batistuta

    Allison
    Ederson
    Leno
    Pope
    Henderson

    In that order last season for the best goalkeepers in the league.

    Pope and Henderson being part of a team that usually has a low block

    Arsenal fans are such knees jeck and reactionary you’d think we’ve had some average goalkeeper in goal before Martinez came in.

    Again we can all have preferences but Martinez wants to play regularly and we need funds to improve our midfield so what exactly do all those saying we shouldn’t sell Martinez do? Have two good goalkeepers and a porous midfield that gets bypassed at every chance?.

    Madrid sold at the time the better keeper in Navas and they still went on the win their league so I don’t quite get the sudden demonizing of Leno really.

  12. Ekow

    Agents! Edu’s agent is Kia Joorabchian, so are Luiz, Mari and Willian. No wonder they managed to bring in Soares, a 29 yr old for a 4yr because Soares’ agent is also Kia.

    Soares was a reserve player at Southampton; so how did he managed to get a good contract at Arsenal at his level? Kia Joorabchian. Kia is also trying hard to push Felipe Anderson of West Ham on Arsenal. Watch out Edu and remember what happen to Sanllehi.

  13. Batistuta

    Our midfield options are

    El Neny
    Xhaka
    Ceballos
    Guendozi
    Torreira
    Ozil
    Willock

    Literally no single goal threat or defensively capable player in there but sure let’s lose our rags over the departure of our 2nd choice goalie

  14. Graham62

    Habesha

    This is true but a top keeper helps those in front of him and helps them stay calm.

    Do you think Leno has these attributes?

  15. Habesha Gooner

    We need to sell players FFS. who do you guys want us to sell that is going to generate funds then?

    People overreacted to selling AMN and now Martinez. They have had a purple patch but for most of the season they were squad players.

    We have the most average midfield around and people want to have two great goal keepers. Leno wasn’t a liability before and he won’t be in the future. We have liabilities in Midfield. Do you guys know that Everton Now have a better midfield than us? If Leno wasn’t injured people would have been okay with selling Martinez. Form and class are two different things. We don’t if it is class or form we are seeing with Martinez.

  16. Graham62

    Batistuta

    No, we keep him because he’s the better keeper.

    Tough shit if Leno doesn’t like it.

    Show your metal and work harder to try and get your place back.

    That’s life.

  17. Leftside

    Martinez starts the season not so well and these frothing at the mouth, knee jerk Arsenal fans will be crying for Leno again.

    Leno has been one of our better players since he came in, the disregard would be staggering but Arsenal fans are ridiculed everywhere for how they are so no surprises.

  18. Emiratesstroller

    Habesha Gooner

    I have no issue selling Maitland-Niles, but I do have concern about Martinez.

    Arsenal need two “First Team” Goalkeepers. It is not just a matter of who is first choice.. Leno
    suffered an injury which could have turned out much worse than it is. He could have been out for a season.

    If Arsenal buy the Brentford Goalkeeper it will cost us almost certainly a large transfer fee.
    So where is the benefit in this deal? Also I am not a fan of buying a 1.83 Metre Goalkeeper.

  19. Chika

    Leno is the better goalkeeper! It’s ridiculous reading where someone described Martinez as one of our best goalkeepers ever. lol.

    Retaining Leno as first choice and selling Martinez for £20m to help finance our midfield upgrade is an understandable decision.

  20. Leftside

    Lets see how Martinez fares over a season as 1st choice, in front of a crowd etc or under a different set of tactics because we don’t know if he’s the real deal or this was a purple patch.

  21. Batistuta

    Graham

    So we keep him and have him and Leno fight for top spot and have even lesser funds to upgrade our midfield positions? You do realize we actually need to sell to raise funds for any further signings right

  22. DM

    I don’t understand how anyone can be in favour of selling Martinez. We have stumbled upon a diamond here. For me, he was as big a story last season as Saka. Of course it’s still early days, his form could dip significantly, etc. But he has earned the right to get the chance to prove himself over the next season. Having two top goalkeepers both fighting hard for that number one spot is a good position to be in, and then reassess next year.

    And if we WERE to sell him, it should be for a hell of a lot more than 20m. Otherwise what’s the point? That might be a fair price in today’s market, but if he continues to show his form, that figure will look pathetic in a couple of years time.

  23. Batistuta

    I’m sure we’d all like to keep Martinez but the harsh reality is we are skint and we have a position where we can be able to raise finds from and we also now have actual bids coming I’m for someone, funds that will help with the squad rebuild and somehow we should reject said money and have them fight it out for the number 1 spot and neglect all our other pressing needs.

  24. AL

    Graham62
    September 11, 2020 10:23:43
    Martinez played in front of hostile fans at Eintracht Frankfurt last season. He was sensational.

    Martinez played in front of hostile fans at Anfield and conceded 5!.

  25. Biggles

    Football is a weak link sport, as opposed to a strong link sport (like say basketball).

    That is to say that having Messi in your team means nothing if you have Titus Bramble in defence. Whereas in basketball, if you have LeBron, you’ll probably win.

    I’d like to keep both Leno and Martinez, I don’t want to lower the overall quality of the squad. However you can only have one keeper on the pitch at a time and having one of Martinez or Leno – both seemingly solid 8/10 keepers – on the bench when we likely will start with a 6/10 midfielder like Xhaka and could realistically be playing a 4/10 like Elneny means we really should take the money and run. We need to address our current weaknesses before planning the backup.

  26. Leftside

    I don’t think anyone would be in favour of selling Martinez by choice but we all are aware of the situation. We finished 8th last season and are going in tomorrow with largely the same squad.

    There may be some unpopular decisions but they are for the greater good of the team. If we’re losing Martinez to then go out and buy a replacement- what is the point? If the funds go to our midfield targets I’m all in.

  27. Habesha Gooner

    I think there are players outside of England that can be had for cheap fees. spend up to 8 mil and selling Martinez for 20 mil has it’s upsides.

    12 mil profit might be the difference between getting a special midfielder like Aouar. We can’t create right now. Having aouar with Leno in goal might get us some more points than having Martinez in goal and Leno on the bench with the current midfield. If we didn’t need the finances we should keep Martinez but you have to make Sacrifices to get to the top.

  28. Henry+Root

    Martinez prospered under the new goalkeeping coach …from Brentford . If Maupay hadn’t fouled Leno we wouldn’t be remotely concerned about selling Martinez and we’d have got £5 million tops for him . The Brentford coach has obviously recommended we go for Leno as first choice and clearly believes in Raya who he has worked closely with
    Very positive post Pedro. You have great resilience , radiating positivity to some of the pessimists on here !

  29. China1

    I’m sad to see Martinez go because I’d have made him first choice, but 20m is useful right now and Leno is a good keeper too.

    I just wonder if that 20m is enough to make our next move or do we need another sale like torreira or guen to be able to afford whoever that will be

    Fingers crossed that 20 is enough. Even if we only sign one more player, I’d be very pleased if it’s a brilliant MF. More outs and a second top MF is a luxury which I won’t expect. But Martinez our surely puts us one step closer to that key first midfielder

  30. Batistuta

    It’s the same with AMN, sure we’d all love to keep him but if an offer close to 30mill came in, we’d be foolish not to take and reinvest into the squad.

    Like someone said, we finished 8th and are going into the season looking almost the same so there’d have to be unpopular decision to be made in that regard.

    Would be nice of our owner found some coin at the back of his sofa but that ain’t happening so we need to be realistic and deal with the situation best we can

  31. Words on a Blog

    I really, really like and rate Martinez (whether he’s playing in the presence of fans or not.)

    But if we’re gonna have a side that challenges for top4, we need more than saucy tactics from Arteta: we need to reconstruct our squad, specifically to improve our midfield and our chances created whilst maintaining our improved defensive record.

    In other words we need a better midfield.

    But we don’t have the cash to improve it without selling, and we don’t get reasonable money for sales without sacrificing good players.

    So if Arteta and Edu need to sell Martinez in order to reconstruct the squad, let them do it.

  32. The Godfather

    Not a knock against Leno but against the top teams we have never looked so calm and secure at the back and that’s partly due to the organization and confidence that Emil translates to the defense ….

    The Leno howler against Chelsea at home plus a number of others are a part of Leno’s legacy along with his great saves

  33. Captain Tierney

    Pedro

    Brilliant Piece.
    I get where you are coming from with the dual leadership approach, most of the time it does not work and I agree. And even though the club may maintain that Edu and Mikel are on the same, I don’t really think that’s the case. Mikel is clearly the more dominant figure and has now moved into a Wenger-like role.Edu was happy to be Raul’s no.2 and in this case I think he will be happy to be Mikel’s no.2

    I dont really think Edu is as meek as some might think as he reportedly pushed for Mikel, had a hand in starting the internal investigation which finally led to Raul being fired, and then was a part in firing a large no. of scouts and proposing redundancies.

    Problem arises when dual leadership is given to people like Sven and Raul. Polar opposites in the way they work and definitely not a good partnership. On the other hand Edu (from my outside perspective) feels like Mikel’s David Dein.

    Edu will be the one handling scouting, analysis, negotiations and all the other things that take place for a transfer to happen but the final decision to buy or a sell player will be Mikel’s (imo). We probably wont get into another situation where our head coach wants to sign a Zaha or Banega but the HOF goes out and gets Pepe and Torreira.

    What this does is allows Arteta to give maximum attention to the first team squad but also have the biggest say in who we sell/buy without having to also deal with the rumble jumble of the transfer market. Wenger tried to do all on his own and failed. Maybe it was a one man job in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s but its most definitely not a 1 man job in modern elite level football.

    The way I see it our structure is very much similar to what City have with Pep.
    Pep focuses only on the first team, decides which players he wants/doesnt want.
    Txiki their technical director goes out into the market and sells/buys players according to Pep’s wishes.
    Other areas of Txiki’s work involves finding young high potential players for their academy, overseeing the academy, setting up feeder clubs, loans for academy players, etc and all of these areas do not require Pep’s intervention.

    On a footballing note-
    I’m still not happy we are selling Emi and will be pissed if we go out and spend most of that money on a replacement backup. But if that money is used to push through a deal for Aouar then I can understand. Anyways, we must insert a 20-30% sell on clause because if he continues to perform the way he has in the past 15 games or so, he wont be at Villa park for long.

    And please, lets not forget we still have Leno. Behind a good defense he will most probably challenge Allisson for the title of the best GK in the league.

  34. Induct

    I support the idea of the bromance working between Edu and Mikel. I think it has to do with their aligned ideologies. If it were another coach, Edu won’t be on the low with such. He is not on the low but technically, both of them are still learning their jobs. I will want you to write something about the new coaches added to Mikel set up…. Thanks for this great read, always spot on.

  35. China1

    For me the main thing I care about is just us not being banter FC anymore

    We might fail at our targets and I can live with it as long as I feel the club was doing everything it could to be the best it could be. Arsenal haven’t done that since we left highbury.

    I can take the bad with the good as long as arsenal are just trying. You really do feel the club is trying right now.

  36. Biggles

    The promotion of Arteta seems daft to me. If Edu can’t fire Arteta and can’t have final say on transfers, then surely he’s just a glorified academy head?

  37. Samir

    If we sell Martinez for 20M, we’re going to have to buy a replacement?
    Apparently we’ve already bid 10M for Brentfords David Ray and it was rejected.

    I’d much rather keep Martinez than sell him and buy another GK for a similar price. Or if we’re going to sell him we should promote Macey.

  38. Uwot?

    Hello? Hello?anyone discussing what we REALLY NEED at this moment? Two midfielders at least & pronto.where are we with that?

  39. Nelson

    The problem lies with KSE. The club won’t sell Martinez if we were not so in need of fund.

    I was one of the few who criticized the way Arteta handled Guen. Now he is wondering why Guen’s value dropped so much.

  40. James

    Like a lot of you guys on here is be gutted to see Martinez go, he has that love for the club being here for so long. But 20m is 20m also Bellerin the same scenario another 35m for a player who yes loves the club but does pick up a lot of injuries.

    This is why I’d be inclined to keep AMN as he has more versatility but can fill in at RB. The next is Torriera if we get 26-28m for him were looking at 81m in the bank for purchases. Considering we allegidly offered 38.5m plus Guendouzi for Aouar, it appears we have that to spend before sales. Which would make sense because, forgive me if I’m wrong we offered the same for Partey a few months back. We would then have well over 110m to spend. This gives us the funds for Raya, Partey and Aouar and possibly another player.

    So in this scenario we know our squad is not up to it and these players have been here for most of our bad period. It may be time to say a fond farewell to these boys for the good of our club.

  41. Karsa

    If we accept offers on the table for Martinez. AMN, Torreira, and AN Other, we should be able to add two midfielders.

    And that’s before we attempt to unload the unwanted.

  42. Marc

    Pretty good piece Pedro.

    I have no idea what we’re going to see from Arsenal this season but we’re about to start finding out.

    What I do know for certain is that the goal posts for expectations has been moved and performances or results that would’ve seen Pedro call for Emery to be hung drawn and quartered (unfairly) will suddenly have excuses made and I’m sure “it was always going to be a rebuilding process” will be uttered several times this season.

    Basically stop using Pierre’s Ozil sock and give it back to him. And FFS wash it first!

  43. Steveyg87

    Arteta needs to hold his shit together and not sell Emi, if that is the difference between us signing Aouar or not, then fuck it. Cebellos was improving towards the end of last season and Gwen, as I mentioned before, has the ingredients to be world class. For once we have a keeper that you don’t have to shit yourself when opposition is closing in on our box. Why mess with that??

    Stand strong Mikel!!

  44. Marc

    Arteta is caught between a rock and a hard place with the goal keeping situation. If he sticks with Leno and Martinez kicks on at Villa Arteta will be slaughtered for letting a good player leave – especially if Leno concedes a goal that people perceive Martinez would’ve saved.

    If we keep Martinez as No 1 and it turns out that it was a purple patch Arteta will be slaughtered for not getting the money and using it to strengthen a squad that desperately needs it.

  45. Steveyg87

    “If we accept offers on the table for Martinez. AMN, Torreira, and AN Other, we should be able to add two midfielders.”

    Thank goodness you don’t make the decisions at Arsenal

  46. Marc

    Uwot

    “Hello? Hello?anyone discussing what we REALLY NEED at this moment? Two midfielders at least & pronto.where are we with that?”

    100% agree and that’s assuming Auba is going to sign.

  47. Jamie

    Romero and Caballero are the two elite EPL backup keepers who have restricted Emi to exactly zero international senior caps.

    I like Emi too, but £20m for him is incredible business. Especially if we can throw that money at Partey/Aouar.

  48. Holmes

    I’m not sure people are bothering to moan about selling Martinez.

    Yes, we need two quality first-team goalkeepers. But Martinez doesn’t want to be one of them. He wants to be the team’s number one, and that’s Leno, plain and simple.

    Therefore, if he’s not happy playing as one of our two keepers… and there’s an offer on the table… and we’re sorely in need of funds to strengthen midfield – then all you can do is sell him and try and get the best price for him.

    Moaning about keeping him is pointless, he doesn’t want to share the goalkeeping role with Leno. Fair play to him and good luck to him. If we can squeeze £25M that would be lovely.

  49. Steveyg87

    Marc

    As a B2B CM, attitude aside, he was great for us last season and doesn’t hide. The only thing I didn’t like about him was that he hung on to the ball too long that used to stagnate our transition between defence and attack, giving the opposition time to fall back in to position, Arteta can coach that out of him

  50. HighburyLegend

    Some very good news!!
    After all this time, we start to look like a proper football club again… better late than never, I guess.

    “Mikel Arteta has told Willian he wants to win the Champions League in 3 seasons”
    Sorry, but this one made me laugh hard… I mean, it’s great to have big ambitions, but we have to stay a bit realistic.

  51. Marc

    Steve

    I’m not so sure. He looked raw but had potential in his first season but never kicked on in his second. I just don’t see what his main strength is – tackling – not great, passing not great – runs round a lot doesn’t get goals or assists.

    I just don’t see what this “amazing player” has or does. It seems neither do the scouts and managers of other clubs.

  52. Steveyg87

    Karsa

    One decent CM at most (not Elneny). For once we have a Ace goal keeper that dominates the box, he pisses over every goal keeper we have had the last 15 years

  53. Marc

    Highbury

    That means that Arteta is planning to win the CL in his first attempt because no one on here seems to think CL football is a guarantee for next season.

  54. Steveyg87

    Marc

    I don’t wanna play the youth card but….

    and I think our results and where we ended on the table are also obscuring your view a bit

  55. Karsa

    One decent CM at most (not Elneny). For once we have a Ace goal keeper that dominates the box, he pisses over every goal keeper we have had the last 15 years

    I hope you’re right.

    Personally I think we have a decent loan player in there and that’s about it. Two additional midfielders for me if we are to challenge for the top 4.

    Martinez has been great over a small collection of games behind closed doors. That’s not enough imo to base our goalkeeping future. I’d love to keep him but it’s clear he won’t stay if not given the No 1 jersey.

  56. Dissenter

    Regardless of what sides you’re on in the Leno vs Martinez debate. [I preferred Emi to Leno]
    Don’t forget that Emi forced his exit, he put the club in a position where they just had to sell him.
    £15 million is good business for a reserve goalie who was only in the shop window for 3 months.The draw back is that we have to get a replacement and I expect that Brentford will want £7-10 million for David Raya who looks like he has lots of errors in his game. Raya is only 6 feet tall, just reminds you of Ospina

  57. shad

    I like how some here are saying £20m is a pittance when only 3 months ago, his value was probably a quarter of that.

    The reality is, Martinez has great attributes and seems to have come out of his shell but that doesn’t immediately make Leno garbage. A better defence and a more dominant midfield automatically means the keeper has less to do, by keeping the pressure on the front foot. Leno actually reminds me of Casillas, and look at how many games were worn by the outfield players.

    Martinez has forced the move and remember he gets a longer contract for better pay even if he is taking a significant downgrade of a club. I’d have preferred he dukes it out by maybe negotiating for the first 10 games then see if they rotate..

    Bottomline is our midfield is garbage and if it means making a net sale of £10 to £12m to boost the coffers, then so be it.

  58. bennydevito

    Great post Pedro,

    I see Edu to Arteta as Dein to Wenger. Arteta’s in charge and Edu does all the donkey work of transfers etc allowing Arteta to focus on the Football. Sounds like a great setup to me.

    Regarding Martinez, I can understand the frustration but if we need the money to improve our midfield then I guess it’s the most sensible thing to do. Me personally I wouldn’t mind seeing him go to Villa on loan for the season and see how he performs over a whole season as no 1, and see if Leno gets injured again or fails to improve his catching or command of the box. Then we can decide who to keep and who to sell.

    Guns of sf and Shad; thanks for joining my LG fantasy football league.

    Does anybody else fancy it? Pedro, Champagne, Charlie G, Marko, Marc, gambon, Freddie, China, Bamford, Dissenters, anyone else? It’s good fun. The pin is w0tsdq. Link below.

    https://fantasy.premierleague.com/leagues/auto-join/w0tsdq

    Go to the official Premier league fantasy football and create a team. Then join private league.

    Thanks to a few others who’ve joined it as well. There’s about 5 so far but the more the better.

  59. TR7

    Even if you keep aside who is better between Leno and Martinez debate, selling Martinez and bringing in Raya doesn’t boost our coffers by much.

  60. Pedro

    Marc, I don’t understand why you are so obsessed with Emery justice. He gave us our worst start in 38 years after spending 150m. I said he was a bum and he proved it. A total non-entity. Thiago said he cost PSG 2 years.

    Arteta has been here since Dec and he has 2 trophies. The goal posts are different because the world changed and so did the club.

  61. Bamford10

    I hope Edu’s remark about being patient means he and Arteta have every intention of bringing in two or more first-XI quality players before October 5th. I do not see the current squad, as is, competing for top four.

  62. shad

    Pedro,

    In a nutshell, you don’t see Edu as being the best fit for DoF as per the “whispers”? Because you don’t fancy a power-sharing structure, but don’t want Mr Sauce to be invested in all the power lest he slowly morphs into Wenger. And given Edu has shat the bed with his Kia dealings…

    Ammarite?

  63. shad

    I do not see the current squad, as is, competing for top four.

    Me neither. Maybe 5th or 6th given we have players in key positions yet to bed in and play..

  64. DivineSherlock

    Mikel Arteta + Edu = Arsene Wenger + David Dein .

    Looks likely this is gonna work . Sven and Raul had friction between them and clashing work philosophies. Edu and Arteta seems they are on the same page .

  65. Words on a Blog

    Pedro/Marc,

    Marc is obsessed because he’s known around here for being a Social Justice Warrior, specialising in justice and redress for “protagonists” such as foreign football managers with dodgy accents.

  66. China1

    I think Guen is a hard worker and has a winning mentality which I like but his play is short of elite in every category so I won’t be sad one ounce if we get 20+m for him

    Maybe he will kick on at some point but he’d have to improve a fair chunk and be much more consistent to be a player we should care about losing. Even with our midfield considered as awful, he shouldn’t be in the starting 11 which tells you something imo

  67. China1

    And yeah lenos time will be far easier now we aren’t conceding 2000000 shots a game like we were under emery. That shit was ridiculous for a GK to come up against at this level

    We need him to just make a couple of good saves a game and work on his catching and distribution. I don’t want to see the arsenal defense letting the opposition take shooting practice ever again. That was just awful

  68. raptora

    Pedro: “Thiago said he cost PSG 2 years.”

    Correction. His agent did.

    Emery was a dud though. I wanted him to work but he was clueless.

    With that being said Arteta has made gigantic errors in-game. Wrong subs, not changing anything when we are leading but the opponents are taking control of the game, wrong game plan. I obviously liked a lot of what I saw, especially in the final run of games. I hope he does better this season since the FAC is nice but a sign of an obvious improvement will be finishing in top 4.

  69. China1

    The key thing right now is you at least believe arteta cares about winning and edu and Vinai want to do their jobs rather than just making this a vanity project

    That’s in stark reality to what we’ve suffered under wenger, Ivan and Raul respectively

  70. Bamford10

    Pedro

    I think you would find that if you adopted a more reasonable and moderate line on Emery and Sanllehi, you would get less push-back from certain folks. I have no interest in getting involved in these battles again, but as long as you continue to represent (i) Emery as an unmitigated and incompetent disaster who was the sole reason for our struggles last season and the previous and (ii) Sanllehi as a disgraced and villainous conduit for super-agents, you are going to get push-back. And you are going to get push-back on these points because these are not reasonable positions supported by the evidence.

    This is all I am going to say on the matter. Hopefully.

  71. GunnerDNA

    Pedro,

    Get off the fence, you was against the power sharing job at AFC months ago and now you’re trying to make excuse for it. You already trying to find excuses if things go south by saying people aren’t impressed with Edu. Then in the next line you stating that he hired Mikel which he should be commended for it. The fact of the matter is all these jokers are novice and will be judged on what the Club deliver in the PL campaign, football is not a political campaign. Let’s see how it unfolds before we start hero worshiping campaign! Roberto Di Matteo has a CL and FA Cup medal as a manager, I hope that doesn’t go over the fan base head!

  72. Marko

    Edu and Mikel are on the same level in a shared football leadership role

    And then goes on to say

    Let’s have this clear: Power sharing does not work.

    So which is it? Because you’re contradicting yourself. Luckily though it’s not power sharing. Sure Mikel is more involved and influential than a normal head coach but it’s Edu who’s running things. He is the point of reference for a lot of things on the playing side.

  73. Marc

    Pedro

    “Marc, I don’t understand why you are so obsessed with Emery justice.”

    I don’t give a shit about Emery he’s gone. You are completely missing my point all managers (staff in fact) should be judge on an equal footing. I’m not advocating justice for Emery I’m advocating an impartial assessment of managers – whether they be Wenger, Emery or Arteta.

    Basically I’m saying you will make excuses for Arteta.

  74. Willian dollar baby

    Benny,

    Top lad for doing a fantasy premier league Im secretly obsessed with that game!

    Also on the martinez front no one else think it would be a good idea just to loan him out for a season then after both keepers have had a full year as no1’s we can make an informed decision.

    As 20 million for a really good keeper seems pretty cheap given Chelsea paid 70 mill for kipper!

  75. DivineSherlock

    The thing about Martinez is that if Leno hadnt been injured would he then had ever displaced him ? If we are selling him Arsenal need to make sure Leno doesnt drop his standards . Buy someone who doesnt let Leno rest easy .

  76. Marc

    Benny

    Truth is I can’t stand fantasy football pisses me off no end to be in a pub with a mate who’s happy because some cretin scored for Chelsea (as an example) because he’s in their fantasy football team.

    Other teams and other players are the enemy I cannot support them unless their playing for a team I dislike even more.

    Sorry mate!

  77. Steveyg87

    “I see Edu to Arteta as Dein to Wenger. Arteta’s in charge and Edu does all the donkey work of transfers etc allowing Arteta to focus on the Football. Sounds like a great setup to me.”

    Lets hope!

  78. Redtruth

    I see the excusemongers are out in force.

    If Chelsea can win the title in 2017 after finishing 10th the previous season then the bare minimum for Arsenal is to finish top 4.this season.

  79. raptora

    I got the notion that Arteta got promoted in a way that he has a say on joining and leaving players. That’s all. I didn’t get the notion that Arteta and Edu are on the same level of the food chain. But Arteta will have a say on player transfers. And before the head coach didn’t have a say on transfers.

  80. Pedro

    Shad, I don’t think a club should invest power in a manager like we’ve just done. It show there’s a problem in the system in my opinion. Managers should have a say, no doubt, but they shouldn’t be on the same level as a TD.

  81. China1

    I don’t think we should expect any particular position, what we should expect is clear progress. That’s all you can seriously ask for

    You could get 75 points and come 5th (major improvement, but no CL) or you could get that many points and come 3rd. It would be the same achievement from arsenal either way but a different reward based entirely on what the other teams do.

    You can’t control what other teams do, only yourself. If arsenal are notably better next season it’s a job well done. If we come 4th but look quite dodgy and only got it because the other teams all shit the bed then I won’t be impressed

    But that’s not me making an excuse for arteta, I’ve always said this. Context is what matters. It’s why us coming second a few years back didn’t impress me given in those days we should’ve been aiming for more points

  82. Vickingz

    We were all here seeing how uncomfortable leno was playing out from the back, we saw how he was easily dominated in his box for aerial balls, we all witnessed his errors and saw how good he was on one on one situations, we all know he doesn’t read game perfectly as I can’t remember if he ever started a counter attack but Emi covers all these so well. This season is upon us, I just hope we haven’t as usual handcuffed ourselves again even before the season starts

  83. Pedro

    Marko, you have to reread the blog if you can’t follow the narrative. Take it slowly, then see if you need to ask the question again.

    Bamford, I adopted the necessary line, and I was right. I don’t need to take a special line for people that refuse to accept what happened.

    GunnerDNA, again, we have been here quite a lot… you spent the best part of 8 months calling Arteta a novice, claiming he’d not moved us forward. Now we’ve won two trophies and you are worried that at some future date, I might make excuses. Is that where we are right now, that because I don’t believe the club is 100% perfect… that might be an excuse?

    Weak sauce.

  84. Tee

    “Martinez played in front of hostile fans at Eintracht Frankfurt last season. He was sensational”

    Was sensational yet frankfurt didn’t bid for him.

  85. Champagne Charlie

    Banford

    With respect, who flew closer to the truth?

    Pedro who was against Raul and dismissed Emery in talent and suitability, or you, who *insert whatever view you had on Raul* and claimed Emery a top manager who was overachieving?

    Bit rich to offer tips to Pedro about what positions he should’ve held way back when.

  86. China1

    Vickingz leno was one of our best players consistently since he joined

    He made more saves than any other keeper in the PL since he joined us and many of those he had no right to make.

    He made a few mistakes along the way and somehow those few >>>> the significant number of times he saved our asses singlehandedly

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

    -Every player will occasionally make a mistake. What maters is the frequency
    -Judging a keeper by mistakes/matches makes no sense because some keepers were only being tested 3 times a game whilst Leno was playing with no defense or midfield and making several great saves a game. The more times you touch the ball the higher the number of mistakes. It’s true in every position

    Those who score the most goals also usually take the most shots and u surprisingly miss the most too. These stats are typically closely correlated

  87. TR7

    Mikel on Martinez

    “We have some really good players in many different positions and some of them are duplicated. Obviously clubs come to us and are interested in getting our players.

    “It’s very difficult to promise our players game time or that they will be first choice. So it’s part of this period in the market. We try to manage the situation as well as we can.

    “What the players expectations are and what we can achieve with them at the club. We are making decisions towards that”

    Looks like Martinez is pushing for a move rather than Arsenal offloading him for money.

  88. Marc

    “Now we’ve won two trophies”

    Can we please stop talking about winning a trophy when referring to the Charity Shield or whatever it’s called now. It’s was great to beat Liverpool but it doesn’t mean we’re about to challenge for the title.

  89. Graham62

    China1

    You nearly sold it to me but not quite.

    There is something about Leno that has always bugged me.

    One things for sure, every time the opposition have a corner or free kick or put in a high cross, I’ll be getting my prayer mat out.

  90. GunnerDNA

    For the record Martinez had some good performance when Leno got injured but he hasn’t done enough to be guaranteed starter something that he’s probably demanding to sign a new contract. I think it would be in the Clubs best interest to keep him but if Villa are prepared to offer 20+ mil for him, Arsenal should sell him. Teams don’t win PL titles with good back up GKs when their midfield is rubbish. To guarantee him starting position over Leno who’s arguably Arsenal best player since he joined the club is madness. What most don’t understand is that the Clubs that would be bidding for Leno if he was available are some of the best teams in Europe not Aston Villa. So lets get all that out the way.

  91. Chika

    Arteta on links with Aouar at Lyon: I don’t want to talk about players at other clubs that are not our players.

    Haha Wenger esque.

  92. Marc

    “last season you were spinning losing in the Europa as a thing”

    Er how did I do that?

    Talking about the Charity Shield being a trophy is the sort of thing Mourinho does.

  93. GunnerDNA

    Pedro,

    “Marc, come on, last season you were spinning losing in the Europa as a thing”

    A better Chelsea team dominated and beat Arsenal in the Europa League final. Two pensioners from that same Chelsea squad are now starters for Arsenal team. Surprise!

  94. raptora

    It is Martinez forcing the club’s hand. He wants to be named as Arsenal #1 or he’s going to leave. Club can’t name him as the absolute #1 so he wants out. It’s how things go.

    Truth be told, I like Leno a lot. And he was indeed Arsenal’s best player up until he got injured. But with Emi as our GK I felt at least 10% safer. He earned that feeling through the many games he played last year. Wonder if Martinez had anything to do with our stability in defence or was it all on Arteta and the rest of the team defending better as a whole.

  95. China1

    Graham at the end of the day I prefer Martinez

    Martinez is quality and also a unit which is great. I’d love to see Martinez saliba Gabriel Mari all in the same defensive unit lol because it would be massive

    But my point is just that Leno has some weaknesses but his strengths are significant and you need to put his mistakes on the context of the sheer number of times he’s been left exposed .

    If you looked at fat franks shots off target stat throughout most seasons I bet it would be very cringeworthy, but when laid up against the number of goals he scored every year, those missed punts have perspective and his overall contribution was clearly very positive to Chelsea.

    When people linger on those few mistakes Leno has made I think it does his contribution a disservice

  96. Jay

    I think if they ended the home grown player rule, most English players would be playing in the championship and league 1 football. players like jadon sancho won’t be valued at £100 million anymore.

  97. Marko

    Arteta on Martinez & Ozil: “We have some really good players in many different positions. Some of them are complicated & obviously, clubs come to us & are interested in our players. Its very difficult to promise players game time or to be the first choice”

    He’s just not first choice

  98. Jay

    West Ham are in talks with Jack Wilshere to terminate the midfielder’s £100k aweek contract, talkSPORT.

    Not to long ago arsenal”s fans wanted to give him a new contract with a pay rise and make him club captain.

  99. Marko

    Marko, you have to reread the blog if you can’t follow the narrative. Take it slowly, then see if you need to ask the question again.

    I read it fine. Actual quotes and all.

  100. Left testicle

    Arteta says Aubameyang’s strike partner Alexandre Lacazette is also set to stay following talks with the club.

    “He is really happy here,” said Arteta. “He wants to keep improving and contributing to the team. I know how good he is and the impact he’s having.

    “He knows about the competition he has as well with the front players. He needs to demand himself to be the best striker at this football club, the same as the rest. He was very happy to hear that.

    “The way he has been training and conducting himself has been excellent.”

  101. Left testicle

    “Matteo has been training like any other player in the squad,” said Arteta when asked about the player in his pre-Fulham press conference.

    “It is a new season and we had some really positive conversations between both parties, now he’s back with the group, he is training really well.

    “He went to France to play with the under-21s last week and played really well again, and he is here.”

  102. Marko

    Talking about the Charity Shield being a trophy is the sort of thing Mourinho does.

    Or pierre when he talks about Wenger. Wait…is Arteta to Pedro what Wenger is to Pierre? Wow. Tune in next week when I solve the mystery of the zodiac killer.

  103. Jay

    Jack Wilshere told to drop down to Championship after West Ham exit as Arsenal legend Ray Parlour says Bournemouth return is ‘ideal’

    He played hes best football in the championship for Bolton.

  104. Marc

    Left

    Arteta is really worrying me that he can’t let players go – Laca’s got 2 years left on his contract we need to make difficult decisions especially if we want to fix midfield.

    How do we sensibly accommodate Auba, Laca, Nketiah, Pepe, Saka, Willian and Nelson into the team? I’m all for having strength in depth but this is beginning to look like the CB situation.

    I haven’t even bothered to include Ozil or the links to Edouard.

  105. Marko

    Marc I don’t think it’s playing favourites I think it’s more of a case of knowing Leno is the better keeper he’s shown it throughout his career and that’s that really.

    Has to be said Arsenal the only club in england cash strapped and in need of sales to fund transfers and they’re thinking twice about getting 20 million for a backup keeper. Not one single club would do that.