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

by .

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. Marc

    Could we offer any of our surplus players in part exchange to Celtic?

    Even if it was a loan for a season maybe Holding, Chambers or even Nketiah.

  2. Freddie Ljungberg

    TR7

    That sounds really low, their fans would riot if they sold him that cheaply. Think it’ll take another 5-10m. Worth it imo, then we have our succesion plan for Auba sorted and we’re stronger from the off too.

    Auba – Eduoard -Pepe frontline could be really scary.

  3. Freddie Ljungberg

    Marc

    He would do better than Ozil there, of course but don’t think he’s suited to that position. He needs to run into space more and not have to collect the ball in our own half all the time and dribble 3-4 players. A competent midfield would really help with that.

  4. Champagne Charlie

    “What do you think will happen to Fat Frank if they miss out on top 4?“

    Depends entirely on the context of their season. If you’re asking if I think they’ll sack him for missing out regardless then no, I don’t.

    You don’t put a young manager in charge and expect returns come what may. They’ll have expectations ramped up thanks to their spending, but it’s never black and white and a simple case of ‘CL or you’re out’. Not at a serious project anyway.

    Arteta won’t be measured solely on whether he delivers CL football, there’ll be great consideration in overall progress from the side in multiple aspects. Emery missed out on CL, but nobody could make a genuine case for us improving over the season, or getting closer to a vision of the future and this was significant in what ultimately came to be – despite embarrassing talk of extensions from the Don.

  5. Marc

    Freddie

    That’s why I’m so wound up at the moment. This season is going to be fucked up with what’s going on. We are a couple of good CM’s away from being able to really take advantage and nail top 4.

    Unload some of the dross this summer, get Ozil off the wage bill next summer and we’re really cooking.

  6. crimson

    Read somewhere that Lyon has a pretty big clause in Lacazettes contract, something like 25% sell on fee. Which would severally decrease our money if he is sold. Anybody know what would happen to that clause if its part of a swap deal??
    Personally I would keep him.

  7. Receding Hairline

    “Yes RH, no one breaks down numbers so they have context when debating sport.”

    We have been down this path before, your love for numbers that back up a particular point you are promoting and discarding same numbers when they don’t support your argument. Not interested in that particular back and forth.

  8. Marc

    CC

    I was partly taking the piss out of Pedro but if Chelsea miss out I wouldn’t be in the slightest surprised if they sacked Lampard in fact I’d be more surprised if the didn’t.

    Arsenal are A) in a slightly different situation and B) it’s not how we operate historically.

    I don’t expect Arteta to be sacked until Autumn 2021!

  9. CG

    Cha Cha

    “”””””Arteta won’t be measured solely on whether he delivers CL football, “””””””””

    You are having a laugh.

    Well what he is measured on? Calf muscles ? Or whether he can accumulate more center backs?

    CL or bust. For him, for Fat Frank, for Jose for Rogers, for Ancelloti.

    If none of them can’t stand the heat- get out of the kitchen and don’t become a manager and become a technical director instead.

  10. Marc

    crimsom

    No idea on the sell on clause but the problem with Laca is he’s down to 2 years on his contract at £180k per week. We need to sell or get him to resign and would you want to offer him an increase on £180k per week?

  11. Champagne Charlie

    Marc

    Hence my ‘serious project’ remark. Chelsea rarely show signs of operating in that fashion and look for progress through market brutality over anything serious or nurturing.

    Arsenal aren’t basing their verdict of Arteta on CL football alone as some have written. It’s simply not how it is.

  12. Pedro

    RH,

    On any level. ANY LEVEL. It is an absurdity that you’d try and make out that there’s some sort of black magic at hand when I’m saying Arteta’s points total is relevant to a comment about Arteta’s Premier League record.

    You are right, we’ve been down this path before. You don’t believe in numbers. In sport of all places. That is an extremist view. You are a flat earther.

  13. Marc

    Pedro

    I think Receeding’s point is there’s such a thing as too many stats that end up blinding people to what’s actually happening in front on them.

    After all there’s blogger’s, damned blogger’s and statistics!

  14. Luteo Guenreira

    Alright, it’s the day before the season starts and I’ve gone through Arsenal’s PL fixture list twice, once with a generally positive frame of mind, and the latter with a distinctly negative.

    On the record though I’m going to remain positive for this season and go with the former estimate. I am guessing a total of 76 points for Arsenal this year, which I think will be enough to grab 4th. Still see City and Liverpool as a level above the others though, and United, Arsenal, Chelsea fighting for the other two spots.

    I think with football economics being the way they are, this is a season where the bigger clubs distinguish themselves at the top of the table. Everton doesn’t count.

  15. Receding Hairline

    What should we base our Arteta verdict on since champions league football seems off the table?

    Defensive solidity?

    Expansive entertaining football?

    Both?

    Player development?

    I mean most of the comments on here express excitement on the coming season and how we are now on the up….what do you expect from the new season to maintain this upward trajectory?

  16. Marc

    CC

    Seriously I think it would take a fuck up of such monumental proportions for it to even be on Arsenal’s radar to sack Arteta this season that you’d be looking at a lot more than just Arteta getting the boot.

    However at some point the excuses do have to run out for Arteta and he needs to get us back in the CL.

  17. Receding Hairline

    “However at some point the excuses do have to run out for Arteta and he needs to get us back in the CL.”

    Just hope some will be specific on when that point is.

    On one hand we are told the Arteta premier league table placed us fifth a few points off third last season, from the other side of the same lips we are told not to expect top four this season. I mean what’s the point of the half season table if you are not willing to set expectations using it

  18. Tom

    Arteta will be judged on improving league position, points tally, and implementation of distinctive and coherent style of football associated with an attacking brand fans long for.

    As long as he delivers on that front his job will be secure, regardless whether he meets the CL goals set out by the club or not.

    Emery tanking the league position before being let go was his best parting gift to the next Arsenal manager.

  19. Pierre

    .marc
    “Could Pepe be used as a CAM?”

    I take you expect Arteta to change the way the team plays.

    A CAM is redundant in the present system as nothing is played into feet in the centre or final third of the pitch..

    95% of our attacking play is down or close to the flanks and that isn’t a conservative estimate.

    Fulham tomorrow ….will Arteta trust our midfield to receive the ball under pressure or will he continue with the low risk football..

    I think if we can nick a goal early on then we may see a more expansive performance, if not then I can’t see us taking too many risks with our passing.

    Fulham will probably be quite negative in their play so the onus will be on Arsenal to try and open them up.

    An early goal from either side will make it a better spectacle I believe..

  20. Champagne Charlie

    Marc

    Quite simple from my POV, the club should expect a dramatically improved performance level and competitiveness for the top 4 throughout this season, and further signs of improvement in the next.

    Whether we land in the competition will be dependent on numerous factors both in our control and some outside of which. But ideally we’ll witness improvement enough for the club to feel more encouraged to back the project and vision Arteta has for us.

    I denigrated Klopp for his 4th place returns when looking at it from afar, but it wasn’t until I looked at it with a keener interest that he’d shown the sort of progress that earned him more and more clout at the club who foresaw where they might be ‘end game’ under him. The scenario is comparable here with us now, and the ball is in Arteta’s court to deliver those sort of returns, hopefully with CL football in tandem.

    It’s a good time to be a gooner once again though, I’ll say that much.

  21. Champagne Charlie

    “On one hand we are told the Arteta premier league table placed us fifth a few points off third last season, from the other side of the same lips we are told not to expect top four this season. I mean what’s the point of the half season table if you are not willing to set expectations using it“

    Everyone knows the angle you’re covering.

  22. Marc

    Pierre

    Well I think Arteta needs to “up” the way we play against weaker teams and look to be more aggressive / dominant.

    My thoughts on Pepe were could he play in more of a free role – he’s certainly unpredictable and can beat a player. Not saying it would work just a stray thought on a Friday afternoon.

  23. Marc

    Pedro

    “Tom, I’d love to see a more refined identity this season. We’re resolute, but we need to be expansive.”

    Yeah but should we be resolutely expansive or expansively resolute.

  24. Champagne Charlie

    Apparently Martinez is out of tomorrow’s squad with more than one interested club for his signature. Believed to be Brighton.

    That’s Villa and Brighton in for our diamond goalkeeper.

  25. andy1886

    If the offer to Celtic is accurate it’s going to be a long drawn out saga again and one in which a counter bidder could snatch him from us. Even in today’s market I’d say that £20m + add ons is about £10m too light.

  26. Receding Hairline

    “I think if we can nick a goal early on then we may see a more expansive performance, if not then I can’t see us taking too many risks with our passing.”

    Pierre i think we may see the reverse of that, an early goal might lead to us adopting a low block and hoping to catch them on the counter, i don’t see it making us take more risks in the way we play,

  27. Receding Hairline

    “That’s Villa and Brighton in for our diamond goalkeeper.

    Two clubs every top player aspires to play for.

    Wonder when Chelsea come in with a 50m pound bid seeing as we are about to throw away the season by selling our best goal keeper ever

  28. Champagne Charlie

    Andy

    You only get people in for players who have scope for leaving, there’s nobody in for Mo Salah either.

    If Leno had a door half open it wouldn’t be relegation threatened sides looking for a recruit.

  29. salparadisenyc

    Don’t really get the Martinez stick.. dude came in and balled the season out without setting a foot wrong. Only reason this debate exist is fact he was that good.

  30. Receding Hairline

    “If Leno put’s even the smallest foot wrong tomorrow and it’s going to be murder on here.”

    It’s all set up for us failing to score against Brighton/Villa due to Martinez heroics while Leno flaps a cross and hands them a 1-0 win. The internet isn’t ready.

  31. Champagne Charlie

    “Why a dig on Martinez ?“

    No dig at Martinez, just a poke at some of the hyperbolic sentiment that’s come his way on here. Some love drunk appraisals that don’t stand up to reality it would seem.

  32. Luteo Guenreira

    It really is going to be tough on Leno. Not just tomorrow, but likely the whole season. Arsenal beat Pool, City, Chelsea and won an FA Cup with Emi in goal, fans will not soon forget that. Even if Leno performs at a 8/10 for ten straight PL matches to start the season, it’s not going to register nearly on the same scale as what Emi did. Whether that’s fair or not doesn’t really matter, and even after that kind of start the moment Leno slips a little bit fans will be clamouring for Martinez.

    Of course Emi could go to Villa and start giving up a couple goals per game too.

  33. Batistuta

    If we add one more body in midfield, you’d be hard pressed to not be expecting top 4 this season or at least winning the Europa league to get back in. I expected that in Emery’s first season and same with this one for Arteta. We surely can’t do without champions league football and finance next season no matter how much linear improvement or whatever lingo you’d wanna use.

  34. Dissenter

    We are relying too much on Auba to score goals.
    Hope the Edouard rumors are true and that Laca is in fact leaving.
    Celtic have to sell a top player e’very season to stay healthy.

  35. Luteo Guenreira

    Yes that’s the only reason why we beat them, because Emi was in goal

    People give credit to whoever they want, your dull musings condemning that kind of thought doesn’t make it any less prevalent. Welcome to reality, your hairline is already there waiting for you.

  36. TR7

    Receding

    ‘Considering some of the knee jerk stuff written here on Martinez that was a rather kind dig.’

    I don’t know. I have nothing but admiration for the guy. Toiled hard to make a good career for himself and finally he is getting some recognition. Performed so well that we did not miss our no 1 GK when he was out injured and he loves the club too. As for fan’s reaction, there is no denying he instills calmness and shows authority in the way he handles, catches and distributes the ball and some people value that more than they value exceptional ability to make great saves and that’s ok I reckon.

  37. Champagne Charlie

    Celtic have no CL money this season, they’re not getting 35 million for anyone.

    Would be smart to keep poking that one, they aren’t turning their noses up at a decent bid this window and will have no issue leaving it until deadline day because Edouard has effectively been replaced already.

    Arsenal doing the right thing to go low, if true, wouldn’t expect any movement on a deal there for two weeks at least. Will all depend on Laca.

  38. Dissenter

    This Emi debate is so stale.
    He showed he’s too good to be a second choice in the narrow window that he got. He also forced the club’s hands after that interview he gave the Argentine radio station and his refusal to sign an extension.
    The club had no choice but to sell him, which is exactly what Emi wanted. We got a fantastic deal for him, more than we hit for Szcezny and Vito Mannone combined together.
    He had to go because the club can’t just fold under a player’s implicit power play.

  39. TR7

    Alexandre Lacazette: “I am at Arsenal, I signed a 5-year contract to progress & win titles. I have another 2 years. I am determined to stay.”

    Interviewer: “Is that definitive?”

    Lacazette: “On my part, yes.” (L’Éq)

    Interviewer: “But when you read that Arsenal want to put you in a deal with Atlético Madrid for Thomas Partey, that must make you happy?”

    Alexandre Lacazette: “If that is true, no, that does not make me happy.”

  40. Batistuta

    Pedro

    Both ideally but a 6 probably means Ceballos is pushed further up the pitch so I’d be okay with that. Not hoping or anything but if Arteta can get Ozil to even 50/60% that would be great

  41. Karsa

    a 6 or an 8?

    I’d prefer both, but having to choose…I’d take a 6. I think we’re capable of creating more chances this season than last with Willian, Ceballos, and another few weeks of coaching, and a quality 6 will allow us to be more expansive.

    Having said that I suspect Arteta would prefer an 8.

  42. Luteo Guenreira

    If what Lacazette says is any indication, it’s going to be hard to move him on. Same with Guendouzi if the news he rejected three offers is true. I think we forget that a lot of these deals aren’t only dependent on the club working to sell, the players have to be willing to move as well.

  43. Receding Hairline

    Luteo in case you haven’t noticed credit for those wins has gone to the head coach, he got promotes to First team manager off it and made the decision Leno is his number one.

    Poor attempt at a dig over the hairline but then you are generally a poor poster

  44. Luteo Guenreira

    RH

    I don’t how you arrive to the conclusions you do, you seem so hell bent on finding an angle to argue about that you forget basic comprehension skills. So you think because Arteta was promoted and he chose Leno, fans will just think that’s the right move? Have you even read the first page of the comments?

    All I was saying is that Leno is gonna find a lot of criticism coming his way regardless of the performance he puts in. What the fuck does Arteta getting promoted have to do with any of this?

  45. Marc

    I think the midfield debate between a 6 or an 8 where some are pushing for more creativity is missing the angle that we were ultra cautious last season under Arteta because midfield was so vulnerable to counter attacks. A more secure base means other players can push forward more or take more risks.

    Truth is both are required or players who can do both – Vieira / Petit but can we afford both? Not when we’re turning down bids for bit part players like AMN.

  46. Pierre

    No Martinez , who is our better keeper in the air.
    No Mustafi who is our best header of a ball.

    Also no Luiz , which leaves us with Holding , Tierney and one of Saliba or Gabriel as all the others are injured I do believe..

    If Fulham do not put a few early balls in the box to test the water, then they will have missed a trick.

    Saliba looks good on the ball but I think he may have a weak heading technique.

    Whereas Gabriel looks the business in the air , powerful , dominant, good timing , a good leap and seems to relish the physical side of the game .

    Will be interesting to see who Arteta goes with as Mitrivic , with the right service , can be a handful …especially in the air.

  47. RockyRoe

    We finished 4 points off Chelsea and United if you do a half-season table.

    Pedro,

    This is so peak wenger!! Like when he was telling the media after our 10-2 against bayern, that if you look at only the 1st half of the 2 matches we were winning.

    Did you consider those comments as situational stay worthy to be reflected upon?

    ——

    KT, comes across as such a humble straight forward guys, kinda like the old fashioned neighbourhood footballers. Definitely getting KT on my 3rd kit.

  48. Luteo Guenreira

    Why would he get any criticism if the team is doing well or if he’s doing well Luteo?

    Because for a lot of the fans, he’s simply not the one that wanted to stay. And even if he does well up to that point, the moment he slips up in a big matchup against Pool, City, Chelsea, or if we get to a cup final and we lose, then those same fans will be talking about Martinez, no doubt about it.

    I wouldn’t even wait that long though. The first time Leno punches a cross that might have been caught, we’ll hear it. Honestly we’re hearing it now even with just the consideration he might be sold.

  49. Tom

    “ I’d love to see a more refined identity this season. We’re resolute, but we need to be expansive”

    Pedro, while I don’t think you necessarily need expensive players to play expensive football, you definitely have to have a well defined roster to implement one.

    Once the window shuts and everyone knows where they stand , then we can start demanding more of that from Arteta.

  50. CG

    “”””That’s Villa and Brighton in for our diamond goalkeeper.””””””

    both beat Artetas Arsenal last year post lockdown, ill add.

  51. Receding Hairline

    Yes explaining a joke always makes it funnier

    You just reeled off some nice big games displays from the coach and the team and wrote them off as done with Emi in goal like that was the only reason that happened, well Arteta not assuring him a number one spot in goal points to him not buying that simplistic view points.

    Leno will do just fine in the empty stadiums Martinez found his mojo in

  52. Luteo Guenreira

    RH

    I really don’t think you’re understanding, I’m not advocating for Emi over Leno, and I understand all that. I’m talking about how fans react. Honestly please try to understand what someone is staying. You’re arguing with me over something I’m not even thinking.

  53. andy1886

    No hyperbole to say that someone prefers a ‘keeper that commands the box, claims crosses and is good at one-on-ones to an alternative ‘keeper that is a great shot stopper but who is poorer in the air and with set-pieces is it?

    Two different ‘keepers with different attributes.

    If the decision proves to be a wrong one I suspect that the manager/technical director will get the flack, not the player.

  54. Champagne Charlie

    Luteo

    You’re not wrong, that’ll be a stick handily within arms reach for many on Leno now so can’t wait for the first pass out of play that gets a scathing remark haha.

    Martinez leaves us with a cloak of invulnerability, if he lands at Villa and gets peppered then he’ll get a defence of having short ahead of him etc. Just the way fans operate.

  55. Champagne Charlie

    Andy

    Certainly is hyperbole to claim a player a diamond or the ‘best we’ve had in years’ only for them to land at Aston Villa who narrowly avoided the championship last season. The sentiment doesn’t mirror reality, have seen some claim 40 million is a fair fee for Martinez etc.

    Got a bit doe-eyed given how we finished the season, but it’s unsurprising that we’re plenty willing to sanction a 20 mil move for a player who hasn’t been on the radar for years despite a decade here. Huge thanks to Martinez for that, delivered wonderfully for us in a unique pinch, and earned us a good fee on top of it. Walks away with a warm feeling from the fans.

  56. CG

    Am I right Arsenal are on the cusp of replacing a goalkeeper who wants to fight and be No.1 and excels on the big Wembley stage ( eg Man City/Chelsea/Liverpool) to one who is happy to be a No.2 and makes clangers of epic proportions at Wembley ( Fulham/play off final)?

    Sounds very Arsenaly if true.

  57. Pedro

    Rocky,

    Peak Wenger? Not sure how you landed there.

    Arteta took over halfway through the season in a dire situation and his performance from day one until the end of the season sat him in 5th, 4 points off 3rd. If I were to slice and dice, I could claim that the pandemic disrupted a 2020 unbeaten run that could have seen us finish 3rd. I didn’t go there though.

    That’s a pretty good reference point for next season.

  58. Dissenter

    I’d say Leno is a marked man from a large section of the fan base.
    Martinez went from zero to hero very quickly and it’s easy to romanticize his 10 year history with the club. He was the under-dog you wanted to see succeed.

    Hope we bring in a proper back-up goalie quickly to calm people’s nerves down.

  59. andy1886

    Agreed that some of the comments have been a bit OTT but to be fair the majority of posters have been arguing for one player over the other on their individual merits. Neither is better in all facets of the game so it depends on which attributes you think that we need. Given that we’ve been poor from set pieces in the past and want to play out from the back and that Martinez is better in those areas I can see why some might prefer him over Leno.

  60. Luteo Guenreira

    Charlie

    That’s right, that’s all I meant, Leno is going to get criticized for the first punch or first errant pass or whatever, whether he deserves it or not. It’s predictable and it’s been occurring for days now already

    Marc was actually the one who mentioned it first for tomorrow, I was just following up on it. Then RH must have gotten blinded by the sun shining off his own forehead into his monitor, because it sounds like he couldn’t read for a moment.

    It’s nice to have someone understand what the fuck you’re talking about before replying, thanks.

  61. englandsbest

    Pedro, an admirable assessment, but methinks you need to define ‘power-sharing’. All leaders share power to a degree, even Putin and Erdogan. I take it what you mean is ‘having the final say’.

    I don’t foresee any serious problems between Edu and Arteta, ‘discussion’ not ‘clash’. I make that a positive, not a negative. That’s the way it was, in a sense, between Dein and Wenger, to good effect.

    I also suspect the corporate lawyer will play the role of eminence grise. He will know, better than any, how to keep Stan onside.

  62. Pedro

    England, leaders don’t share power.

    Dein was subservient to Wenger for starters. He was just a good persuader.

    Technical Directors do not sit on the same line as managers.

    That is a recipe for disaster. We’ve just seen what shared leadership looks like with Raul and Vinai. A mess.

  63. Mr Serge

    The fanbase that goes to the games seem to live Leno everyone in the bars I speak to always say good things about him I don’t get why you say he is a marked man Dis

  64. Mr Serge

    Pedro Aouar benched is a good sign they don’t want to get him injured before they sell him to is
    I can’t believe we could get him

  65. RockyRoe

    Pedro,

    Not dissing you mate, just reminded how wenger would sometimes choose half stats and yes, I agree with you, I’m fully behind Le Sauce (whts Spanish for Le?). Though truth be told, I do hope arteta pays more attention to his in-game management.
    ——–

    Multiple tweets reporting Emi is not in the team for tomorrow due to bids for him, Brighton has gotten in, with a bigger bid than villa.

    And I do t get this sudden love affair with Emi, I love the guy, academy product n all. BUT if the option is between having 2 good GKs of which one sits on the bench vs having 1 good and 1 good CM, I know which one I’m going to choose.

    It’s simple really, yes having only 1 great GK might cost us point in case of an injury but having a shit midfield will most definitely cost us points.

    The squad building has to be incremental with our financial position. Hope there will be a day where we can keep 2 great GKs because the rest of the team is sorted but I don’t see the point of having 2 cars when I can only afford beans for dinner.

  66. Champagne Charlie

    Andy

    I get the preferences and ideas of why he’s rated etc, though I personally disagree and have/had too many questions that needed answering about him before I’d call him genuine number one ahead of Leno.

    I’m actually quite keen to see Leno under a well drilled setup, it does a hell of a lot for distribution when you have a clear picture of where folk are all the time so I expect an upturn there. Think he suits where we’re headed too, in the Lloris mould of player versus the Joe Hart. Sweeper keeper.

  67. Tom

    “If the decision proves to be a wrong one I suspect that the manager/technical director will get the flack, not the player.“

    Andy, I’m not sure a definitive verdict can ever be reached one way or another.

    Villa will be fighting off relegation again and based on last season’s numbers their defense was atrocious.
    Also I’m not sure how much playing from the back a club with such a poor defensive line will be doing anyway so Martinez’s attributes in this department might go to waste.

  68. Champagne Charlie

    I think Aouar is a better way to spend 55 mil than Partey.

    Different players, different expectations in terms of influence, but the longevity of the club will rely on shrewd investment and that’s undeniable in a simple head to head of a 22 year old and 43 year old.

    Would be concerned with a Xhaka- Ceballos- Aouar midfield though, leans heavily on the physical capabilities of Xhaka and I’d be a lot happier to see us establish a base that had multiple robust characters. Ceballos was nippy, but he’s still 6 stone soaking wet, and Aouar will need a season to adjust.

  69. Graham62

    Dissenter

    If only it was that simple.

    Those folk on here who think too much lovey-dovey stuff is being directed Martinez’s way, are forgetting one simple thing.

    Martinez is the better keeper.

    Never mind, we’ll just have to make do with an inferior model.

  70. Sid

    We will not play expansive football as long as Xhakalson is in midfield, its safer to use a target man like Edourd to bring the wing forwads willian/pepe/Saka into play

  71. Marko

    Aouar is just back from having covid.

    On the Lacazette quotes it doesn’t surprise me one bit. Our squad suffering because wank players don’t want to leave has been an Arsenal mainstay for well over a decade. Now Lacazette isn’t totally wank don’t get me wrong but a refusal to leave coupled with money from his sale and a promising replacement not coming in does see our squad suffer.

  72. Buzzy

    Edouard? No thank you! The guy reminds me of Sanogo. Weird running style, not that fast and a very awkward and clumsy style of heading.

  73. Marko

    I think Aouar is a better way to spend 55 mil than Partey.

    So much of our addressing the midfield begins with Partey for me. Absolutely vital he’s someone who can defend can break up play can launch attacks quickly can take the ball in difficult situations and redistribute it quickly. Comparable to some of the very best out there and it’s needed. Now don’t get me wrong Aouar is quality player too but the things Partey can do are needed more imo. Though I’d make a strong case for both given our struggles in midfield.

  74. Champagne Charlie

    Marko

    I don’t disagree, but when you’re cherry picking because of lack of funds the smart money is on the guy that can explode and double your money.

    Partey gets signed and he’s giving us his prime years (which is huge) with little resale. Aouar can give us a great return on the pitch but also protect our near future finances.

  75. andy1886

    CC, I suspect that once our two new taller CB’s are bedded in Leno’s weaknesses will be mitigated to a certain degree. As always the manager’s job is to use his resources to create the best team which usually isn’t as simple as chucking your eleven best players on the pitch. Once we add to our midfield we should have a better idea of what MA wants to do. For me Saka is the interesting one, great talent but I’m not sure where he’ll fit into the manager’s plans.

  76. Guns of SF

    Absolutely vital he’s someone who can defend can break up play can launch attacks quickly can take the ball in difficult situations and redistribute it quickly. Comparable to some of the very best out there and it’s needed.

    Isnt this Dani? Partey lite?

  77. Champagne Charlie

    Andy

    I think Arteta has a lot of love for Saka, but his exact position maybe take a year or so to land on. I like him either side of the CF, but lots of talk he’s capable as a 10 too.

    The player I don’t see fitting at present is Willock, with Willian and Aouar he’s simply not an option in an advanced role except in super particular moments that call for industry and energy in abundance. He’s a player that needs to mature quick if he wants to stay here imo.

  78. Marko

    when you’re cherry picking because of lack of funds the smart money is on the guy that can explode and double your money.

    We’re already thinking about selling him? I dunno I don’t disagree on Aouar but I still feel like if we signed Aouar we’d still need someone like Partey whereas if we signed Partey you could maybe make do with Willian and ESR for a season or get in a Coutinho or Sanson or Carlos Soler type for much less. I just think our options after Partey significantly drop off to the likes of Soumare or whoever which again kinda make his signing vital. And as you said we’d be getting his prime years and we stand a better chance of getting champions league football with him cause as you’ve said a couple times before there’s a chance with Aouar that he take some time to settle in. But again I finish by saying I think both are vital for me

  79. englandsbest

    Wow! Dein ‘subservient’? ‘Just a good persuader’? Funny, I never noticed. I think what you mean is that he didn’t know much about playing football.

    Edu and Arteta know plenty about playing football. And that’s what they’ll be discussing and deciding, football stuff. Designating them ‘Tech Director ‘ or ‘Manager’ hardly matters.

  80. Habesha Gooner

    Well Arsenal have made the sensible decision to sell Martinez to pursue our midfield targets. Brighton fighting Villa for his signature. If you don’t have money you have to make sacrifices. I wanted them to do the same to AMN. He is a Good goal keeper but we also have another good goalkeeper in Leno. But we have no one at the level of Aouar in midfield. Hope we don’t spend more than 5 mil on his replacement though.

  81. Habesha Gooner

    Partey is the one who is world class between him and Aouar. But We were the 4th least creative team last season. So all creative players must be priority. That’s why I would go for Aouar. Arteta has a structure to this team. If he didn’t and you looked at each player individually, They can’t do what Partey can do though. Anyway I think we can make do with our 6’s for now. But we need an injection of creativity pronto.

  82. TR7

    Athletic

    🚨Emi Martinez out of #afc squad v #FFC. Joint call by club & EM.
    🚨#avfc edging to £20m: “Closing but not closed”
    🚨#bhafc: no move out planned for Mat Ryan, so as EM wants to be 1st choice, seems unlikely
    🚨#afc must settle 7-figure bonus owed to EM

  83. Champagne Charlie

    Marko

    Don’t be obtuse, I never said we’re thinking about selling him. But you don’t make 55 million pound investments with only today in mind, give it more than 3 seconds thought.

    The club isn’t flush with income and cash, our moves more than ever need to be smart and protective of now AND beyond. Ceballos showed he can function as an 8, meanwhile in advanced areas we were dire. Willian is a great addition, but we really need a real boost in quality there and Aouar would deliver along those lines.

    Partey steps on Ceballos’ toes for me, so I can understand Aouar being the priority. That said we’re clearly keen on both, the Frenchman the more volatile a deal to make though given its pure negotiation and there’s no clause to trigger.

  84. GunnerDNA

    Roman Abramovich is a different businessman from Stan K, if Fat Frank don’t challenge/win the PL next season he’s gone. Investing 250+ million on the playing squad and all you get in return is excuses or trust the process. That type of thinking is only relevan at Arsenal

  85. Dissenter

    Emi Martinez to Brighton makes no sense, is he going to bench Matt Ryan who’s helped them stay in the league for two seasons?
    I don’t think so.

  86. Guns of SF

    Dani————Xhaka/Partey
    ——–Aouar——–
    Pepe__Willian___Auba
    ——–Laca/Edouard

    Looking good…especially that center

  87. Dissenter

    You know the season has started when Mourhino can’t stop crying
    “‘It is impossible to do. It is not human’: Fuming Jose Mourinho admits he is ‘depressed’ by Tottenham’s hectic fixture schedule that could see them play NINE times in 22 days as he threatens to play the kids in Carabao Cup” -DM

  88. Guns of SF

    Chika good catch
    LOL i got too excited.

    hows this…4-3-3

    Dani—Aouar___Xhaka
    Willian___ Laca____Auba

    or

    Dani—Aouar—-Xhaka
    Pepe___Auba___Willian

  89. Chris

    “ Mourinho admits he is ‘depressed’ by Tottenham’s hectic fixture schedule that could see them play NINE times in 22 days as he threatens to play the kids in Carabao Cup””

    Play the kids in the trophy they may have best chance of winning. Empty new stadium and no trophies yet again, what a huge club eh. I would love to see them completely implode this season, are Amazon still filming?

  90. Kaz

    @ChampagneCharlie

    You think just because lower league teams are interested it invalidates that Martinez is a good keeper?

    Only Liverpool wanted Andy Robertson, other smaller clubs did too.

    I’m sure you would have been one of the people mocking them for such a signing, now look at him.

  91. RockyRoe

    2 things for me are certain :

    1. Arteta will play auba as a LW. He clearly prefers auba there and to an extent that makes sense. He has been very very good as a LW and untill we get a formidable midfield capable of dictating possession against most apponenets auba will get more chances running into the space vacated by the oppotion RB than as CF battling against 2 CB straight up as we would be counter attacking a lot.

    2. Xhaka will play most matches, regardless of his perception in the fan base arteta clearly values him and i do not see it changing. Which leaves 2 spots in the MF. Assuming dani plays as well, we are left with 1 spot. So i think only 1 CM will come in. It is for this reason, I think Auour is more likely target as partey and dani are similar (atleast in terms of their roles).

  92. Radio Raheem

    We can do better than £20m for Martinez. £30m fair price. But to think relegation fodder can pay £20m for a goalie boggles the mind.

    Re: Aouar

    The commentator in the Bordeaux v Lyon match claims Juve, PSG and City are the interested parties. Juve can’t have enough central midfielders can they? He must be heading there.

    I waited for the link to Arsenal to drop…still waiting…

  93. Guns of SF

    How many mids does City want?
    Just got Torres, and now Aouar?
    I do think if they come in serious, he would go there for Pep and the $

    Then again we have Arteta and $/2 but more playing time

  94. Marcos Mattos

    Hello mate! Good work in your website. LGK bang! Le Grove Knows… rs

    Please, in the newsletter the links are white you have to select the text to view. But it got better! Congratulations!

    Go Arsenal! This season will be good. Everything is snapping in place!

    Marcos

  95. Champagne Charlie

    Kaz

    “You think just because lower league teams are interested it invalidates that Martinez is a good keeper?“

    No, kind of invalidates the claims he’s of a certain pedigree though doesn’t it?

    “I’m sure you would have been one of the people mocking them for such a signing, now look at him.“

    Given I’ve touted the SPL, Eredivisie, and the Championship as leagues we don’t extract enough talent from, no, you’re wrong with that assertion about me.

  96. Marko

    Partey steps on Ceballos’ toes for me, so I can understand Aouar being the priority.

    Partey is a 6 we need a 6. Aouar steps on Ceballos toes more so but that’s kinda irrelevant. Fact is yeah sure we absolutely need more creativity sure but can we finally address the lack of ball winners in our CM the severe lack of character and intensity too while we’re at it

  97. Dissenter

    Radio Rasheem
    “We can do better than £20m for Martinez. £30m fair price. But to think relegation fodder can pay £20m for a goalie boggles the mind”

    £20 mil is a steal for Martinez.

  98. Luteo Guenreira

    Joke Friday

    The seven dwarfs go to the Vatican , and because they are the seven dwarfs, they are immediately ushered in to see the Pope. Grumpy leads the pack.

    ‘Grumpy, my son,’ says the Pope, ‘What can I do for you?’

    Grumpy asks, ‘Excuse me your Excellency, but are there any dwarf nuns in Rome?’

    The Pope wrinkles his brow at the odd question, thinks for a moment and answers, ‘No, Grumpy, there are no dwarf nuns in Rome.’

    In the background, a few of the dwarfs start giggling. Grumpy turns around and glares, silencing them. Grumpy turns back, ‘Your Worship, are there any dwarf nuns in all of Europe?’

    The Pope, puzzled now, again thinks for a moment and then answers, ‘No, Grumpy, there are no dwarf nuns in Europe.

    ‘This time, all of the other dwarfs burst into laughter. Once again, Grumpy turns around and silences them with an angry glare. Grumpy turns back and says, ‘Mr. Pope! Are there ANY dwarf nuns anywhere in the world?’

    The Pope, really confused by the questions says, ‘I’m sorry, my son, there are no dwarf nuns anywhere in the world.’

    The other dwarfs collapse into a heap, rolling and laughing, pounding the floor, tears rolling down their cheeks, as they begin chanting……

    ‘Grumpy shagged a penguin! Grumpy shagged a penguin!’

  99. Chika

    Guns

    Chika good catch
    LOL i got too excited.

    lol I thought as much. Can’t disagree much with the lineups. I’d prefer Xhaka in the middle and hope to see more of Pepe.

  100. Nelson

    I feel that the defense is calmer with Martinez in goal. Martinez communicates more with the defense than Leon. I feel better with Martinez in goal.

  101. Words on a Blog

    “Barca wanting Bellerin on loan…”

    Shame we still don’t have Carl Jenkinson, we could have offered him to them instead.

    As andy1886 put it so eloquently, they can go fuck themselves.

  102. englandsbest

    There are facts and there is opinion. I accept facts but make my own opinion. I never met DD, but from what I saw of him, heard him say, read about him, he was the polar opposite of subservient. In interviews he came across as a masterful figure.

    He was instrumental in hiring Wenger, and their period together rates as one of the most successful in the Club’s history, which suggests his judgement was sound. They worked in unison on transfers, with great success. That is not subservience. Nor do I believe that Wenger’s decline after DD left was mere coincidence. He kept Wenger’s ego in check.

  103. Marc

    englandsbest

    Got to say I’m 100& with you there. We never replaced Dein and Wenger’s decline can be tracked directly with him leaving.

    We never had anyone after who could manage him.