Arsenal need a Football CEO to stop the rot and address the long term

by .

Here we are, like groundhog day, overseeing the wreckage of another defeat against a team we really should have beaten.

It feels like the project is over. It’s likely not, but I think football careers of managers at top clubs can deal with blips, but not mega craterings. We’re now in the end of days of Emery. There is no real clue how to stop us from losing, and the biggest mistakes of the summer are coming back to haunt us.

We are a top 5 team. We have top 5 players. We should be in the pack of clubs at the top of the league fighting it out every week, particularly this season. The fact that we are not doing that speaks to bad decisions.

Arteta started strong when he landed here, he had a nice little run of games. He played those that deserved minutes, he dropped those who did not, there was some sort of vision, and the players were into the process. Since then, we’ve seen Arteta slowly dismantle what he came here to do.

Mesut Ozil was dropped from 10 games on the bounce to a nobody… without a viable back-up plan. He wasn’t electric when he played, but we had a far better brand of football with him in the team and he was a threat.

He moved out arguably our best player of the back half of the season. Emi Martinez was a dominant force in the box and he perfectly represented the new meritocracy that was forming. We sold him in the summer and I’m sorry, I just don’t rate Leno that highly. The bigger message was that big performances didn’t seem to matter to the system. We also attempted to sell AMN, another breakout star, who is one of our best defenders.

We doubled down on a plan that hasn’t worked for three years. We gave Luiz a new deal, we broke the bank for Auba, and we signed Willian. Those three moves look tragic right now. All three spoke to yesteryears short-termist strategy that has consistently fallen short.

Those three areas of failure are badly impacting us now. They show a lack of planning, a misunderstanding of how far-reaching alpha boss moves could be, it shit on meritocracy, and it showed subservience to super-agents and undeserving older players.

The starting 11 yesterday was miserable. No creative players and no one who could score. The performance was much better. The system actually looked pretty decent at times. But that’s not enough. We are way beyond showing a bit of style to justify this car crash. We are in the depths of hell and it’s unclear anyone has the knowledge to get us out.

The problem is, if you fire Mikel, look at the talent replacing him. The guys that sat in a room and doubled a 32 years old wingers wages when he wanted to stay in London. The guys that allowed Ozil to  be exited from the squad without a plan. The people that signed the cheque on William Saliba and said they’d be fine for him to rot for 6 months after a great loan spell.

The real move is a football CEO. You have Ralph Rangnick and Luis Campos out of work at the moment. The exec leadership equivalent of 2015 when Pep and Klopp were available. Older guys with a history of creating football player conveyor belts. Rangnick set up 4 clubs that all feed each other for a net neutral cost. He’s blooded young managers. He’s been written up in the New York Times as a visionary. The power move would be to accept that the three-point plan the club has is shite and being run by 3 people first jobbing. The honesty would be to stop dreaming of the Champions League Final in 3 years and to make the hard decision to accept the way back is a 5 year plan that should start this January.

Arteta has flunked out this season, he changed what was working, and he lost control. Don’t let yourself be convinced that he wasn’t helped along the way. Vinai and Edu gave him the keys. They didn’t lead when bad ideas were suggested. They indulged fantasies someone like Ralph Rangnick would have nixed. There simply aren’t many coaches in the world that could fix Arsenal without a proper structure. These players are failures. The club is borrowing window to window. The whole thing needs a rethink… otherwise, we’ll be back here in a years time pondering the same questions.

As for Arteta? It should be over. He can’t motivate his players. We aren’t hitting the target. He’s not moving the pieces fast enough to get a different output. It’s pretty dire. I don’t think he escapes this… and here’s the thing. The January transfer window is a reward for progress. Where is that progress? Which players are getting better? What does the xG say? What the fuck are we working towards?

If the idea is that we’re 1 creative player away from this side clicking, again, I think there should be an intervention.

The club might be better off ignoring January, getting in a caretaker who could resurrect the players we have, and seeing what a proper Football CEO could do for us over the next 5 months. We cannot allow a management team that is failing to keep adding to the mess with short-term panic signings. The next manager shouldn’t have to deal with another two windows worth of half baked attempts at resurrecting a style of football none of us are really convinced can take us to the promised land.

How utterly depressing I’m writing this after such a strong start to Arteta’s Arsenal career. The biggest lesson for me is that there are no rockstars in Premier League football these days. There are rockstar teams. We don’t have the support network in place to help managers thrive. Wenger, Emery, and now Arteta have all failed because of a lack of leadership… there are two options on the market that could help fix that, will anyone at the highest level recognize what we all see? I doubt it.

See you in the comments.


654 Responses to “Arsenal need a Football CEO to stop the rot and address the long term”

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  1. Goobergooner


    I’d put them both on edu, unless Partey needed to know he had a god amongst managers to sway the deal 😂

  2. The Bard

    I’m relatively new to this site,having left the online gooner. I have to say its a joy to read the same kind of hilarious tripe spouted on the gooner in the dark days of Wenger.
    Bring in Allegri ? Seriously ? A top manager joins relegation battle club.
    Or bring back Ozil. He is just what we need, a lazy couldnt care less, primadonna. Just the ticket to inspire us out of our current malaise..

  3. jwl

    “Can someone please explain to me how he managed to pass all his badges?”

    Graham62 – because getting your badges is all book learning/theory and thats why top clubs dont hire novices, because classroom ideas and real world managing are completely different.

  4. Goobergooner

    The bard, welcome mate haha. I’m definitely a tripe spouter, as you’ve already worked out. Just not about Ozil coming back in 😂

  5. Samesong

    because getting your badges is all book learning/theory and thats why top clubs dont hire novices, because classroom ideas and real world managing are completely different.

    Absolute nonsense. You are assessed mainly on your coaching skills in practice on the pitch. Not in the classroom.

  6. raptora

    I wanted Arteta to succeed too. He is probably more Evertonian than a Gooner but he did play for us, although I’ve never liked him as a player.

    Truth is he thought too highly of himself to start in a smaller team and that could have been coaching the bright Arsenal youths.

    He decided he is ready for a big job right from the get go. Everyone would agree that it was a mistake.

    However, as he has crumbled so horribly and has shown no style, negative small club tactics, horrible man management, an even worse judgement of players, hypocrisy of having high standards somehow not valid for his trusted people like Xhaka and Willian, foolness of trusting the same players, hard to work with, zero ingame influence, regressive development of players, slow learning from his mistakes, taxing training that lead to player injuries, extreme refusal to acknowledge our problems, pasiveness, lack of decisiveness.

    Arsenal jobs is one of the hardest in football at the moment. No doubt about that.

    But he has to drastically change and upgrade himself in many, many ways, or he will not be successful in this career.

  7. Freddie Ljungberg


    Anyone that thinks Ozil is the solution to anything not fortnite related is an idiot, end of.


    So Arteta is going to be backed in the window according to the media? Will that make him play less than 7 defensive players at a time, will it make him deploy an actual midfield instead of just 2 extra CBs in front of the defense, will it make him stop insisting on all the meaningless crosses, will it stop him picking the wrong players, tactics and formation every week? Not very likely.

    If he’s still around in January I hope he has minimal input on out and incomings, we need a couple of midfielders regardless of who is manager but he’s shown that he doesn’t have an eye for talent so keep him away from the process ffs.

    He also needs to be taken away his favourite toys if they refuse to do the right thing and sack him.

  8. jwl

    Goobergooner – I dont think ozil guarantees top six or anything but it would be nice to at least have one player who could complete some passes to Auba. I think it was colossally stupid to banish our highest paid, most creative player because he not 100% in training.

  9. Goobergooner

    Hahaha to be honest Ozil couldn’t be worse than Willian so if it is him that is replaced on the pitch I couldn’t care less.

    I just think his arsenal bridges have been burnt from both sides. He couldn’t give two shits, let alone any haha.

  10. Aussie+Gooner

    You can have all the badges you like comming out your arse – it doesn’t make you a good manager. My boss has 3 degrees and he is useless – but it got him the job over experienced candidates with form.

  11. jwl

    For real, Samesong? Am i being sarcastic when i shouldnt.

    I dont know anything about fa badge courses but they are mostly theory to me unless students are given control of an actual semi pro team for a season.

  12. Samesong

    You can have all the badges you like comming out your arse – it doesn’t make you a good manager.

    That’s 100% correct.

  13. Samesong

    For real, Samesong? Am i being sarcastic when i shouldnt.I dont know anything about fa badge courses but they are mostly theory to me unless students are given control of an actual semi pro team for a season.

    Jwl you have to have players around you to be able to do the course. You have to identify how to improve them when they make mistakes etc. This is all assessed. Trust me it’s not just all theory. There’s alot of practical that goes into it.

    You have to be ready to the do the badges. UEFA B licence is no joke which is very hard to attain if you aren’t in a proffestional setting.

  14. Samesong

    Being a manager of a football club is a whole different level than putting out the cones and having a few laugh with the footballers.

  15. SpanishDave

    How could you trust Arteta or Edu to buy in the right players let alone coach them.
    I bet they have their eye on Erickson, another 200 k per week player.
    Lazy stupid managers, like Pep who like cheque book management.

  16. Valentin

    Same song,

    Jwl is right.
    FA Badges are assessed on your ability to set up a training session, not on your ability to handle a full squad of players on a day to day basis. Some of the EUFA Badge have psychological and management aspect to it, but there is very few practical test on it.

    I have seen people with FA Badge who could not coach U18 because of their psychopathic trait. Another was like a drill sergeant which resulted in players switching club.

    Remember Felix Magath who was so mad and hard with his players that the joke was that with so many former players extra motivated to beat him it was now near impossible for him to win a game in the Bundesliga.

    Also successfully passing the tactical part does not necessarily translate into a good coach. Giving the expected book answer to a bunch of tactical questions does not mean that you would know which tactics to pick in real life.
    Those FA Badges are akin to an MBA, students may know the theory and be perfect on small size exercises but until they are confronted with the reality of management they have no idea if they are any good at it. Same with teaching, being good in mathematics is required but not enough to make a good math teacher.

  17. DigitalBob

    SpanishDave – Yep hard pass on Erikson and to a lesser extent Isco. Both on bloated wages and not the players they were in their peak.

  18. Emiratesstroller


    You refer to previous quotes which I have made.

    Yes I was a strong advocate for the removal of Emery and also the appointment of Arteta as
    “Head Coach”.

    I make no apology for my original criticism of appointment of Emery. This was not based on
    his coaching ability, but rather his total lack of communication and linguistic skills. Also for
    the record I said that he needed 18 months in the job before I was prepared to consider putting the boot in.

    Arteta was rated an excellent coach at Man City and by others who have seen him at work.
    When he joined Arsenal his role was just that. He was working under direction of both Raul
    and Edu. His function was to work with players on the pitch and there was very little evidence that he was making decision on transfers apart from Mari who had played at Man
    City before moving to South America.

    As I posted earlier Arteta was appointed Manager only after we won the Community Shield.
    Raul was still working at the club and was presumably in charge of transfer business. All the
    evidence suggests that both he and Edu were making the decisions when Luiz, Soares and
    Willian were recruited.

    Aubameyang’s form this season has been very disappointing, but I doubt that there are many
    who post on here who were not relieved or against his contract renewal. I for one make absolutely no apology for my support of that decision.

    In the last transfer window we BOUGHT four new players. Very few who post on here believe that Gabriel and Partey were bad mistakes. Runarsson was a £1 million recruit and
    Mari has been out injured since he arrived so difficult assess.

    The two poor recruitments in my assessment were Ceballos on one year loan and Willian.
    Saliba’s arrival has been also a disaster.

  19. Samesong


    I never once said FA badges make you a good manager. My argument was that it is not all theory. But that is speaking form a coaching view.

    I personally think that some people have natural leadership skills. And some develop them with experience.

  20. Ishola70

    “Both on bloated wages and not the players they were in their peak.”

    In Isco’s case bloated in appearance too.

    Little fat fucker he looks for Real Madrid now in his ever decreasing minutes playing for them.

  21. Valentin

    Samedi g,

    Apologies if I misread you or misunderstood you.

    You are right in that some people are natural born leader and others grew into the role.

    The problem is that FA Badge cannot test that ability with some on the spot test. They can only spot if you are wildly unsuited to the role: psychopathic, violent, anger issue, tactical understanding issue, competence issue.

    This is one of the diploma that is worth less than real life experience even at lower level. Which ARTETA did not have and it shows.

  22. Goobergooner

    Hahahaha Ishola, maybe a good run out in our team where he is still head and shoulders better than we have in there he will trim some fat

  23. Samesong

    They can only spot if you are wildly unsuited to the role: psychopathic, violent, anger issue, tactical understanding issue, competence issue.


  24. Valentin

    When Martinez left and said it was the right move for his career, I did not expect to see Aston Villa way above Arsenal come Christmas. They play better than us and have better results. More cleansheet as well…

  25. Samesong

    The two poor recruitments in my assessment were Ceballos on one year loan and Willian.

    I have never rated Cellabos and Willian does he actually rate Arteta?

  26. SpanishDave

    The Arteta situation is like an apprentice who passed all his exams and then given the job of running a 200 mil company.
    He should have never applied for the job instead he should have run the u23 side for two years.
    What can he do ? He is surrounded by poor quality coaches and managers who like him are inexperienced and poor at their jobs.
    The owner hasn’t a clue about running a football club and his son is just their for the ride.
    Stan should be very present now but instead is feeding his horses on the ranch.
    What a shambles

  27. Valentin

    The following recruitment made this summer were shocking

    1) Willian
    2) letting Martinez go for cheap money
    3) Converting Cedric loan into full purchase
    4) get Ceballos back on loan
    5) re-signing Aubameyang on enormous term instead of just exeercising the option to extend him for one year or sell him to generate funds
    6) send Guendouzi on loan in Berlin where he is getting rave review so much so that they want to buy him
    7) sending Torreira on loan without securing an obligation to buy
    8) buying Partey for his full release close and then giving him an insane wage increase
    9) promoting ARTETA to the same level of Edu from headcoach to manager
    10) ostracizing Özil without securing a creative replacement

  28. Bojangles

    “Transfermarkt has Tierney and xhaka rated 50-50 in a poll who’s more popular.

    What the actual fuck is wrong with arsenal fans”

    Nothing really, you are just confusing the commenters here at LG as being typical Arsenal fans.

  29. Goobergooner

    Xhaka is; apart from being a shit player, a massive twat. Self awareness of a brick, which would probs beat him in a race.

  30. Goobergooner

    And I’m assuming you mean “typical arsenal fans”, the very same as those who think Arteta is doing such a swell job. Do me a favour

  31. Goobergooner


    I mean it’s all been said to death, but that list is shocking considering Josh wanted to get our wages in order and to make positive strides.

    Negative as it gets.

  32. Tony

    Agree with your points..

    Auba’s deal was poorly negotiated and should have been heavily loaded for results: goals assists etc with a take or leave it at the end.

    Arsenal do not know how to negotiate.

    Martinez issue is much bigger than just money received.

  33. Dissenter

    Emirates Stroller writing lots of paragraphs with very little sense as usual.
    If that’s what passes fir “constructive” , then god help us.

    Yes Arsenal has systemic problems but if you let this novice manager continue, then he will exacerbate everything.

    He’s is already doing to Dangote when he repeatedly did to Usmanov; launch bigoted attacks about the source of their wealth.

    Good morning legrove.

  34. Dissenter

    Are you aware that the negotiator of our deals, Huss Fahmy has left the building. Looking back at it, I think he resigned because a bunch of yahoos pushed him out.
    The first Auba deal was laden with performance clauses – the one Huss negotiated in 2018. It appears the 2020 deal was not so well done.

    I suspect we don’t even have relegation clauses in our contracts. It’s a blind spot for big clubs because they never contemplated relegation. .

  35. Tony

    I recently read about Marina Granovskaia CFC M D. Interesting woman reportedly doing a good job .

    I’ve encountered some extremely tough women negotiators/business women/lawyers in my time.

    Arsenal should interview some in the future, but they’re bound to mess that up too.

    Karen Brady was brought in by David Sullivan and acquitted herself well enough to be their CEO.

    Would take her over Vitnai any day.

  36. Tony

    Gazidis was a joke as a negotiator. Just look at his own deal with the club. He just wanted in at any deal offered. A stepping stone to cross the pond and learn the PL ropes.

    The first Auba deal was a fiasco. Took 2 weeks to close for a player who wanted to come snd a club happy to see him go.

    The structure of the deal may have been proportionally sound (I take your word for it), but the buying price with add ons was very poorly negotiated.

  37. Billp

    We need to sign strong, quick young players who are proficient with both feet….so when they cut the ball back onto their standing foot they can push forward rather than be trapped in pockets on the field….
    Go back to only signing one year extensions on players who are in their last two years…or bin them….