Arsenal head into deadline day evening with quite a lot of things moving in the transfer window.
The biggest story yesterday was the botched PR of Ainsley Maitland-Niles. This is another superb example of what a lack of leadership does at a club.
Long and short. Mikel Arteta and Edu have fallen out, so there’s no clarity in the system. Ainsley complained last summer that no one talked to him, clearly, once again, he didn’t have a clue what was going on with his future… then he exploded the situation by telling the world he wasn’t wanted at Arsenal.
David Ornstein piled on by stating that Ainsley had told the club he was willing to fight for a full back position.
Arsenal fans blew a gasket, rightly so…
- Lack of communication
- Poor treatment of a young player we all like
- A young player not ‘developed’ because something isn’t perfect in his make-up
- An older, far worse player, given minutes over a player that won an FA Cup at right-back
- A player showing remorse and committing to full back, a coach not having it in him to forgive.
Arse&Nose, a longtime Grover, commented yesterday that Arteta is the type of character that is abundant in technical jobs. Supremely talented, but totally lacking in social EQ. Transactional people don’t last in business. All that bullshit you see on The Apprentice doesn’t fly IRL, unless you are really, really at the top of your game. If you are not liked, it’s hard to rally teams. If you can’t rally teams, it doesn’t matter how good you are, you are doomed to fail at leadership.
Ainsley will likely leave later today because we have totally botched how we treated him… and now he’s crossed a manager digitally and we know Arteta doesn’t have the maturity to let that fly.
Hector Bellerin did leave the club, he’s going to Real Betis. Good luck to him. He’s wanted an exit all summer. The player didn’t really kick on over the last few years. Injuries and maybe a lack of focus on his football led to a summer where no one really wanted him. I love him, I think he’s an incredible role model, but this is good for all parties.
The strongest likelihood is that we’re going to sign Takehiro Tomiyasu. Adam Voge, Head of Analytics at Le Grove, has this thread on him.
Takehiro Tomiyasu is a Gunner! Here’s what you need to know about the 22-year-old fullback/center back hybrid. (1/x) pic.twitter.com/TPMewavwcN
— Adam Rae Voge (@adamvoge) August 31, 2021
It reads like the choice of this right back is fully on Arteta, so we’ll see how that goes.
Topline, he’s very tall at 6ft 2. Suspect that’s strategic with Ben White lacking height. The player doesn’t really get beaten on one vs one’s. He’s a good passer of the ball, though his attacking numbers are bland, but that is probably more driven by the system he plays in. He’s good a pressing, he’s safe on the ball, he’s there to play that inverted RB position.
Who knows if he’ll be any good, but at 22, we’ve made a big bet… and can it be any worse than Soares? Hard to imagine that.
Willian also exited the club. This is another fascinating story. Mikel Arteta drove that transfer through and Kia is on the radio making sure everyone knows that. Why? He’s protecting Edu because he knows his client has his job being scrutinised. Also, he knows Arteta isn’t going to own that error because that’s not who he is.
We hoped the Kia commentary was going to stop this summer. Edu spent time with him on a yacht, now he’s letting him flame a manager he hired in the press. Very poor. I don’t expect Vinai to have any control over anything, but I hoped Tim Lewis was going to have some ability to influence the shambles at Arsenal. What have we seen for him? Where is the ruthlessness shown to Don Raul from last summer?
- There have been zero consequences for last season
- There have been no significant changes in the backroom, bar Arteta being afforded more power
- There have been no technical changes
Tim Lewis is supposed to be eyes and ears at the training ground… is he just watching and listening, because I see very little action?
You can’t imagine that KSE, with their hands-off approach, can allow this summer to pass without some sort of staffing implication. Everyone at Arsenal knows this is dire, they’re all leaking to sources based on which faction they are part of. It’s so shoddy.
We lack experience at every level. It’s time to change things up. There has to be some fresh ideas and we have to have people in the organisation that can reduce the factions and cliques and get a grip of the club.
That brings me to the final topic.
Michael Edwards, the brains behind the Liverpool rebirth, has handed in his resignation at Liverpool and will be leaving at the end of the season.
He is a top 5 Technical Director in the world. He’s from the south coast of England. He is likely a free agent, because if he had taken a job elsewhere, there’s just no way Liverpool would make him spend 8 months on notice.
If there is a chance, Arsenal should do absolutely everything in their power to bring him into the fold.
This is the guy that ran numbers on Klopp’s last season at Dortmund and ascertained he was the unluckiest manager in football that season, so Fenway hired him.
He sanctioned the Coutinho sale and all the signings that followed.
He’s the guy that sold Rhian Brewster for £18m.
He’s a data genius. He’s still pretty young. He absolutely tops anything we have internally. We should be making moves for him.
People are telling me he’s going to Real Madrid. I have no idea about that. But what I would say is this: why?
Florentino Perez is the Sporting Director and always will be.
You will NEVER how power when you work with a King, and if you start to accrue too much sway, you will lose your head.
How can you truly have an impact at Madrid? They’ve done it all.
Spain is a dead league. There’s no money there. All their superstars have left.
Arsenal, now there’s a project for an ambitious leader.
We are at rock bottom, literally, and metaphorically.
… but that’s only to the emotional eye.
We have a young vibrant squad of players that are far, far better than people give credit to.
We have an elite academy producing a steady flow of gems.
We are a sleeping GIANT of a club.
Our owners, love them or hate them, spray money at their biggest portfolio problem.
The leadership group is the youngest in the league and they are all tanking.
Imagine the power someone who could actually do things could amass in this system.
Michael Edwards is exiting Liverpool because there’s a king there now and he wants control over Liverpool’s impending rebuild. Edwards is ducking out at a perceived peak, just like Fergie did at United.
Arsenal should move on him. There’s nowhere else for him to go in London. We are the club with the lowest bar and the biggest opportunity. This is the biggest staffing opp since we passed on Klopp back in 2014. We cannot let this pass.
Put him above Edu. It’s clear he’s not ready to be the face of our Technical side, just search #BBQinstagram if need a proof point on that, but he has some qualities, because he’s pulled off deals this summer.
Put him above Arteta. Let him see what is going on at the training ground. Let him understand our problems, identify the strengths, then make a decision on what to do about the future direction of the club.
… because I repeat. Changing the manager does not change the systemic problems at Arsenal.
Southampton sacked Nigel Adkins for Pochettino because they recognised elite talent. Sometimes you have to make tough decisions because a huge opportunity comes your way. If we had proper leadership, we would have been having conversations about our Technical issues way before we started to leak stories to the press. Arsenal should be ruthless and fix the mess of this summer. There needs to be a change, because things are out of control at Arsenal and there is no experience that can be relied on. Edu has no power, Arteta has too much, Vinai is absent… this can’t go on forever.
Anyway, podcast later. See you in the comments.