Managerial change. It’s the only time football gives transfer rumours a run for their money and wins. I haven’t kept count but it might be easier to ask who isn’t in the frame for the Arsenal job. Even dear old Tinkerman was mentioned at the weekend. I don’t know what the Italian equivalent of schadenfreude but whatever it is, he invoked it.
And to think, Signor Ranieri was only at the match because he won a competition for match tickets.
Persistent speculation means we didn’t have a succession plan in place; there was no ‘go to’ guy to take over from Arsène waiting in the wings. Not unless the board is waiting a decent length of time before announcing who will take over. Pep was orchestrating Manchester City transfers while in charge of Bayern in much the same way Wenger did from Japan. Not yet appointed doesn’t mean not yet in charge.
Sky reports Arsenal didn’t approach anyone before Wenger’s announcement “out of respect”, which is code for being caught on the hop and ill-prepared for it. A pyrrhic victory if ever there was one for the Frenchman. But the thrust of the article is that Gazidis wants Arteta, Sanellhi favours Enrique, while Mislintat is hedging his bets and can’t decide between Nagelsmann and Tadesco.
In short, no-one knows who the club is talking to or whether Junior still fancies Thierry Henry to pick up the pieces. Nor is anyone clear how much influence Enos and co will have in the process. Are they going to interfere or give the club free reign?
Whatever the outcome, Ivan Gazidis moved front and centre in this process. The focus of the world is on the CEO and if he botches this, Arsène won’t be the only high-profile departure this summer. No pressure.
It is Such a Pleasure to Deal with Professionals. Refreshing.
Quite what Mikel Arteta has to find favour with Ivan, I don’t know. He’s called “innovative” and it smacks of the club looking to follow the Rams route for the new coach. That hints at KSE ‘offering direction’ or Ivan ingratiating himself with Enos and co. Whatever the reason, is Arteta the answer?
It’s an appointment which would carry more risk than the usual but tells us quite a lot about where the club is going, organisation-wise.
This is a coaching job. No more economics degrees or managers who control the transfer budget and negotiate deals. It’s the kind of structure that a club who caught their manager with his fingers in the till might invoke. You know, like us twenty years ago. Just consider how forward-thinking we would have been back then.
Keeping the Head Coach focused on football is no bad thing. In fact, it’s a very good thing and one which might bring dividends. It’s the reinvigoration of hope which, for us, is probably the most positive outcome at present.
It’s just as well someone else is doing the deals. The Telegraph this morning claims this summer’s transfer budget is only £50m. In the old days, the board might have given candidates an aptitude test by tying one hand behind their back and getting them to make a cup of tea without spilling a drop.
Now, it’s recruitment’s job to find the candidates whereupon Raul takes over and does the deal. Quickly, one hopes and without getting bogged down in £1 increments. While £50m doesn’t sound a lot, it all depends on who we sell. Last summer we ended up something like £20-30m ‘in profit’ on deals, ignoring the financial wizardry which accompanies these numbers in the accounts.
Oh, sure. Nag at me! Nagging’s good!
It can be done, it just depends on which crown jewel is told to do one. It also underlines the mismanagement of contracts; we’re throwing £15-20m away on Jack Wilshere. If the club don’t want him, instead of arguing about a pay as you play deal, give him a contract and sell in the summer. It isn’t ideal and the club takes a bit of a hit, but gets money in return. Now, we’re taking the hit and getting nothing in return.
In a ‘self-sufficient’ business, it’s small things like that, small contributions which mean a lot, particularly when we have some key positions which need filling.
That scenario in the ‘old days’ might have filled me with dread. £50m and a player walking on a free? Well, now we have new ways and a sense of optimism; let’s see what these gentlemen are made of. Gladiators, are you ready?