Diamond Eye. The nickname demands a Shirley Bassey theme tune be played every time he enters a room. It’s step down from Goldfinger but then the Arsenal Transfer Window Action Team isn’t quite SMERSH or SPECTRE either.
Sven Mislintat is getting a bit of grief from some quarters. He’s the gamekeeper turned poacher and robbing the area he once protected. In that he is focussing heavily on one club, I understand the concerns. I don’t agree with them, but understand where they are coming from. If any Dortmund fan wondered what Emery would be like as BVB coach, watch Arsenal this season.
But he’s worked one window so far and frankly, expecting a pearl or two already is ludicrous. Almost as mad as Emmanuel Petit talking about a £60m war chest. No-one else is; we’re all looking at £50m or £70m, so god knows why he’s getting his knickers in a twist about that.
It’s the world we live in. Supposed shock value in comments pays the bills and people rise to the bait. Madness.
Sven’s getting a taste of what that’s like with some pundit potshots taken for the perceived lack of imagination about his targets. There’s a strong Dortmund theme running through them and yes, it might be cheaper to buy the club than the squad. Sokratis is next; a £16m bid is winging its’ way to the Westfalenstadion to Michael Zorc. He’s from the planet next door to Mork’s, you know.
So, at the moment, the press reckon we’re looking at Stephan of Liechtenstein and his 38,000 men, Sokratis, and a young Turk. Classical literature was written on thinner material.
Reports this morning also suggest Medhi Benatia of Juventus is another on our radar, which is a healthy mix of Dortmund’s cavalier defending allied to Allegri’s regimented approach.
New Man, New Ways
Aaron Ramsey welcomed the arrival of Unai Emery – he wasn’t going to do anything less, was he? – amid concerns that the Welsh international suffered ankle-knack in the friendly against Mexico. He claimed he ‘rolled’ it but played on because his country needed him. In a friendly.
I’m just leaving it there because it’s the kind of mentality which could see him out for six months. ‘Tis but a flesh wound, etc.
But he won’t be so I’m not going to lose my whistles over it.
Unai is re-organising his staff with the “supporters and employees” in “shock” at the “brutality” of the regime change. Better get used to it, boys and girls; this is going to happen every 3 – 5 years from now on. Everyone’s out on their arsenal from the coaching staff with Steve Bould, to use the media’s dramatic language, hanging onto his job by a thread.
He’s going to be a liaison between the coaches and players, to get them used to the new ways of working. And bringing Unai’s coffee every morning. No ‘Tactics Tim’ situation for the Spaniard; he’s got Bouldie nipping to Starbucks to pick up the latte mochaccino, made with the coffee beans that the Asian mammal regurgitates and soya milk lite.
I don’t know; he and Jens Lehmann are being kept on just for the sake of it which is troubling to some extent. The German isn’t going to be goalkeeper coach, that’s
Javi Gracia Javi Garcia; this could end messily when we play Watford. Essentially, Emery is bringing in his own staff; that’s football.
And to some extent, it’s what we needed. A fresh way of thinking across the board. Twenty-odd years of one way of working isn’t going to suddenly disappear if everyone else remains in situ bar the manager.
Changes with a Purpose
You know, I have no issue with Emery ringing the changes. We’ve needed a new broom for a number of years and now he’s coming in with his ways, it’s bizarre to moan he’s not keeping former players on. If they are highly-respected coaches, that’s different. Because if it’s an ex-player for ex-players sakes, what’s the point?
Whether this wholesale approach to change works, we’ll find out soon enough. Until then, it’s refreshing to see the club talked about in a positive manner, overall.
Except for the shirt-sleeve sponsor. But then I’m sure the board signed off knowing there would be some criticism. A new sense of commercial acumen? It can be a bad thing although that god-awful band on the sleeves with the blue print for the sponsor doesn’t seem the best combination.