Diamond Eyes Meets His Smooth Operator

Sade won in the end. In truth, it wasn’t much of a battle for the musical headline connotation. The Three Degrees made the early running, Showaddywaddy put up a decent fight, Prefab Sprout title contenders and the Circle Jerks “When the s*** hits the fan” was easily the best fit if you add an ‘s’ to ‘fan’. Probably not appropriate for family reading, however.

Mind you, maybe Sven will be following George Formby’s advice and end up cleaning windows. The German achieved legendary status at Dortmund. Well, when he joined Arsenal. A fresh start, some new impetus as a sign as the ‘old guard’ found its’ race was run.

But Ivan jumped ship quicker than anyone expected, creating a power vacuum which, on the footballing side, Raul finished. Unai Emery became empowered by the move as well; the coterie would dominate transfer discussions: Unai highlighted weaknesses, Sven identified the players and Raul made the deals.

Simple.

Sadly, the simple rarely is and Ivan, the creator, became the architect of its’ downfall. Honigstein suggests it is a culture clash and a bruised ego at play; entirely plausible given the reasons for his departure from Dortmund. Arguing with the coach and banned from the training ground; artistic temperament or a ‘big personality’?

The numbers man met his nemesis in the contacts book tucked neatly into Raul Sanllehi’s pocket. Cold logic, substantiated by the data, came face-to-face with the coach’s footballing instinct. Two battles too many to win.

It’s not a hard story to believe.

Talk Is Cheap

The transfer talk of this window is not about promising youngsters, it’s primary players are those whom Emery knows and trusts. Ever Banega is shaping to become the next Yann M’Vila while Dennis Suarez has Salamon Kalou written all over him, hopefully not using indelible ink as that’s a bit of a bugger to remove.

Is it the cause or effect? The club’s target is to return to the Champions League and there are two ways of going about it: instant returns on investment or a long game, waiting for youth to realise its’ promise.

Or, football’s pragmatism vs the wilderness years.

With our current squad, bringing in the untried and untested at this level would certainly signal a number of years outside the top four, something our business model isn’t robust enough to sustain.

Pragmatism wins. The antithesis of Sven’s thinking, if you like, and I’m sure, a waste of his talents. None of the names touted needed extensive scouting, I’m sure. It’s easier, in our situation, to make a decision on the likes of Carrasco or James Rodriguez than a youngster from Ligue 2.

And I think we need to take step back from all this. If there is a power struggle, is it rooted in broken career promises or a failure to deliver what is needed? The narrative of Ivan’s wishes not being fulfilled is easy to create and may be true.

Stories about appointing Edu as technical director circulated recently. However, do they spring from Sven’s desire to leave or are they the cause of that departure? The manifestation of a power vacuum or just the club moving to close the gap caused by an imminent departure?

Sven Will I See You Again?

Amy Lawrence’s eulogy in this morning’s Guardian paint Sven as a guardian of the club’s soul. There’s little public evidence to support that view and Arsenal are as far from a rock ‘n’ roll club as you can imagine.

Mislintat, I’d venture, is probably the right man at the wrong time in the club’s history. Essentially, he was charged with setting up a new department. We had analysts and scouts but not in the style of a modern elite club. His role was to bring that into the 21st century and deliver a robust pipeline of players.

Citing examples of Lewandowski, Kagawa, Aubameyang and Dembele as his wins is easy but past record is no guarantee of future success. Think Mochi at Roma.

The magician at Sevilla isn’t such good copy in Rome and not as successful although £50m for Cengiz Under is a headline-grabbing win if it happens. Plenty of questions were asked of him in the first year in the Eternal City and periodically, arise depending on the team’s fortunes.

Sven has yet to enjoy that success at Arsenal which is where I’m struggling with the ‘God-like’ status being afforded him. There isn’t a coherent strategy in evidence which isn’t just down to Mislintat. Requests that we hear one from Raul in light of this news are the ones we should be making now.

There are two ways of looking at this moment. Treat it like a feeling doom, let your bowels turn to water if you must. Or, get someone else in, plan for the summer and do the loan deals we’re trying to now.

Ozil Has To Leave The Building

We have more pressing issues to resolve with the squad. Funds are released in the summer when Welbeck, Ramsey and Petr Cech leave as well as many others. Most of all, we need to resolve Mesut Ozil’s future.

As Maurizio Sarri told the Chelsea board about Eden Hazard, get the situation sorted. And quickly. It won’t help us now but in six months time, it could be a massive win for the club and player.

While I appreciate the role Mislintat plays at the club, we aren’t falling apart at the seams. Ivan’s reputation, however, is taking one hell of a battering.

’til Tomorrow.

28 thoughts on “Diamond Eyes Meets His Smooth Operator

  1. YW,

    Soz YW….for some reason your email notification comes thro’ twice on my devices….one a fair while after the first.
    But…when I respond to the first email as soon as its thro’-I never fail to get the first posting of the day……after years in the wilderness,having to look on enviously as some expat(what was his name?)-that lives in France,talking about earing spicy sausage and drinking Rosé at ten in the morning…and Damon…bloody Damon😂
    I’ve arrived in life YW,got me a posh coffee machine and first poster once in a while-life doesn’t much better eh !

  2. While all the balloons and plane streamers of ‘Go Wenger Go’ were in full swing I always held that our basic needs were twosome: Wenger to let go because his delightful football had been found out by the mundane tactics of vastly inferior managers, and because we had the misfortune to be sold to an American millionaire to whom football does not matter at all, except as property to be sold on at the appropriate time and circumstance. And how do you get a multi-millionaire to believe in anything but money? If it were not so, we would have got rid of at least half of our defensive squad by this time.Many of them were desperate buys at half-price to shore up Wenger’s failing regime (because the latter had grown to be the sort of man Kronke needed at the time). Seeing them play today I cannot bear to watch a match to the end. Since our great 4-2 victory over our next door neighbours we seem to have gone on holiday. I am from Malta, but this supposed foursome wouldn’t even fit into a local side, much less don the proud colours of a once great club like Arsenal. Truly sorry for all this.

  3. victor Fenech:
    While all the balloons and plane streamers of ‘Go Wenger Go’ were in full swing I always held that our basic needs were twosome:Wenger to let go because his delightful football had been found out by the mundane tactics ofvastly inferior managers, and because we had the misfortune to be sold to an Americanmillionaire to whom football does not matter at all, except as property to be sold on at the appropriate time and circumstance.And how do you get a multi-millionaire to believe in anything but money?If it were not so, we would have got rid of at least half of our defensive squad by this time.Many of them were desperate buys at half-price to shore up Wenger’s failing regime (because the latter had grown to be the sort of man Kronke needed at the time). Seeing them play today I cannot bear to watch a match to the end. Since our great 4-2 victory over our next door neighbours we seem to have gone on holiday. I am from Malta, but this supposed foursome wouldn’teven fit into a local side, much less don the proud colours of a once great club like Arsenal. Truly sorry for all this.

    Victor-there’s not much to disagree with you there-other than the fact that if we as a club don’t succeed in winning cups and titles then we won’t sustain the cash cow status for Stan as interest in Arsenal will fizzle out.
    If at some point he doesn’t invest we’ll drop further down the league,and it’ll become an ever decreasin circle.

  4. Jonnygunner,

    Just need to be able to make a pasty go with your home brewed cider while putting your feet up in front of the log burner and footy and you really will have arrived!

  5. consolsbob:
    Jonnygunner,
    Its something I aspire to Bob 🙋🏼‍♂️

    Just need to be able to make a pasty go with your home brewed cider while putting your feet up in front of the log burner and footy and you really will have arrived!

  6. Democracies in football hardly ever work. Raul has seen Sven off, or Sven has walked.

    It did seem Sven was making some decent signings: Torreira, Guendouzi, Sokritis, but against that there was Mhicky and Lichtsteiner. How much he had to do with these we have no idea. He definitely got a lot of press.

    To make the team competitive we need good coaching, decent recruitment and a youth production line. We seem to be moving in the right direction, slowly.

    The transfer window in the summer will tell us a lot more.

  7. Those French with their fancy Spicey Sausage Earrings.

    Was it Ras or Philippe Auclair?

    Jonnygunner:
    YW,

    ‘some expat(what was his name?)-that lives in France,talking about earing spicy sausage and drinking Rosé at ten in the morning’

  8. Jonnygunner,

    He’s got us all cornered then, this damn Yankee billionaire. And this after our last British owners had said that they won’t have anything to do with ‘his sort’! I have supported and followed Arsenal from birth (via my father who supported them in our brilliant 1930s), and I feel very let down by our present predicament. Time to say ‘Au revoir, Gunners, great club of the past’. Wasted time to follow a so-so team with little belief of change! Sorry.

  9. victor fenech,

    Things may be bleak but a fan it is very hard to imagine anything that could drain tha Arsenal blood that courses through me. Father and Grandfather bequeathed this club to me and no greedy bolding bastard is going to push me out.

  10. victor fenech:
    Jonnygunner,
    Don’t do it Victor-you can’t give up the Gunners.They’re a part of all of us.

    He’s got us all cornered then, this damn Yankee billionaire. And this after our last British owners had said that they won’t have anything to do with ‘his sort’!I have supported and followed Arsenal from birth (via my father who supported them in our brilliant 1930s), and I feel very let down by our present predicament. Time to say ‘Au revoir, Gunners, great club of the past’.Wasted time to follow a so-so team with little belief of change! Sorry.

  11. consolsbob:
    victor fenech,

    Things may be bleak but a fan it is very hard to imagine anything that could drain tha Arsenal blood that courses through me. Father and Grandfather bequeathed this club to me and no greedy boldingbastard is going to push me out.

    Well said Bobster 👏🏻

  12. Great post Yogi

    Boot top deep fresh powder today on the slopes here in Colorado and no energy left over to comment on all things Arsenal. Thanks for your daily posts. I didn’t think it was possible but you have gotten better over time.

  13. My concern is wit Stan being so absent for so long (fingers crossed Josh fixes that). We appear to be easy prey financially. Turn up, not do much, get paid handsomely and leave. From top to bottom, I hope the new duo have come to fix that. With Ramsey and potentially ozil (toes crossed) told to do one we can start wit a fairly clean slate come the summer.

  14. We all knew this wasn’t going to be fixed in one season and that Emery, Sanllehi and Mislintat(until he is gone he is ours) would need at leasta couple of windows so the doom, while understood, might be a bit premature. I know I have my feelings towards players but I support them, yup even Ramsey when he plays well, but I think the piling on of Ozil is becoming maddening. He is still ours and has shown capable and still, last I checked, is an Arsenal player so the clear lack of support might have something to do with all of this or am I mistaken. I am constantly told that for all of Ramsey’s faults, he still is our player and still has n impact so lets support him…why doesn’t Ozil get the same treatment?

    Chelsea is going to be a massive test for the club and really our squad. Fuck it, lets see what happens.

    Until the Chelsea match, chat with you lads then more because of life than anything.

  15. C,

    Because we all see that Ramsey is still playing like he always has, like he wants to. he tries and he gives his all. We don’t see that in Ozil.

  16. What was apparent against West Ham for Me was that the ” effort” in this Game was no where near the level of earlier Matches.

    That along with there was nobody to provide the bullets from Lacazette and Aubamayang.

    It’s pretty evident that Emery does not fancy Ozil. We had 2 defenders on the bench against W Ham.

    I am trying to think what our 2 attackrts must be thinking ? Both are not greatly involved in build up play. Laca contributes more in that aspect. What must they be both thinking ?

    I’ve watched Aubamayangs body language and he was very much off key .

    Is it possible to think that there maybe discord in the dressing room. This is not to say Emery has lost the dressing room. How else can you explain this lack lustre performance?

  17. consolsbob:
    victor fenech,

    Things may be bleak but a fan it is very hard to imagine anything that could drain tha Arsenal blood that courses through me. Father and Grandfather bequeathed this club to me and no greedy boldingbastard is going to push me out.

    I can imagine a European Super League in the not too distant future that involves the club that we once knew as Arsenal. Assuming it means it kills us domestically, that’ll be the time I sidestep to another dimension. Football-wise

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