“His arrival is the final and very important part of the jigsaw in our development of a new football infrastructure to take us forward.”
Raul’s lofty claim can be viewed as setting Eduardo César Daude Gaspar up for an almighty fall such is the cynicism around Arsenal at the moment. I know with every fibre of my being that such thinking is wrong but I can’t help myself.
I dare say I will feel sorry for the poor old soul when Raul decides to rip it up and start again with someone new in the technical director role. In the meantime, I wish Edu – for ’tis he – all the very best in his task for his success will reflect in the Arsenal trophy cabinet. Or at least, some good football along the way to a consolation prize.
With funds in relatively short supply until we restructure the wage bill, youth must be given time to develop. In the Premier League era, that requires patience, a virtue which is in short supply among supporters. At times, this cussedness makes me bury my head in my hands.
Edu finds himself arriving at a club he must believe is barely recognisable to the one he left more than a decade ago. I take issue with his assessment that “we have a strong squad”. However, reading too much into the Brazilian’s platitudes makes little sense is senseless; I guess I’m just a little too sensitive as one of our leaner periods continues, seemingly unabated.
A Million Pleading Faces
His first job is to meet with the staff and define boundaries. Raul defined the technical director as “working closely with Unai Emery and the first-team coaches, and will play a relevant role leading our football vision and ensuring we have – and follow – a solid philosophy through all our football activities.”
A solid squad player, Gaspar needs to bring a burning desire to succeed to the job. Amy Lawrence in this morning’s Guardian believes he “doesn’t suffer fools gladly”, the kind of driven attitude that has been absent from Arsenal for some time, on the surface at least. Expect a few cries of “move yourself” when he wants things done if that really is the case.
As with the appointment of Freddie Ljungberg, reputations forged on this nation’s green fields buy ‘suits’ some time. A honeymoon period, if you like. Arriving with little more than a month of the transfer window remaining is a tough gig. In spite of it all, Edu’s record suggests he has the skills to succeed. Corinthians owed a lot of their success in recent years to his work when they were first promoted back to Brazil’s top flight.
Of course, his part in Brazil’s 2014 humiliation is glossed over – he was Carlos Queiroz’s assistant; I bring it up now because I’m nothing more than an old eccentric. Plus the fact we need something to temper some of the unbridled optimism that his appointment brings. While we’re not quite out for the count this summer, the lack of time makes me wonder if we won’t be singing a sad lament for the inadequate strengthening which took place.
Here’s Mud In Your Eye
I am determined, however, not to be a scaremonger just yet. The artisans may yet weave their magic; at the moment, Edu’s philosophy must almost be ‘upwards and onwards’. Be quite phlegmatic about the situation but determined.
The craziest feeling surrounding the whole situation is the hero-worship of ‘suits’ once again. You’d think we’d learn our lessons from Sven’s tank tops and Raul’s patter. The latter left the former punch drunk yet still I read about what a revelation his scouting was. Not being funny but it was hardly adventurous; raiding your former employers for proven players or returning to the same league is not finding a gem.
And certainly, it’s not enough for the German to win a place in my heart. Maybe Sven was right to get while the getting’s good!
At this point, it’s a an appropriate time to turn away if you’re expecting some exciting transfer news. Fenerbahce are keen on Mesut Ozil but only if Arsenal pay a sizeable percentage of his wages. A move which, no doubt, would have Team Mesut falling and laughing, trolling the club something chronic. Little wonder the Turkish club are yet to make contact with us over a potential transfer.
It begs the question of whether continuing to pay Ozil’s wages is such a bad thing. A variation on that theme is Chelsea notionally they paid Conte’s wages following his departure although a recent court action means Abramovich must now stump up the readies, taking their total to £90m while David Moyes despite being sacked several years ago has only just left Manchester United’s payroll.
Are managerial payoffs any different to the same for players? Is a percentage of the £30m+ he’s due to receive over the remainder of his contract a bad deal for the club’s future?
Simply Thrilled, Honey
If you leave today’s post thinking Edu’s appointment doesn’t necessarily enthuse me, you’re half-right. He has a tough job and not much time to deliver the core part of it. When David Dein was in situ, to put it in a nutshell, all that ever mattered was squad strength. That was before his misguided desire to find a billionaire to invest in the club; he found two who wouldn’t, something he’ll regret to his dying day, I’m sure.
Can Edu find the results in the transfer market to bring about a change in fortunes? I hope so, but I’m not counting my chickens just yet.