Raul Blocks New Order & More Backing For Emery

The international break proved useful for something, I suppose, with the decorating well in-hand. For Arsenal, it is providing little respite. Unai Emery remains as unpopular as ever while Raul is now coming into the spotlight.

Sir Chipboard Keswick decided the board knew nothing about football and wanted someone to teach them; someone who knows the club. David O’Leary is that man and appeared to be on course for a seat at the gilded table.

Does Keswick sense the days of wine and roses are numbered? That Enos and Junior might be questioning what purpose the Bufton-Tuftons and Ken Friar serve? O’Leary’s appointment would, to some extent, empower the questioning of Raul and Edu over decisions taken.

It was apparent this summer that Raul has a direct line to Enos and Junior and easily bypasses the directors. Sir Chipboard isn’t having any of that. Sanllehi isn’t keen on the idea of greater scrutiny so a quick chat with the moneymen killed the idea for now.

And let’s face it, after fifteen years of shenanigans at Barcelona, quashing Sir Chipboard’s ambition is child’s play.

It is interesting, however, that the board essentially feels powerless and wants someone to advise. The spirit of self-preservation runs strongly through them, as does an apparent desire to be seen as ‘custodians’ for the club. That role became vacated when KSE took over 100% of the ownership.

There is something almost comedic in the timing. For a decade, we clamoured for former players to be brought on board. Now, at a time when the directors are at their weakest and most powerless, they do exactly that. Not when it is useful but when they are useless.

It seems so typically Arsenal, to be honest.

Power, Corruption & Lies

And much needed. Nobody is above scrutiny and while Raul may be in charge of the footballing side, does he answer to anyone? Enos and Junior don’t invest themselves in Arsenal in a hands-on way. It’s very much delegation to the management as it should be.

However, if they are managing all their investments, Arsenal are just one of the portfolio. Big and mediocre. What is Raul doing to turn that around? How is he helping the head coach who is so obviously out of his depth?

As I wrote recently, Emery is going to get something of a bounce in the coming weeks. The fixtures fall kindly and while there are potential banana skins, we ought to come through with a good points total. That’s what you’d think in normal circumstances but these circumstances are far from normal.

Do the board want to take the decision to fire Emery if they feel necessary? They shouldn’t need O’Leary to take the decision but it gives it a hint of credibility if Spider is involved. Not so much if he then nominates himself for head coach as Mark Bowen did at Reading…

Anything which makes the board better informed is to be welcomed, I suppose, but it is hard to see how this leaves them any less neutered or any more influential?

Arsenal’s corporate governance both in a business and sporting sense has long left plenty to be desired. The appointment of a former player is to welcomed but without a clear purpose or any sense of power, seems purposeless.


With the players away on international duty, candid media interviews are commonplace. Former skipper Granit Xhaka’s had his say, now Alexandre Lacazette has his. Except it was to the club website because he isn’t part of the France squad.

Nonetheless, he admitted we’re not very good at the moment. “Obviously we’re not at the top of our game at the moment,” he declared with an admirable understatement. However, he feels that “we remain leaders in the Europa League, we’re still in the running in the championship.”

I’m fairly sure he was misquoted for the latter. I am certain he said, “We’re still in the running for finishing the season in the Championship.” It must be so irritating for him to be so badly misquoted by the in-house media team.

There’s no reason to expect him to do anything other than toe the company line. It is interesting that he doesn’t know whether or not the club is back Emery.

“The group definitely supports the coach and I’m sure the club does as well,” definitely points to neither Raul or Edu sticking their heads around the dressing room door to let the players know that Emery has their backing.

Is this important? If results don’t improve, it is significant, indicative that Emery no longer holds Raul’s confidence nor that of Enos and Junior for that matter.

That, however, seems some way off and the mediocrity will continue.

’til Tomorrow.

25 thoughts on “Raul Blocks New Order & More Backing For Emery

  1. Paulie Walnuts says:

    Typical Arsenal.

    We go from allowing Arsene to run practically everything at the club to having so many coaches , directors of football , technical advisors & football consultants that the players won’t know which way to turn.

    I’d suggest that something in between may be best….like when Arsene had David Dein around.

    I suppose having layers of management might mean those at the top survive when the shit hits the fan. Other than that it all seems fashionably modern yet pointless.

  2. Spike says:

    Joke of a club.

    Thanks Yogi Pinkerton-Smythe

  3. Adam Singh says:

    Is there even any point to a Board if there are no shareholders? I can’t imagine Abramovich has one?

  4. Blue Yonder says:

    The awful product Arsenal are putting on the pitch is not going to help the financial picture one bit. Presumably, it will lead to more empty seats. Continual decline will impact the value of their sponsorship deals. And so on and so on. At some point, the Kronkes will be forced to take action. One avenue for them would be to sell the club.

  5. Pete the Thirst says:

    Have the image of O’Leary as Leeds manager running across the pitch, arms waving in the air, after they beat us at Elland Road in 1999. That pretty much scuppered our title chances that season.

    I’m sure he loves Arsenal, but I can’t get that out of my head.

  6. Dalm says:

    I don’t understand business.

    I don’t see what Edu or Raul or their roles are adding to the club, I guess they earn a lot.

    On and off the pitch it is a shambles.

    I’m sure there is a team in the squad. But the coach cannot get a coherent tune out of them.

  7. C says:

    What about Xhaka out and bringing in Emre Can? He’s only 25 years old and I actually rate him and he is a player but is also proven in the PL. He can not only play the DM role but play in that box-to-box role and if Emery really does want to play a 433, then pairing him would do well.

    Juve seems willing to let him go on loan with option to buy, definitely think Arsenal should be in the running.

  8. C says:

    Good stuff there Yogi

    The one thing I will say is that Edu is taking a lot of stick but lets not forget that he only joined at the end of the summer. I’m not naive to think that he poked around prior to his appointment, but lets see how January shakes out.

    I can imagine Raul and Edu laughed at the board and kept it moving.

  9. Jonnygunner says:

    How’s your decorating going YW ?

  10. Noon Gunner says:

    Adam Singh,

    Agreed, Adam. For KSE to keep a board at AFC is a bit farcical and I assume is just for the appearance of tradition and a connection with the past, but it’s a sham. They need a strong Executive Committee or some such, but a board is usually in place to represent shareholders’ interests. Josh does that all on his own, surely?

  11. MikeSA says:

    Noon Gunner,

    By law a company, including a private one, has to have a board of directors.

    Usually the Memorandum of Association of the company (the founding documents), will specify the requirements and composition of the board and their duties and responsibilities.

    There are several criteria with respect to governance for the composition of a board of a company, which should include several non-executive directors, a chairman, and one or two of the executive directors (usually the CEO and the CFO).

    Usually there are several committees as well, including a remuneration committee, an ethics committee, audit committee, etc.

    And yes, Chelsea will also have one.

  12. Woolwich Freddie says:


    There’s a case for taking a punt on him given our desperation in that position but I’ve always felt his temperament was a little suspect and he isn’t much better than Xhaka in the Getting Stupid Yellows stakes. There’s some talent in there if we had the coaching staff to bring out the best in him (questionable).

  13. C says:

    I know most don’t follow the youngsters when they leave but I have been following the career of former Arsenal youth product Glen Kamara and he has done quite well. Went to Rangers and has become an integral part of their XI as a DM and become a international, Finland, and is a nailed on first choice there. There has been discussions and rumors of PL clubs like Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Brighton wanting him in January the earliest or next summer. Congrats to him for finding his career and still only 24 years old but also in helping Finland qualify for Euro 2020.

  14. C says:

    Woolwich Freddie,

    Why not take a punt on him in a position of need for a talented player who is still on 25 years old. Sure he has a bit of an attitude, but from what Inhave read and saw while he is at Juve, he has matured and you see less of that stuff. He is also, a different type of midfielder than Xhaka. He has athleticism, drive but also tackling with the technique to not only pass but drive the midfield forward.

    If Emery is soo hell-bent on not playing Torriera, Can would be a good alternative next to Guendouzi.

  15. nicky says:


    What exactly is it between Emery and Torriera? When a coach and a player fall out, there is usually a clear reason. Can’t seem to find one here.

  16. Bill says:


    Based on what we saw in the second half of last season and so far this season it seems reasonably clear that Torriera has not been very effective. I don’t follow international football but Torriera has also lost his regular starting spot for Uruguay so clearly he has been underwhelming for them also. I suspect that is the reason Emery has not been using him.

  17. Bill says:

    I understand why no one is a fan of Xhaka and I agree that he is not a very good DM in the PL. However, based on what he has done so far in his Arsenal career we have no evidence to suggest that Torriera would be a more effective then Xhaka as a defensive midfielder.

  18. Bill says:

    I know most don’t follow the youngsters when they leave but I have been following the career of former Arsenal youth product Glen Kamara and he has done quite well.Went to Rangers and has become an integral part of their XI as a DM and become a international, Finland, and is a nailed on first choice there.There has been discussions and rumors of PL clubs like Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Brighton wanting him in January the earliest or next summer.Congrats to him for finding his career and still only 24 years old but also in helping Finland qualify for Euro 2020.


    You have always been very generous with you evaluations and scouting reports of players especially those who have come thru our academy. Playing for Rangers and Finland is not a great level of competition. There is no reason to bring in a player who is not going to make the squad better because it makes no sense to bring him in and then not use him. We did that with players who were not very good like Park and Lucas Perez. Is Kamara really a player you feel confident is good enough that if he was available you would bring him in and give him regular minutes in our starting 11?

  19. Bill says:


    If we brought in every player similar to Kamara you have said was talented and you wished we could get him we would have a squad of about 500 players right and probably would have been relegated long ago.

  20. C says:


    Your mad!!!! At no point did I EVER say he was Arsenal quality or I wanted him, simply stated good for him for making a career for himself.

  21. C says:


    There is a huge difference between congratulating a player for finding himself and making a professional career and wanting a player for the club you support. I applaud those former Arsenal youth products who go on to make it good, at whatever level, because becoming a professional futboler is EXTREMELY difficult. I don’t care if its for Finland or for Brasil, becoming an international is even more difficult and helping a small country qualify for Euro’s is even that much more difficult.

    You only see futbol as, ‘who can help Arsenal, if your not at that level, then you shit’. I look at professional futbol as, ‘congratulations for making it as a professional because of the MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS of people who want to do it, you have successfully done it and are flourishing’.

    So, good for players like Glen Kamara, Bennacer, Ozycup(sp?) and other former Arsenal youth players who didn’t make the grade at Arsenal but are still so young and are making it and flourishing at the various levels (by the way, Bennacer was the best player BAR NONE at the last AFCON including the likes of Salah and Mane). You may not make it at the top clubs but your doing something we all wish we could do and simply couldn’t….Your a professional futbol who is one of a super small handful of people in the WORLD who features match in and match out for your club and your country.

    If you can’t understand that, then what’s the fucking point and how can you enjoy futbol as a supporter or for that matter as a person! 🖕🏾

  22. Spike says:


    I usually dont follow ex players. However it is good to see Kamara (and others) doing well.

    Arsenal have produced lots of decent professionals and provided them with an excellent footballing education. I also feel they give them a good broader education too.

    Shame that education cant be used on the top brass! 🙂

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