Yesterdays Twitter rumours over Sven Mislintat’s future at Arsenal became a bit more real overnight with the ever reliable David Ornstein reporting on the situation for the BBC.
We were very much fence sitters yesterday. There seemed to be plenty of evidence that the rumours were true, but also enough question marks over the rumours to doubt them. It is now quite clear, Mislintat is leaving Arsenal.
What is now swilling round are the rumours as to why he is leaving. Every story in the media gives a different reason:
- David Ornstein reports it is due to him being over looked for the Technical Director role
- Miguel Delaney of the Independent says it was a breakdown of relations between himself and Raul Sanllehi – that Mislintat put forward some strong recommendations for players that have not been followed up
- Over at the Express, Matt Law writes that he is unhappy that Unai Emery
- We then have the handful of outlets that are running with the Bayern Munich story. That the German giants have approached him to head up their recruitment team
- Ralph Honigsten of ESPN go’s similar to Delaney, that Mislintat is unhappy Sanllehi wants to use his network of contacts while Mislintat prefers a data/stats approach
- There is another story that I read that Mislintat found Arsenal’s existing network of scouts hard to work with
- Finally some have gossiped that there has been a big falling out between Mislintat and Emery – similar as to what happened with Thomas Tuchel at Dortmund
The truth is, no one really seems to know why he is leaving and the gossip is more damaging to Arsenal than Mislintat leaving.
Arsenal fans have a habit of trying to create sides. From Wenger to Ozil, Ramsey to Emery, there seems to be a group of fans constantly talking about the extremes, not understanding that there is a middle ground where the majority sit.
We have just got through one civil war, if fans do not behave themselves we could go into another.
People blaming Emery or Sanllehi for Mislintat’s potential departure need to stop. aiming anger at the men who are remaining at the club is just damaging. Especially as that anger is based on rumours, not fact.
Lets remember that Sven interviewed Emery, so they all knew where they stood when it came to hierarchy and dealing with transfers. Likewise the rumours about him being passed over for technical director in favour of Edu are just rumours.
it also needs to be remembered that Mislintat and Sanllehi have a history of working at different ends of the market.
Mislintat unearths gems. The likes of Shinji Kagawa and Ousmane Dembélé, whilst Sanllehi is comfortable dealing with the biggest names, their egos and their agents. There clearly is space for both of them to operate within the club, working different ends of the market.
My theory on the reasons behind Mislintat leaving are simple ones. they are human ones.
Mislintat was employed by Borussia Dortmund for 12 years. He had lived in and around the city all his life. At the age of 45, he left the city of his birth for a new job, a new country. This is a huge challenge.
I work in recruitment. You would be surprised how many CVs I see for senior staff who have been at a company for over a decade, and then have had 2 or 3 jobs in the next 2 or 3 years.
They left their life long company for whatever reason, and usually find that the grass is not greener at the new company. that the culture is not for them or the job not exactly what they wanted.
It is not unusual for new hirers to quit within their first year. It often happens a lot sooner than that. Hence why recruiters have rebate schemes for if a new hirer leaves within the first 6 months.
So would it be too much of a stretch to think that Mislintat struggled to settle at a new club, in a new city, in a new country? That perhaps he “gave it a go”. Was unhappy middle of last year, decided to give it to the end of the year and has now decided to move back to Germany.
He would not be the first person to try out working in another country, only to realise it is not for them and move back home.
Working at a football club is no different to working at any other company. It happens all the time. A company employs a new Sales Director from a rival firm where they were successful for 10 years. That new employee lasts barely a year before moving on again.
Look around you this morning. At your colleagues. At your friends. How many jobs have they had? How many moved job, only to be moving again a year later.
It happens regularly in the world of work.
I would be disappointed if Mislintat left. I really bought in to the trio of management. Mislintat leading the recruitment, Emery the coaching and Sanllehi the commercial and overall club vision. It would be a kick in the teeth after everything that has gone on over the last 12 months to lose a key man before the new era has properly got started.
However we move on. He is one man. One man who has been at the club for a little over 12 months. Arsenal were a success before Mislintat, and will be a success after.
We as fans have a habit of making a bigger deal out of things than they are. Only Arsenal could make headline news out of the Head Scout leaving.
After recent poor results and the news that “we have no money” it will feel to some fans that the club is a mess. That the bad news keeps coming.
My advice – take a step away. Remember that it is the football on the pitch, the beers with your mates that matters most. We do have an obsession with what is happening off the pitch.