Sven Mislintat: Arsenal scouting was “bloated” and club “dysfunctional“

Former Head of Recruitment Sven Mislintat has previously labelled its scouting “bloated” and the club “dysfunctional” and structure “an absolute mess”

Mislintat left Arsenal in February 2019. A key reason why he left is due to a row with Raul Sanllehi over Arsenal’s scouting department.

According to the Independent, Mislintat felt that Arsenal’s scouting department was too bloated and attempted to trim it down but was blocked from doing so by Sanllehi.

A lot of fuss has been made of Arsenal making 55 employees redundant. There are explanations behind every single redundancy.

The scouting department has been under review ever since Mislintat shared his view with Sanllehi. Just last summer, Arsenal trimmed the scouting department.

Following the appointment of Edu as technical director, Arsenal have continued to monitor the situation and decided to make further scouts redundant, including Head of International Recruitment Francis Cagigao.

In recent years, there has been a move away from “traditional scouting”.

Under Arsene Wenger, the scouting department was huge, with scouts in every corner of the globe.

It set Arsenal apart from other Premier League clubs. But that was over 20-years ago.

These days scouting is much more data driven.

Clubs pay big money (or in Arsenal’s case own) for data on footballers.

The stuff we see on Opts or Understat, clubs have access to much more.

In modern recruitment, clubs tend to be recommended players by local independent scouts who are not on the payroll. These scouts make commission if the player they recommended is signed.

Clubs then run the player through their data programmes, and analyse video footage of them.

Based on the opinion of their analysis, clubs then decide whether to send a scout out to watch said player or to not bother.

Back before the era of data and technology, clubs would be unable to rule out players without seeing them.

The technology allows for clubs to work in a more structured manner, focusing on players who have the data to back up the recommendation. No longer do clubs have to spend money on sending a scout out to the middle of nowhere based on a recommendation.

A mixture between the new technology and data meant that Arsenal’s huge scouting network had become bloated and hard to control.

It seems Edu agrees with Mislintat’s viewpoint and this has led to Arsenal to further trim down the scouting department.

Moving forward, Arsenal will act on recommendations of independent scouts and be paying a commission rather than a salary. In turn this saves the club money and allows the club to operate with a smaller, more manageable scouting department.

Arsenal making 55 people redundant has made a lot of people angry. But the scouting department has been bloated and dysfunctional for some time.

It was likely Arsenal would have culled the scouting department even if Covid19 did not happen.



10 thoughts on “Sven Mislintat: Arsenal scouting was “bloated” and club “dysfunctional“

  1. Ben

    Apparently most of the 55 redundancies aren’t scouts – I’ve read that they’re in commercial / office roles.
    Scouts generally don’t need to be made redundant because most are not employees, they’re contractors. So getting rid of them isn’t something that needs to be announced. Many Arsenal scouts are being let go… just in addition to many of the 55 roles.

    Arsenal binning off 55 employees in the current climate to save something that’s likely less than 20% of Ozil’s wages feels very very wrong, especially when the messaging is all around “family” and “in it together” and “spirit”.

    I really like Arteta and many of the Arsenal
    players. They’re special. However, I have nothing but contempt for its owners and executive team. Not a likeable club anymore and not a club I want to support anymore, so I’ve just given up my season ticket after 12 years.


    1. Godonga

      You are bluffing. The key is in the word redundant…it means club is restructuring, and it is the board s mandate to do so. The board is just doing its job. Arsenal was never a socialist club!!!
      We have qualified for Europe for a record 26 years uninterupted.
      We are officially the Cup Kings of England at No, 14 FA cups.
      We are the Arsenal. FORWARD ALWAYS.


    2. Johnno

      Arsenal Football Club has ALWAYS lived within its means, they are now reacting to the new environment they find themselves in. And I dont know whether you`ve been paying attention to the Ozil saga but the club have been trying to get rid of him for well over a year. It wasnt the Kroenke`s who decided to close down the economy, place people under house arrest and ban them from going to the football, it was weak minded governments around the world. The worlds economy is about to enter into a depression so we better get used to job losses because there are going to be millions of them in the UK alone. That being said, I agree with you that we are not a likeable club anymore. I wont contribute another penny towards them. The day the club openly supported an anti-white Marxist, black supremacist group was my finish. Seeing the players wear t-shirts and take a knee for a violent criminal junkie and the captain make black power salutes just rubbed salt in the wounds.


  2. carl

    totally agree with this article …. and football pundits thinking the club are low in morals because of what we are doing regards to slimming down the scouts need to just do one !!


  3. Mr Scott Lewis

    Only using data that you have paid for so that you can then at your own leisure analys it has some big flaws to it, and they are.
    1,you will only be able to get footage and data that shows how great a player is, never the nasty bits.
    2,can you get hours of footage of a central defender organising the defence at home and away playing against all different teams.
    3,how a forward reacts when he loses the ball, does he just give up or does he fight to regain the ball.
    How players react when playing not only the top teams but also the lower league teams.
    Data is just info on a piece of paper, there is no substitute to watching the player the club is interested in playing live.
    I am not a scout but common sense must prevail.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.