Over the weekend, Marc Overmars parted ways with Ajax.
This led to the usual suspects demanding Arsenal “Sack Edu, appoint Overmars”.
The sort of fans who were saying this are those that think everyone at Arsenal is useless. Everyone not at Arsenal is magnificent.
They spend their days abusing Mikel Arteta and Edu and celebrating the performances of Matteo Guendouzi and William Saliba.
Despite Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s well documented history of misdemeanors, they think it was wrong for the club to allow him to leave to Barcelona; These sort of fans would have criticised the club had an offer from the Spanish giants had been rejected.
The sort of fans where if the club goes right, they moan they should go left. And when they go left, they moan the club go right.
So filled with hatred towards the club they allegedly support, they were calling for Arsenal to appoint Overmars the second they read the news; failing to take a moment to understand why the Dutchman had suddenly left Ajax.
A 10 second search on Google would be all it would require to establish the reasoning for Overmars depature, so soon after signing a new deal at the club he had been at for 10 years.
In situations like this, I am reluctant to be overly critical until the full story has come out.
Is it wrong to send “inappropriate messages” if it is consentual?
Back end of last year we saw Australian cricket captain Tim Paine lose the captaincy and his place in the test team on the eve of the Ashes in a similar situation.
Paine’s crime was that he sent a naughty picture to a co-worker in 2017. He was having an affair with the co-worker.
Whilst some might point out that Paine and Overmars are married, is having an affair really a sackable offence?
And before any of you try and take the moral high ground, have a look at you own behaviour. Have you had an affair? Shared naughty pictures with a co-worker? Had a flirt on a works night out? We have all been there.
Whilst I have defended Overmars, it is more about not finding him guilty of something before it has been established whether he has done anything wrong.
Considering we are unaware of the full circumstance, to call for Edu to be sacked and Overmars appointed is jumping the gun. It also shows a lack of repsect for Edu.
Edu joined Arsenal in the summer of 2019, but did not take over full control of transfer proceedings until a year later follwing Raul Sanllehi’s departure in August 2020.
The Brazilian took over a squad filled with underperforming, overpaid hasbeens. The likes of Mesut Ozil, Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi.
His first task was to try and slim down the squad. But it proved problematic as very few other clubs wanted to take on these underperforming stars and their huge wages.
Edu has since overseen the departures of Ozil, Mustafi, Sokratis, Sead Kolašinac and Calum Chambers. Willian and David Luiz have also departed, although any credit for them has to be offset by the fact that Edu was part of bringing them in (Willian) and extending their contract (Luiz).
Edu also found a buyer for Aubemayang following his drop off in form and discipline issues.
The squad needed to be thinned out, and Edu has done that.
Some might moan that Edu has thinned it out too much. Left us to short in certain positions. But what he has also not done is waste a load of money bringing in someone he or Arteta does not really want.
In January, he could have gone out and spent £75million on a striker, or £30million on a central midfielder. But if these were not players part of his long term plans, it would have been a waste of money.
It would have been easy to pay the Alexander Isak release clause. Sign him for £75million just for the sake of bringing him in. But was he worth that? And is he the man we actually want?
Edu oversees the recruitment proces. And what he is very good at is listening to the expers around him, and taking advice from all sources.
The boots on the ground scouts, the video analysts, the statistical analysts. He is not reliant on a little black book of agents connects.
His way of working has seen him oversee Gabriel, Benjamin White, Martin Odergaard, Aaron Ramsdale and Takehiro Tomiyasu. The five players are now amongster the first names on the team sheet.
He has also added Nuno Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga. Two players who have looked solid acquisitions.
Edu’s dealings have not been perfect – but nobody has a transfer record of 100% hits. But at the moment he has more in the “hit” colomn than the “miss” colomn.
So is it about time Arsenal fans respected what Edu is doing a bit more?
He has thinned out the squad, getting rid of those overpaid underpeformers. And has replaced them with younger, hungrier players.
Edu deserves better than for people calling for him to be sacked at every opportunity.