Tag Archives: Raul Sanllehi

Sven Mislintat – Truth or Lies?

So “interesting” Le Grove broke some news about Sven Mislintat.

Now I do not know whether this news is true or not. No one really does. The “news” was passed around many bloggers, who were unable to independently verify it. So is there truth in the news, or is it a case of Le Grove decided being first is more important than being accurate?

Without having my own source to verify if it is true or not, here is my take on a few things:

Everyone knew but no one said

When Le Grove “broke” the news, other bloggers came out and said that they had “heard the same at the weekend”. If so many were told the news, why did no one say? Did they not trust the source?

The 3 sources

Le Grove also says that he has 3 different sources who told him over the weekend of the news. If there were this many sources, it is clearly a leaky story. Why was the story not picked up by anyone?

Lack of real media

So every blogger seemed to know, despite not breaking the news themselves. There were 3 sources. Yet not one single proper media outlet had reported the story?

Surely with such a leaky story, the likes of John Cross or Matt Law would have written a story? They have reputations of writing stories without concrete evidence. The story is perfect for click bait journalists.

The only media outlets who have picked up the story at the time of writing were 101 goals (not a real news site), The Independent (not a real newspaper) and the Metro (click bait kings).

The Independent article is filled with speculation and rumours. If Miguel Delaney (who wrote the article) knew all of that information, why did he not write about it sooner?

No noise from Germany

There has also been little noise from Germany. If Bayern Munich were discussing a move with him, would it not also have broken in Germany?

New job jitters

As a recruiter, I know how often people get the new job jitters. Many people join a company, are sold that company, only to find after 6 months or so that it is not the company for them.

It might be the culture of the company, they might have been miss-sold the job, or they might have realised the grass is not greener.

The new regime

Sven Mislintat was recruited whilst Arsene Wenger was manager and Ivan Gazidis was CEO. Raul Sanllehi and Unai Emery now hold these positions.

It is very plausible that Mislintat does not get on with his new bosses.

A different direction

Likewise, Sanllehi might not get on with Mislintat. He might have pushed the German to one side to enforce his own views on the recruitment, perhaps siding with his compatriot Emery when it came to the crunch.


Working in a new country can be daunting. Not everyone settles down.

Mislintat is from Kamen, a town on the outskirts of Germany. It is not unreasonable that after a year living in London, he is pining for a return to Germany.

Arteta and Allegri

Many of the people saying that they were told over the weekend of this news also hugely went for either Arteta or Allegri to replace Wenger. There sources were wrong on that occasion. Was it the same source?


Ultimately, we will not know the truth until it comes out. Until then it is just speculation….



Trust in Arsenal’s new axis of power

We all love a good debate about who we should and shouldn’t sign.

Every time we are linked with a player, there are some who want him, and some who think he is the wrong man.

Bernd Leno is on who has split the opinion.

I have seen some say that at 26 and with 300+ games, he is the type of experience keeper that we need – whilst still having youth on his side.

That having played so many games, of course he will have some mistakes on his show real.

There are others who point at that there are reasons behind him not being with Germany at the World Cup. That he is not much better than David Ospina.

Both sides probably have a valid argument. And ultimately they are opinions built on having probably seen him no more than 20-30 times.

Some are calling for Jack Butland. A player those in England have seen a lot more than them Leno. But he also has errors to his game. He scored a ridiculous own goal against Leicester last season:


Ultimately, you could put forward a case for and against buying both.

My opinion on those coming in is fairly simple.

In Raul Sanllehi, Sven Mislintat and Unai Emery, we have a new axis of power at Arsenal. And we need to have faith in what they are doing, and who they are signing.

Sanllehi held a similar role at Barcelona.

Whilst in Spain, he was directly involved in some of biggest transfers in Europe.

He was the man who bought Neymar to Barcelona and in 2014 led the talks to sign Luis Suarez. He also helped bring in Ivan Rakitic and Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

You then have Mislintat. Bought in from Borussia Dortmund to oversee recruitment.

He is credited with creating the pipeline of young talent at Dortmund which has produced the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Shinji Kagawa and Ousmane Dembele.

He is one of Europe’s most respected player recruitment experts.

It was Mislintat that brought Aubameyang and Henrik Mkhitaryan to Arsenal. He also returned to his old club to sign Sokratis.

Having spent all of his career in the Bundesliga (and being German), you have to think he has watched Leno more times than an Arsenal fan. He is the expert.

Finally we come to Unai Emery. After Pep Gaurdiola, he is the most successful manager in European football in recent years.

Having won 3 Europa League’s in a row with Sevilla, he went to PSG where he won 5 trophies in 2 seasons.

At Sevilla he had to work to a budget. Developing talented players, improving them. Organising them. Making the whole greater than the individual.

In the move to PSG, he dealt with the bigger egos. Edison Cavani. Neymar.

He has had success everywhere he has been.

Maybe we as fans need to forget about the past and look at the future.

Trust in the new men that they know what they are doing. Back who they are bringing in.

Also back whose contracts they are renewing (and whose they are not). I saw one idiot claim that he wanted Granit Xhaka to “break his legs at the World Cup” moments after his new contract was announced.

Let’s get back to supporting The Arsenal. Backing the team. Giving the new men a chance and trusting their decisions.

And if you are unable to do so, maybe it is you that is the problem, not Arsenal.


Arsenal target Steve Bould replacement

There has been a lot of talk about Mikel Arteta and Patrick Vieira being on a short list to replace Arsene Wenger.

When you look at the other 3 names being heavily linked – Max Allegri, Luis Enrique and Joachim Lowe – the former Arsenal players are clearly inferior in terms of top level experience.

I have a theory that is not as left field as it might seem.

Arsenal are interested in recruiting Mikel Arteta and / or Patrick Vieira to join the coaching set up at the club, with the view of replacing Steve Bould and / or Boro Primorac.

With Wenger leaving, it is hard to see how Primorac remains at the club. He was bought in by Wenger, he is Wenger’s man, he is the assistant manager in all but job title, and will join Arsene wherever he go’s. There is also the potential the Neil Banfield, another bought in by Wenger in 1997, will also move on.

You then have Steve Bould. What does he actually do? Is he actually any good?

Arsenal will look to make a senior appointment. A well established manager who is recognised throughout the world as one of the best managers in the game. They will want to avoid the mistake Manchester United made when appointing David Moyes.

Moyes struggled to attract players to the club in his one and only season. Like it or not, Wenger was a draw at Arsenal. Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all mentioned that Arsene Wenger was part of the reason they joined Arsenal.

Picture the situation. You have Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta (at Arsenal) chasing a player. Who is that player least likely to be interested in playing for? Now change Arteta to Allegri, Enrique or Lowe. It will suddenly prick up their ears.

I honestly think Bould will follow Primorac out of the door when the new man comes in, and want Arsenal want is for Enrique, Allegri or Lowe to bring in their own coaching team, but also integrate either Arteta or Vieira as Assistant Manager.

Picture the scene. Luis Enrique is announced as manager. Arteta, a Spaniard who knows Arsenal is his assistant.

Or Max Allegri is the choice, and alongside him is Arsenal’s last great captain – Patrick Vieira. And Vieira spent 6 years playing in Italy.

Both will do the multi-role of coaching players, being the link between the players and manager, translator and ensuring that the new manager understand what it means to be at Arsenal.

At Barcelona, Raul Sanllehi clearly liked to promote from within – or employ former players – as manager.

It was during Sanllehi’s reign that Pep Guardiola promoted from manager of Barcelona B to the full team. His next appointment was Tito Vilanova, who was Guardiola’s assistant manager.

Luis Enrique followed Guardiola into the Barcelona B job. He then spent a year at Roma and Celta Vigo, before rejoining Barcelona.

The only time Sanllehi went away from getting in someone with “Barcelona DNA”, it was a colossal failure. Gerardo Martino managed the club between Vilanova  and Enrique.

Ernesto Valverde was his most recent appointment. The Spaniard spent 2 years at Barcelona in the late 80s.

The remit given to Sanllehi when he joined Arsenal would have been “turn us into Barcelona” so it is only natural that he follows the same blueprint that Barcelona used so successfully under his guardianship. Recruiting from within.

He would have assessed those currently at Arsenal, the likes of Steve Bould, and decided that they are not managerial material. That means he needs to look outside, those who are not currently with the club.

The likes of Arteta, Vieira, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry. The problem is all these names are unproven, and he has not seen them work. So a move for a big name manager seems natural – with Arteta and / or Vieira joining the coaching set up.

It will then be up to one of those two, alongside Per Mertesacker, to continue their development whilst the new manager is in, putting themselves in a position where they are ready to take over in 2 or 3 years time when he stands down.

I can easily see the next 10 years of Arsenal managers being (for example): Allegri/Enrique > Arteta/Vieira > Merteseacker.

And all of this is just idle speculation.