Tag Archives: Raul Sanllehi

The non-stories surround Arsenal’s search for a technical director

It is well documented that Arsenal are after a technical director.

Since Raul Sanllehi took over from Ivan Gazidis, the Spainard has believed that adding a technical director to off field management team is important.

In recent the last 2 weeks two high profile reported Arsenal targets have decided their future lies elsewhere.

Firstly we have Marc Overmars, who currently holds a similar position at Ajax.

The ex-Arsenal winger Marc Overmars has signed a new contract that keeps him as Ajax’s director of football until 2024.

Some outlets have written the fabricated story that by deciding to remain at Ajax, he has “rejected Arsenal”.

This is simply an unfounded claim.

It was the media who linked Overmars to Arsenal; with the tenuous link that Overmars used to play for Arsenal and is currently a technical director. It was a care of putting 2 and 2 together and getting 5 for the sake of a story.

Arsenal might have spoken to Overmars about the position, just like in my job I speak to competitors employees to discuss if they would be interested in a move. But this discussion would have been done quietly, and certainly not something that would have been leaked to the media.

So the media fabricated a story that Overmars was one of Arsenal’s primary targets; and then the media fabricated a second story that he had rejected us.

The Monchi links were certainly stronger than the Overmars one, and it is interesting to see that he is set to retain to Sevilla 2 years after leaving the Spanish club for Roma.

“I thank Arsenal for their interest,” said Monchi, who worked with Arsenal boss Unai Emery during their time together at Sevilla.

“It has been the club that has shown the most interest in me but, in the end, I evaluated all of the offers I had on the table and I chose the one that convinced me most.

“I had other options, and very important ones that were flashier, but I’ve chosen Sevilla because its sporting project convinced me.”

My feeling over Monchi rejecting us is the role of technical director at Arsenal is not as senior as what he would have wanted.

Whoever comes in will report into Raul Sanllehi, who is Director of Football.

The technical director will not be fully in charge of running the entire playing side of the club, unlike Sanllehi when he joined whilst Ivan Gazidis was CEO.

He will work underneath Sanllehi. The Spaniard will remain ultimately responsible for running the football side of the club and implementing the vision.

The issue is someone like Monchi ,with his experience and track record, would have wanted the ultimately responsibility of running the football side of the club.

Monchi would have worked well under Gazidis, in a similar role that Sanllehi was originally employed to do. However now that we have Sanllehi, we do not need someone as senior.

The technical director at Arsenal will undertake delegated tasks that Sanllehi does not have time to do himself. He will be responsible for implementing Sanllehi’s vision, rather than implementing his own.

The technical director will not be part of Arsenal’s senior management team – Sanhllehi, Vinai Venkatesham and Unai Emery. It will be a position below them. The position will not even require board sign off. Sanllehi can appoint whoever he wants.

It is perhaps a role that Monchi saw as being beneath him. To junior a role.

Yes, Monchi was on the short list, but it is the equivalent of trying to recruit an operations manager for a branch managers role.

The headlines that Arsenal have been “snubbed twice” in their search for a new technical director are simply created for hits.

They show a lack of knowledge and lack of understanding on the role. What or who Arsenal want.

The fact that the role of technical director at Arsenal makes headline news simply highlights how newsworthy we are, and how media outlets rely on using our name for advertising revenue.


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.