Tag Archives: Sven Mislintat

The white noise surrounding Sven Mislintat’s impending departure

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 is taking a much more hands-on role to recruitment
  • 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.


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….


Brilliant recruitment key in crazy transfer market

A good recruitment team is worth its way in gold.

Anyone ever involved in HR or recruitment will know that if you get a solid internal recruitment team, you do not waste money on expensive recruitment agency fees or poor hires who leave after 3 months.

Football is no different to business.

If you get a good recruitment team, with good scouts, you can save yourself millions.

At a club like Manchester City, with their billions, or Real Madrid with their millions and “pull”, you do not need a top recruitment team. You can keep chucking money at a problem until you get it right.

Just look at Manchester City and their signing of centre backs over the years since, how much they have thrown at trying to get a partner for Vincent Kompany:

Kolo Toure £16,000,000
Joleon Lescott £22,000,000
Jerome Boateng £11,000,000
Stefan Savic £6,000,000
Matija Nastasic £12,000,000
Martín Demichelis £3,500,000
Eliaquim Mangala £40,000,000
Nicolás Otamendi £32,000,000
John Stones £47,500,000
Aymeric Laporte £57,000,000

Nearly £250million spent on centre backs since signing Kompany and the best two were Jerome Boateng (who they did not give the chance too) and Martin Demichelis (who was the cheapest).

Over at Tottenham we can see the affect of good and bad recruitment.

In 2013 they sold Gareth Bale for £85,000,000. That same summer they spent over £100million on Paulinho, Nacer Chadli, Robert Soldado, Etienne Capoue, Vlad Chiriches, Christian Ericksen and Erik Lamela. Only Ericksen turned out to be a good signing.

More recently, however, they have recruited well.

Ben Davies, Dele Alli, Son Heung-min, Toby Alderweireld and Victor Wanyama all came in for a combined cost of under £50million.

That is not to say there recruitment has been brilliant. Daniel Levy is often lauded for his fantastic business as the transfer window comes to a close, but the truth is he has recruited poorly towards the end of a transfer window.

As prices continue to spiral and we see high prices for average players, it is more important than ever to have a top notch recruitment team who can scour the globe and find that superstar.

Some of the prices we have seen this summer have been incredible. Rumours of Wilfried Zaha for £70million. We are seeing Championship standard players moving for £20million+.

All this does it further highlight how important Sven Mislintat and his team are for Arsenal now, and moving forward.

We are never going to be able to sign a Kylian Mbappe for £166m, Philippe Coutinho for £110m or Cristiano Ronaldo for £80m.

But what we can do with the right recruitment is find the next 17-year old kid who could turn into Mbappe, or recruit a 21-year old Coutinho struggling in Italy, or a £12m youngster from Portugal who becomes the next Cristiano Ronaldo.

Arsenal recently spent around £50m on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. 5 years ago Sven Mislintat took him to Borussia Dortmund for just £13million.

In 2013, a lot of people knew of Aubameyang. Everyone knew his story, his struggles to break through at AC Milan, his sparkling form at Saint-Étienne in Ligue 1. But only Mislintat pushed to make the move and Dortmund ended up developing one of the best strikers in the world.

Good recruitment is not new to Arsenal.

Dennis Bergkamp was struggling in Italy. Marc Overmars had 2 injury hit seasons in Holland. Emmanuel Petit was a journeyman centre back in France.

A teenage Patrick Vieira was languishing in AC Milan’s reserves. Thierry Henry struggling to make an impact at Juventus. The early years of the Arsene Wenger era was defined by brilliant recruitment enabling us to compete with the much richer Manchester United in the league.

The late years of his time at the club, however, was defined by poor recruitment. A policy that had perhaps lost its way.

You probably have to go back to the 2012/13 season for the last year Arsenal had a real good summer when it came to recruitment.

Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal were not big names, but they became big players. It was also the year we took a risk on Olivier Giroud.

Since that year we have had a mixture of big money signings (Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Alexandre Lacaette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang) and relative unknowns who have not really performed (Gabriel Paulista, Calum Chambers, Mohamed Elneny, Lucas Pérez, Shkodran Mustafi).

The difference is between now and those late 90’s days is the relative unknowns are often costing a lot of money, and every top side has now invested heavily in scouting systems and statistical analysts teams, meaning it is even harder to find a talented youngster that no one knows about, or a senior pro who is perhaps underperforming or being under used.

In Sven Mislintat, Arsenal have one of the best in the world.

This summer we have spent a little under £70million.

When you consider that we signed Lucas Torreira for £22million, you realise how important a good recruitment team is.

Chelsea have signed Jorginho (£57.4m), Liverpool Naby Keita (£48m) and Fabinho (£39m), and Manchester United Fred (£47m). Based on his World Cup showing, Torreira is in the class of these players, but cost half as much.

The likes of James Maddison has gone to Leicester City for more than Torreira, and this week Tottenham have been linked with Lewis Cook for £30million.

Cook is a good young player, but Torreira is clearly superior – and only 1-year older. Torreira could turn out to be one of the signings of the season.

Arsenal also secured Mattéo Guendouzi for just £7million.

Guendouzi is the sort of player that Diamond Eye Sven was bought in to discover.

Playing for Lorient in Ligue 2, he only turned 19-years old in April and he looks a delightful talent. When you consider that “known” prospects are going for £20million+, if you can find an unknown prospect, you are quids in.

Leicester snapped up Riyad Mahrez from Ligue 2 and N’Golo Kante from Ligue 1. The unknowns are out there if you wish to take the time to find them.

We then have Bernd Leno.

Now he is certainly not an “unknown” but for Arsenal to have got a goal keeper of his quality for £19million is an absolute steal.

Arsenal have made some brilliant signings for less than £70million. For that we could have signed Richarlson and Lewis Cook. Two mid-table players at best. Or we could have spanked all of that on Zaha. An average player who flatters to deceive.

Sven Mislintat could be the most important appointment at Arsenal since Arsene Wenger.