‘I need him to concentrate’ – Arteta’s Arsenal role criticised by former chief

Former Head of Football Raul Sanllehi has insisted that Mikel Arteta should not have been named Manager of Arsenal Football Club, claiming his role should just be to coach the side.

The chief left the club in 2020, with his responsibilities being shared out across Edu Gaspar and Mikel Arteta, and the club has continued to progress since.

Sanllehi claims that Arsenal were wrong to give Arteta the reigns of ‘manager’ however.

“I do not agree when clubs call the first-team coach ‘the manager’,” Sanllehi told The Athletic.

“First-team coach is first-team coach, that is enough. Nowadays, the workload is overwhelming, and I need him to concentrate on the first team.

“Anything that distracts you from that is not your responsibility — travel arrangements, the pitch, salary budget, medical department. We will get other people to do that. The first-team coach is short-term oriented — just win tonight’s game.

“They have betrayed the model a little bit now. By going back to the manager at the top, that is a mistake, but that is their mistake. I would have not allowed that to happen. But that’s fine, it is working so far for them.”

It sounds like sour grapes by Raul here. His job was counterfeited by the decision to give Arteta more power, and he is claiming the decision was wrong.

He admits that it is working also, which makes you further question why he is criticising the decision…

Am I alone in thinking that Sanllehi’s comments just sound bitter?



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  1. As much as I’m not a Arteta fan ,reading what sanllehi said ,and I read the article he ment that Arteta should t have the responsibility as a manager ,there was no malice in what he said ,I think Patrick as taking it out of context to make an article ,it’s working just fine as it is ,going by this season and I’m happy how it’s panning out .
    Words can aways mean something different if you do t go to the source and get the whole story.

  2. It was said that, when AW left, the club would never give one man so much power / pressure again.

    Maybe Mikel will be able to handle the pressure, being younger, time will tell.

  3. What an idiotic statement! Utter rubbish. Disgraceful, pathetic, and disrespectful.

    Raul Sanllehi presided over two of the most horrible seasons Arsenal have ever endured, and managed to strip the club completely of its identity.

    Now the identity, the fans’ hope, their relationship with the manager and players, and good results from good performances have all been restored, this idiot climbs out from under the rocks to try and steal some of the spotlight.

    He would not have allowed it? Exactly why he was sacked! Idiot!
    Braindead, publicity seeking idiot who contradicts himself stupidly by saying the so-called ‘mistake’ is working. Amd working so well, the club is on top of the league.

    Oh, and when we had just a coach instead of a proper manager, we signed Pepe instead of Zaha and threw 72 mill down the drain. Certainly, that wasn’t a mistake, eh Raul?

    What an idiot!!

  4. I’m sorry … but I had to come back and reiterate what an absolute idiot Raul Sanllehi has proven himself to be: a bitter, brain-dead idiot!

    Now I know, at last, what ruined my beloved club between 2018 and 2020: this idiot’s tenure as Head of Football.

    I hope he goes to Spuds or Manure, and absolutely wrecks them!

  5. These are the functions of a football manager
    ‘The manager’s responsibilities in a professional football club usually include (but are not limited to) the following
    Selecting the team of players for matches, and their formation.
    Planning the strategy, and instructing the players on the pitch.
    Motivating players before and during a match.
    Delegating duties to the first team coach and the coaching and medical staff.
    Scouting for young but talented players for eventual training in the youth academy or the reserves, and encouraging their development and improvement.
    Buying and selling players in the transfer market, including loans.
    Facing the media in pre-match and post-match interviews.
    copied and pasted
    Am I alone in thinking that Sanllehi’s comments just sound bitter?
    No you are not alone

  6. I think he is right because there is definitely an overload on Arteta, causing further stress. The coach is supposed to a tactician. Find weakness in the opposition during play. Make swift changes when he spots a chink in our armour and not wait for the second half. Our players must get it into their heads that selection is not automatic . Arteta had defence splitting passes when he played for Arsenal and that was one the big reasons Winger signed him. He controlled the midfield. He has a footballing brain. I see the stress when things are going wrong. He is doing a fantastic job for us no doubt. I watch every game of my beloved arsenal and it pains when I see our players give the ball away so cheaply. I live in south Africa and it would be a dream come true should I be lucky enough to come to emirates to watch MY ARSENAL , I am 69 years old .

    1. Great to hear from another “oldie” Krish and I agree with your post.
      We all witnessed how it affected AW and since he kefr the club, he looks a different person.
      I worry about MA having a heart attack one day and wonder if he covers more ground than Ramsdale during a game!!

      If you do ever get to our shores, make it known and you’ll be guaranteed a seat at The Emirates.

  7. The man is a snake. Why are we giving him airtime on here?
    It was him who sacked 55 low paid workers, him who paid £72 million for Pepé in a deal where not all the fee has been accounted for, got into bed with super agents who effectively were running our club, signed Cedric for £5 million when he had a couple of months left on his contract and gave him a long contract on 90 grand a week. The list is endless and he’s now coming out with stuff trying to vindicate his actions and criticising how the club is run today, SMH. Watch him fleece his new club Zaragoza, I repeat he’s a snake.

  8. I really wish people will learn to separate the messenger from the message.

    Raul hurt us, badly. This is why the club had to let him go. But there is truth in what he has said here.

    While I trust Arteta with all the responsibilities being bestowed upon him for now, the question is how will he handle it in future? Remember what happened with Wenger and how he handled those responsibilities during his latter years? If Arteta truly has the final say on footballing matters at arsenal, then I am only comfortable with it in the interim because it seems to be working. Long term, not so much. This is because football evolves. Will Arteta evolve with it or stick to the way he’s used to, just like Wenger did in his latter years? I am not so sure. Maybe its just PTSD kicking in…

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