Ornstein’s full revelations about Arsenal’s transfers, the Kroenkes and Ozil

The Full transcript of the interview David Ornstein gave on last week’s Arsecast podcast by Eddie Hoyte

So Hello everyone, take Arsenal’s performance at Huddersfield out of your minds, mock Chelsea all you want, let’s laugh because we do need the laugh and I enjoyed the City game from the first minute till the end.

After the game I had less to do, I was at home and had some free time, and I figured I should go back to the interview David Ornstein had on last week’s Arsecast and I thought I should get a full transcript of the interview so folks on here who couldn’t get to listen to it would also get the knowledge. Anyways it’s a long read, be patient enough to read. It’s a deep interview that exposed a lot going on behind the scene and I’m gonna have to say I’ll let this pass this season, and see if we really mount a title challenge for the 2019/2020 season.

Yes!! You just read it, apparently the club expects nothing this season but to start challenging from next season. Quit it Hoyte, let em read it!!! Here’s the full interview, which was shared on Arseblog a couple of days ago. Enjoy the read…..

Interviewer: Let’s start with Arsenal’s window. For me, it was underwhelming, we had defensive issues, were linked with any number of attacking midfielders and in the end, we got Denis Suarez from Barcelona on loan until the end of the season with no obligation to buy. Perhaps a signing that indicates the lack of firepower at
Arsenal’s disposal in the window?

DO: That’s totally right. It’s quite difficult to explain the full context of this because the truth is we don’t know it all. The budget, for instance, it was made very clear to me from a very early stage that it was meagre to say the least. There was barely a budget, it was pretty much nothing. I couldn’t believe it when I heard it. Even though we know there was heavy investment in the previous two windows, I was being told they had nothing to work with, just a very, very small pot that would not cover permanent signings, which would, therefore, be unlikely, for loan signings and the associated salaries and agent fees on both fronts. That was always going to be incredibly difficult to work with especially in the January window when Arsenal and many other clubs have said it’s a time they don’t want to do business.

Player values are over-inflated, it’s always a stop-gap solution and a bit of an emergency. You can get good deals, as we’ve seen in the past, but it was not a deal that Arsenal were targeting when things had been looking good earlier. The fact they were forced into action on such a small budget was far from ideal. Denis Suarez was clearly a target for Unai Emery and Raul Sanllehi in particular. I don’t think it was a signing that was universally supported across the Arsenal hierarchy and those who are influential on the recruitment side. But, Sanllehi is calling the shots now as the head of football and Unai Emery has a heavy influence and knew him from his time managing in Spain. That one was clear and well documented. Many people said that Arsenal should go for a defender. That was never really mentioned to me. I did ask about it on a number of occasions to a number of people. The only name that really cropped up was Calum Chambers. Arsenal had vaguely explored the possibility of recalling him from his loan at Fulham. However, that would have incurred a fee because he’d played a certain number of games that would have triggered a recall fee. That was quickly shelved given the priority with the small amount of money was to bring in some reinforcements that could really help them in an attacking sense.

Interviewer: Before we move onto other targets, one of the things Unai Emery said after the injury to Rob Holding was that he might look for a central defender, but he mentioned that Dinos Mavropanos was coming back and that he might be able to step up. What’s the feeling inside the club about his quality and readiness? Arsenal fans have looked at certain defenders in this team who’ve underperformed and with the fixtures coming up, people feel it might be the time to give him a runout and see what Dinos can do. He was Sven Mislintat’s first signing.

DO: He was extremely highly thought of. The idea coming into the season, from a number of people I’ve spoken to, was that he would challenge for a starting berth at centre half. I’m not sure anybody quite knew the extent of his injury, it’s quite remarkable how long he’s been out for. At that point in time, you had Mavropanos coming
into the picture, two defenders recruited in the shape of Sokratis, who’d come off the back of a strong season and has vast experience at club and international football for Dortmund and Greece. And Lichtsteiner, who despite ageing, had vast top-level club and international experience with Juventus and Switzerland. Arsenal felt pretty well stocked, not perfect, but as we know they framed it as a work in progress that would take a number of years and transfer windows.

I’ve asked about Mavropanos and it seems there was some concern about his calmness and whether he was a little bit nervous and anxious when he went on the pitch and prone to error. There were some reservations. I don’t think that the level of regard so far is quite at the level it was when he was emerging at the end of last season and into the summer. Of course, Arsene Wenger had scoffed at his signing at the start and taken umbrage at a player who he might not have known about. But even he came round to the idea as early as the first training session and the idea of sending him on loan was quickly shelved. That will be really interesting. Somebody I spoke to thinks he should be thrown in now from the Huddersfield game onwards regardless. That will be interesting. There was no talk of defensive recruitment and I think that’s mainly based on numbers, rather than quality. Arsenal aren’t stupid, they know there are defensive issues, but they also have a vast number of players, some of whom will be returning from injury. It was seen that a January signing would leave them with a difficult problem in the summer having to shift a number of players. You could say that should be done and they need to take those tough decisions. They do believe they have some quality so perhaps this is one they are looking to sort out in the summer. A department they will focus on then.

Interviewer: A few names that were touted around in January included Yannick Carrasco, Ivan Perisic and Christopher Nkunku, who I’m assuming is a player Unai Emery knows and recommended based on his time at PSG…

DO: I was told throughout the window that Arsenal were looking for a box-to-box midfielder and a wide player as their two priorities. It was clear that one of the options, albeit not clear which position, was Denis Suarez. At that point I didn’t know about Carrasco, Perisic or Nkunku, they emerged as the window went on. With a week to go in the window, Arsenal made their approach to the representatives of Perisic and subsequently Inter. They were outwardly calm at this point about the possibility of signing one player, two players or no players. My understanding is they went extremely hard for Perisic. You don’t get a player handing in a transfer request, who stops training and risks his relationship with a club the size of Inter Milan, because he doesn’t think he’s coming. He definitely thought he was coming to Arsenal and a deal would be done.

Interviewer: There was an interesting comment when the window closed from Inter coach Spalletti who said Perisic had been conned by Arsenal.

DO: I think Arsenal were in direct contact with Perisic and they were communicating that they would do everything to make a deal happen. However, one thing that was clear, and it applied to all targets, was that they could only be taken on loan with an option to buy and not an obligation. Although they tried to be creative, I know with Perisic they even offered a penalty fee if the option to buy didn’t become an obligation. In the case of Inter, they were just not interested in that. Inter wanted guaranteed money. Arsenal, therefore, reignited interest in Carrasco that had started at the end of December and beginning of January. It was proposed, he was keen and I think he’d have been happy to take a wage cut, although he’d still have been on a handsome salary. The loan fee that Arsenal suggested to his Chinese club at the start of the window was nowhere near a figure they would have considered in a market where fees get extraordinarily high these days. Arsenal did end up offering a high fee for Perisic, the fee for Carrasco was really low. They then went quiet as they pursued other targets and had their own internal issues with the news that Mislintat would be leaving. By the time it was looking like Perisic would happen, they reignited the conversation with Carrasco, but the offer did not change. It was never likely to be accepted by the Chinese club. That was quite strange when they were offering so much for Perisic.

In and amongst all that was Nkunku who was a target that unified the Arsenal hierarchy, they all wanted him. Again on loan with an option to buy. He was seen as a high potential player who was seen as a possible successor to Aaron Ramsey as a box-to-box midfielder. It wouldn’t surprise me, although I don’t know this for a fact…if they reignited that interest in the summer. That one was fascinating in its own right. Arsenal did think that was doable because they were pursuing it right until the end of the transfer window. However, there were some other issues at play. PSG needed a midfielder, the player from the MLS – Acosta – which didn’t go through, and with that in mind, Thomas Tuchel expressed a desire to keep Nkunku as part of his squad. There were also suspicions that politics were at play. As we know, Tuchel and Mislintat’s relationship from their time together at Dortmund ended in a very sour way. Was it that Tuchel was determined not to help Mislintat before he signed off at Arsenal? Perhaps, we’ll never know. That was the extent of Arsenal’s transfer window.

Int: Are there other players at PSG that he might be looking at?

DO: I’m told Unai Emery likes experienced players, he likes to go with players he knows and trusts. That certainly explains the Nkunku interest, who he played far more than Thomas Tuchel has this season. It explains the pursuit of Denis Suarez, who I know a number of people in the game have reservations about, not just at Arsenal. And also [it explains] the reported interest, once again, in Adrien Rabiot who Arsenal were keen on during Arsene Wenger’s time with his links to PSG and the French game. It seemed he’d be signing for Barcelona [on a free] but they’ve signed a player for that midfield position, Frenkie de Jong. There are credible reports that Arsenal will come back in for Rabiot. There are people within Arsenal who are very keen that they
sign Rabiot, or at least make a concerted effort. He’s very highly admired. There are some complications, around him, particularly around the people you have to deal with and his salary demands. But that’s certainly one to keep an eye on. Around certain players that have been mentioned in the past, including Guendouzi, who I think Unai Emery was hugely on board with. When the Guendouzi signing was being discussed, I think Emery would also have liked, if Guendouzi couldn’t get done or even as a player for the here and now, was Steven N’Zonzi. That goes to indicate that he likes players he trusts, players he’s worked with at former clubs. And who have experience and can do a job immediately.

How much do you think Sven Mislintat’s decision to leave the club has impacted what Arsenal did in January? It had been rumoured for a little while that things were not quite as coherent in the background as we’d have liked them to be. In the aftermath of Ivan Gazidis’ departure, the Vinai Venkatesham, Raul Sanllehi and Sven Mislintat trio were supposed to be in sync but as ever, when there’s a power vacuum at a club, things don’t always go the way you’d like them to go. Gazidis left to go to Milan, I’m curious to know your thoughts on how quickly he made that decision having overseen the changes. Anyway, Mislintat is going and it feels like there’s a bit of a problem as he’s identified and brought in good players and now it feels like a step backwards. Can you talk about that situation in general and how it might have impacted Arsenal’s business in January?

It’s not been an ideal time for Arsenal behind the scenes, although it hasn’t looked so ugly to the public, it has been quite messy in the background. Let’s be fair to the club, when the new structure was put in place by Ivan Gazidis, none of them had really worked together before and it was a shock to the system to everybody at the club that Gazidis was then walking away from that new structure. I think his feeling was that he had done what he was there to do, he’d been there for a decade and put the new structure in the place. If he’d have stayed for a year he would have been doing so, relatively speaking, with his feet up and collecting his salary and not particularly influencing things because the people he’d brought in would be doing that. Others will take real exception to that idea and think it was his duty to smooth over the transition period and lead it forward before moving away. I’ve seen some compare it to David Cameron, in that sense. A little bit harsh perhaps. None of these guys knew each other and suddenly Raul Sanllehi is promoted to Head of Football and I think it’s understandable that he’d potentially want his own person in [as Technical Director]. I don’t think that’s exceptional in any walk of life, especially for someone running the show. From the moment that Venai Venkatesham and Raul Sanllehi were promoted and Sven Mislintat was not the writing was on the wall. That was around September time when the Gazidis announcement came. We know that Mislintat was wanting to become the Technical Director position which is a position we believe they are looking to create.

I believe it was a position he was promised when Gazidis put this trident in place. Towards the end of last year, there were stories in certain newspapers saying that appointment was going to happen, but it was never officially confirmed.

I don’t know if he was promised it. I don’t doubt your information, but I don’t know it personally. What I do know is that he expressed clearly, his desire to take that role. He already assumed many of the roles of a technical director and he told Gazidis he’d have liked that position. He would have seen it as a huge blow [not to get the job]. As I understand it, there was no recommendation as Gazidis left for Mislintat to take that position. The writing was then well on the wall. One person I spoke to in the game felt that if Arsenal appointed a Spaniard as their head coach, even though Mislintat was closely involved – he was on what they said was a three-man panel, but was actually a four-man panel due to the involvement of Jaeson Rosenfeld [from Stat DNA] – that it would spell the end for Mislintat because a Spanish nucleus would form at the club and not include him. Mislintat was in favour of Emery’s appointment, so he was thinking in Arsenal’s best interests on that front. The other candidate was Mikel Arteta so either way a Spaniard would have had the job. Anyway, as we approached winter things were getting messy. Mislintat likes to plan for transfer windows well in advance, he’s done it his entire career, immersing himself in the players his clubs are targeting, doing his due diligence and turning the trust of these players, many of whom are young. I was told one story where Mislintat immersed himself so much in the community of one player that he went an prayed with him and his family. That was one of the more bizarre stories I heard, but it highlights the lengths he goes to. A year into his position at Arsenal he sought assurances from Sanllehi that he was part of the future so he could continue planning for January and the summer. I think he’d have spoken to Josh Kroenke too. Those assurances didn’t come. It was terrible timing really because Arsenal needed to do some business and Mislintat was the guy who led the Carrasco approach and the Perisic approach. Sanllehi ended up taking over many of these negotiations. That’s no way to run a successful transfer window, although they came out in reasonable shape. They dodged a bullet in the money they’d have been committing to a 30-year-old in Perisic. The jury was out on Carrasco. Denis Saurez, we’ll make up our minds up on him in time.

The long-term strategising on the transfer front is going to take a different direction under Raul Sanllehi. He is the Head of Football, he’s going to appoint a new Head of Scouting. I don’t know if you’ve heard anything about the candidates there. We’ve heard Francis Cagigao, a long-term Arsenal scout in Spain, has been mentioned and he was behind Cesc Fabregas, Hector Bellerin, Santi Cazorla, Alexis and Nacho Monreal. There’s a lot riding on Sanllehi now. If he is the man with whom responsibility rests, he probably didn’t want to do any stop-gap business now but rather wait until the summer to make the right signings.

That’s one way of looking at it. If we go back a step, Mislintat’s plan was to step back and assess what he was inheriting in his first year in charge. He wanted to let the scouting operation function as it was, so he could then make decisions. After a year in the job, he’d restructure it and exert his influence. He was starting to do that and then it was too late. There was some unrest behind the scenes at his hands-off approach. By his own admission, he’d probably do things slightly differently if he had his time again. I’m not sure how his relationship was with Cagigao. Those I speak to have a feeling that Cagigao will be promoted to the Head of Recruitment role or Chief Scout position. He’s been there a long time and has a good working relationship with Raul Sanllehi. A number of names have been mentioned for the Technical Director role. Two of the criteria in place for that include, the person must be known and trusted by Emery or have a strong connection with Arsenal. Somebody who doesn’t tick either of those boxes is not going to be an ideal candidate. Of course, there are many other factors, I’m speaking broadly. That’s why Edu was mentioned, but I think he’s staying in Brazil where his family are based, even though he’s in Rio and they are in Sao Paulo, and he’s settled in his job with the national team. A few years ago I was told that because of the distance between Rio and Sao Paulo he was unsettled and looking for a new project that would reunite his family in the same place. There were people during the Wenger reign that would have liked him to come in then. Marc Overmars, for the same reason, has an Arsenal connection. On the flip side, a person with a link to Emery is Monchi [the AS Roma Technical Director]. I don’t know this for a fact but I have been told that he’s Sanllehi’s first choice and Emery’s first choice. There’s the Sevilla connection and things aren’t going particularly well at Roma, but he’s extremely highly regarded within the game. One person actually told me that it’s a done deal. I don’t know that for a fact and it’s not strong enough information for me to report it outright. That could be one that develops in the coming weeks. Arsenal really needs to get moving for the summer transfer window because other clubs are already holding their negotiations and doing their groundwork now. It’s difficult for Arsenal because they don’t know what money they are going to be playing with. There are some suggestions it’s around the £40 million mark depending on what European competition Arsenal are involved in. I’ve been told it could be nearer £100 million to spend. That would factor in salaries as well although it will depend on the competition they get in. There needs to be intelligent recruitment. It’s all well and good having £100 million to spend but it’s how intelligently they spend that will be key. It won’t be the level of money that some clubs will have.

What’s your sense of how Raul Sanllehi views and understands the job that he has now? At Barcelona where he was Director of Football for many years, he was at a gigantic institution with a lot more money than Arsenal and more ability to soak up bad transfers. There were many of those. You can think of the handfuls of players who arrived for big money and didn’t work out – a number who came from Arsenal, on his watch. Financially, we’re not going to be on the same level as some of the other clubs in the Premier League, the idea was that we’d do business better and smarter to keep up. Sanllehi can’t operate as he did at Barcelona, could that explain the links with Monchi who at Sevilla was responsible for bringing in players for low fees and selling them for high fees. Is that part of why he might be brought in? Not just a link with Emery but the chance to create a recyclable transfer system. One where young players are developed, and if they stay, great, but if we sell for a big profit, then also ‘great’, because we can then reinvest the money into the team. Is this how Arsenal are going to fund themselves via the Kroenke/KSE self-sustaining model?

Yes, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there. It’s all going to be about intelligent recruitment. Sanllehi is an intelligent guy, he’s very impressive, he’s experienced but it will be interesting to see the types of players that come in, whether it’s based on his relationship-based approach or whether we see some signings that can be traced back to certain agents. I know that Sanllehi moves in different circles to some people. Arsenal, in the past, were very reluctant to do business with the likes of Jorge Mendes, Mino Raiola, Kia Joorabchian. Sanllehi has decent relationships with people like these. We could see that becoming an interesting facet of Arsenal’s recruitment. I’m curious to see the background of the players in the coming windows. Monchi brought in Justin Kluivert to Roma – that’s a Mino Raiola player. That’s going to be a really interesting dynamic because we know Sanllehi’s approach is more relationship based than analytics and real long-term groundwork like Mislintat favoured. That was part of the reason why there was a difference in philosophies between those two. I don’t think there was an acrimonious fallout or anything, they just weren’t ideally suited for each other. The self-sustaining model is here to stay. The money is not going to be sufficient to compete with the biggest clubs. That said, I am told that Arsenal is extremely well set up from an analytics and data point of view with Stat DNA. Jaeson Rosenfeld is very highly regarded. Huss Fahmy is very influential, he’s not just the contract man, he has day-to-day contact with the players and is said to be a shining light at Arsenal that they’re fortunate to have. He gets involved in day-to-day meetings with the real power brokers within the club. I’m told Freddie Ljungberg has impressed and that some would like to see him integrated into the first team setup.  Per Mertesacker is doing really good work and is highly regarded. Unai Emery’s coaching sessions are said to be very intense. His number two is a really highly regarded coach. I think things are set up pretty well for Arsenal but everything will come down to Sanllehi and how he can drive the football club forward. I’m told he has complete authority. Vinai Venkatesham and Sanllehi support each other and I think the Kroenkes are happy to leave these guys to it. It’s going to be a fascinating period in Arsenal’s history. Connections will be key in Arsenal’s recruitment policy from now on. Let’s watch this space.

The self-sustainable model and the way the Kroenkes are running the club is not a surprise to anybody. They have 100% control, but as a fan, it’s very difficult to hear the ambitions they have for the club at the same time looking at what they are doing. Before the Super Bowl, there was an interview where Josh Kroenke talked about getting back into the Champions League final. It seems very detached from the reality of where Arsenal are right now. We’re in a fight to get into the top four. The Champions League final at this point is something of a pipe dream. In terms of how they are setting the tone and ambition of the club, is it in any way founded in reality? Or do these sound bites have very little substance to them? It’s hard to marry Premier League and Champions League success without the owners providing some kind of a push to make that happen. Or do they think they can generate that through the new structure with more time?

I think it’s a double-edged sword from an ownership perspective. The Kroenkes are quite hands off. That means that they allow the people who are running the club the autonomy to make decisions and drive things forward. Many people would say that’s a good thing. On the flip side, they are ultimately holding the purse strings and making the final decisions. That presents a pretty problematic dilemma at times, particularly when it comes to what budgets are available. I’m taking nothing away from Jeremey Wilson, a brilliant journalist (who ran the Superbowl interview) who has built a relationship with the Kroenkes, but we don’t often hear from them on some of the subjects that the supporters and public really want to hear from them on, such as the direction of the club. I don’t see a really clear vision of where Arsenal are going. If they have it, we’re probably not hearing it articulated well enough or precisely enough because, as you say, at the moment it sounds a bit fanciful and not in touch with reality. I don’t know if those on the ground are fully aware of what that plan and project is and whether it’s being carried out to the Americans’ satisfaction. I spend a lot of time around other clubs, not just Arsenal, and you see the culture, you feel it. I don’t want this to come across as a cheap generalisation, but it’s what I’ve felt and what other people inside Arsenal and in other clubs have told me; some of these clubs, you sense and smell a winning culture, an absolute, unequivocal demand to win. Within Arsenal, various people who’ve worked there over the years, have described London Colney as being like an oasis, like a spa, like a holiday camp. It’s a lovely environment, it’s fantastic for players and staff, but is it somewhere that is conducive to ruthlessly succeeding. Surely that stems from the top? We’ve seen it with Abramovich at Chelsea over the years and the Abu Dhabi Group at Manchester City, just two examples. A side point, one or two people at City were surprised that Arsenal’s decision makers were all at the Superbowl last weekend instead of being at the Etihad. We don’t know what was behind that, whether they were expected by the American owners to be at the Superbowl, but that surprises me. Where are the priorities? Clearly, that was a one-off and Arsenal are being fairly well led. They strike me as impressive individuals and if they get this Technical Director role right, allied with the other positions I’ve mentioned, and I think they are in pretty good shape. I don’t think they are far off.

It’s that push. That extra desire to really achieve things. For a while, it’s felt like Arsenal have been going through the motions and maybe we’re being a bit harsh because it’s still only 9 months since it was announced Arsene Wenger would be leaving the club. Clearly this is a new era and a new structure but it’s long felt to me that the burning ambition that you can get from the top of an organisation, that pushes everybody, not just the manager or the players, but everybody within a club, isn’t there because the Kroenkes are so far away. It feels like they put people in place to do a good enough job rather than the best possible job and they don’t really give them the backing financially to make that happen.

That would appear to be the case. It’s a stark reality that Arsenal are the only Premier League club whose owners have not put a penny of their own money into the club. I need to be careful about this because I don’t know the exact financial situation – the likes of Kieran from Swiss Ramble are far more articulate and informed than me – but I’m not sure whether Arsenal, by taking owner investment, would be getting into dangerous territory with their compliance to the Financial Fair Play rules and the Premier League’s wage increase restrictions. I’m going to pass on that. It’s not fair for me to judge the Kroenkes one way or the other. We’ve seen them invest personal money in America, so it’s a fascinating area. Arsenal, when you speak to them, are very calm. They see this as a project. It’s strange, we were all okay with this at the start, accepting it would take a few years. I was told the start of the 2019/20 season was when they hope to be competitive again. I was told that a year ago. It would take three, four, five transfer windows, they were very realistic. Emery was a long-term appointment. Perhaps that 22-game unbeaten run was a bit of a curse to him. Expectations changed and now people are questioning his suitability. Of course, he’s not immune to questions about things on the pitch, the tactical decisions, some have clearly not been done right as he explores his team’s balance. I think people need to relax a little bit and see how this plays out rather than jumping to conclusions in the immediate term. I’m not a sympathiser with the Kroenkes. I know many people who have a very dim view of them, inside and outside Arsenal and within the game. The proof is going to be in the pudding over the next year or two. I’m not trying to duck an answer. For instance, why was there no money to spend in the January transfer window? We know Arsenal spent heavily in the last two transfer windows and we know they have revenue streams coming through, including the adidas sponsorship deal in the summer. There’s talk of stadium refinancing and possible convernance, stuff I’m not particularly au fait with. The truth is, we don’t know exactly why there was no money to spend. It hasn’t been communicated properly, either in public or private. We don’t know the precise sums [of the summer’s transfer budget], I’ve been told £100 million, we’ve been told that in the past. We don’t want to excite or disappoint people. This is a real time of flux for Arsenal. It seems a shame, a real shame that just when it appeared that Arsenal were building in the right direction this year that they’ve encountered problems behind the scenes with Mislintat and the contractual issues of Ozil and Ramsey. They have to shift some players out of the club in the summer and I think they’ll do that. Sanllehi is quite a ruthless operator, but that aim of being competitive from the start of the 19/20 season seems like it has been derailed somewhat. That said, Emery is an appointment that the club are fully behind. One point of concern I’m hearing from internally is that Emery, like Arsene Wenger, isn’t challenged enough by others around the club. I’m hearing that Sanllehi is a huge supporter of Emery and he doesn’t want to impinge on his areas of authority and some feel that Emery should already be being challenged more. If that’s a cultural problem within Arsenal then that may come from on high and that culture will need to shift. Any shift in culture, as we know, takes time. That’s probably not something people are going to want to hear. Arsenal is not a project that is close to coming to fruition yet. If it does, then it could be pretty exciting. People are going to have to be patient.

Finally, I just wanted to ask about a story that came up during the transfer window. You spoke on BBC Radio 5Live about Mesut Ozil and Unai Emery and Mesut Ozil and Arsenal as a whole. It’s a curious one, I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like it. The suggestion to Ozil that it might be better for him to leave the club was the story you came out with. On Sunday at the Etihad, when Arsenal were 3-1 down, Emery left Ozil on the bench and put on Suarez; a player who is clearly not quite match fit. It felt to me like Emery was putting another nail in the Ozil coffin he’s been handcrafting all season long. Can you give us any indication as to what might be going on there?

In the build-up to Ozil signing a new contract, there were people at the club who didn’t want him to be given that contract.

Can I ask, did they want him to be given a contract or just not that contract? Is there a distinction there?

I think there are some within the club that he is producing what is required of him and would have preferred for him not to have been given a contract at all. There are some who felt that if you’re going to give him a new contract that it should be for nowhere near the money that Arsenal ended up agreeing to, by which point Ozil had a strong hand in the negotiations. Alexis was on his way out and it would have been tough for Arsenal two lose both star players in the space of a few months. There was very little interest from clubs about buying him at that point, but losing him on a free would have been potentially embarrassing. There were some who were disgruntled that he was awarded a contract, that contract, take it whichever way you like. They were hoping that by handing him the captain’s armband as part of a group of captains, handing him the number 10 shirt and putting an arm around him after what happened with Germany at the World Cup that they’d get a really productive season out of him. Clearly, there have been troubles settling into the new way of playing under Unai Emery. I think you saw by the way he left the pitch during the game at Chelsea [in August] that he didn’t look happy. We know ahead of the Bournemouth game [in November] that Unai Emery made it clear that he didn’t see Ozil being of value in big away games. I’ve been told that Emery had expressed to Ozil that it might be better for him to leave. What we don’t know, which you guys have pointed out in one of the previous Arsecasts, is whether that was the feeling of Emery, the hierarchy or if it was the feeling of both of them. I suspect that it was the feeling of both of them. However, if one party felt it more than the other, I suspect it was the hierarchy. Not using Emery as their puppet but expressing their feelings through him. It’s understood that Emery was quite keen to take Ozil when he was PSG coach and some vague discussions took place about him going as a free agent. I’d be surprised given Emery seems to be the type of coach who takes pleasure from getting the best out of his players if he wasn’t up for the fight. It feels more of a financially motivated decision coming from on high – Ozil being on £350,000 a week and him not producing the level of consistency that they want. Ozil’s view was that he’s not leaving, certainly not in January, and obviously, everybody will see what happens in the summer. I’ve been told that he’s training well and that he’s not a problem in the camp. However, the way he’s being used, or not used, it would appear that Emery is not playing him for the reason he’s trying to encourage him to seek pastures new in the summer.

To make life so uncomfortable for him that for him to play football on a regular basis, he has to consider leaving and to do so on financial terms lower than he’s on right now, thus saving Arsenal lots of money?

Yes, although we’re not privy to the technical decisions here. You can understand Suarez coming on at City because he needs to play. He’s potentially only with the club until the end of the season and he needs minutes under his belt. Ramsey coming on instead of Ozil, well he’s playing better but he’s leaving at the end of the season. I don’t know this for a fact. It’s one possible theory that he’s not being played so that he has no choice in the summer. If he wants to resume his career he has to move and it gets this £350,000 a week problem off Arsenal’s hands. There is also a theory that if he plays he could play well and then the fans demand that he stays and that causes a headache if they’ve made a decision on him. Also, him not playing also reduces his value too. It’s a really confusing situation. There’s no clarity around it at all. It’s deeply dissatisfactory for Arsenal and Ozil and it surely can’t go on.

So that’s it all, very long, and some disturbing revelations concerning the club especially between Raul and the whole Spanish contingent stuff, but it was really worth the read. I guess now we can all debate much better and discuss these points he has exposed. Over to
you guys….

Eddie Hoyte

Updated: February 13, 2019 — 3:18 am

55 Comments

  1. Wow that’s some read!
    Sorry to start with OT but RIP Gordon Banks who has passed away after a long fight with cancer.

    1. I second that ,RiP

  2. Good interview and poor Perisic, reminds me of Dembele’s and Aubameyang’s attitude before their transfers. Hopefully he wouldn’t get any trouble at Inter after his behaviour

    “They were hoping that by handing him the captain’s armband as part of a group of captains, handing him the number 10 shirt and putting an arm around him after what happened with Germany at the World Cup that they’d get a really productive season out of him.”

    They must have learned the lesson that they should not expect any improvement from an aging diva

    1. “They must have learned the lesson that they should not expect any improvement from an aging diva”

      Care to show how many key chances we make with Ozil in the team and without him?
      Emery appears to have wanted Ozil and as much as I have moaned about Emery, I praise his coaching.. I honestly think Emery could coach Ozil to be a better player… Assuming the tactics used wasn’t such that his playstyle gets exposed.

      Ozil does produce and people do see it, at least the people who look at reality, think for themselves and not jump on bandwagons.

    2. If that is all you can bring out from well articulated interview. How about some set of egocentric people put their interest before that of the club. ….There is also a theory that if he plays he could play well and then the fans demand that he stays and that causes a headache if they’ve made a decision on him. Also, him not playing also reduces his value too. It’s a really confusing situation. There’s no clarity around it at all…..It’s clearly obvious we are losing money with or without him in the team. The player has being challenged so play him so the whole fans will see how he reacts to the challenges. If it is good reaction we will be in better position to ask for obscene amount of money from the would be buyer when we decided to sell him. If otherwise, we will get his high wage from our book. It is win-win for the club.

  3. I don’t understand why we would push so hard to sign Perisic at 30 years old. As for the meagre transfer budget I think most of us have already accepted it, I just hope they don’t waste it on a deadwood. As for the 350K weekly problem I have hope PSG or the Chinese will come through for us. Wow that was a long read!

    1. our management team needs help. Pushing hard for Perisic while letting Ozil and Ramsey go…. Perisic on his best days could never be near Ramsey and definitely not Ozil. We are in for a long and hard ride with this crew… Buses parked all over the place.
      Get them out .

      1. He also wanted N’Zonzi, and Banega who are no spring chickens. Emery strikes me as being a dickhead who has turned Arsenal into an insipid team. He plays defensive against Huddersfield FFS! When Wenger came on board, within months we saw how a new, and dynamic identity was being put in place. I’m not sure what identity Emery is trying to instill. Maybe play not to lose! As I said previously he might get a hall pass this time round, but if this shit show continues next season, he will be gone with a whimper!

    2. If you read it then you will have known that PSG did show interest and Ozil turned them down, wanting to stay.
      PSG can sing and dance all they want, if Ozil doesn’t want to leave then Ozil doesn’t want to leave. Your hopes of PSG… well, they tried and failed due to Ozil commitment to Arsenal.

  4. Just reread it Eddie and thanks for posting, it’s a really interesting read.
    The Mavrapanos speculation is enlightening easpecially as we all think he’s ready but perhaps there are a few doubts inside the club but that should become clearer soon with the games coming up. I understand he’s not in the Europa League squad though. So basically, we write this season off and push ahead next season? Thanks again Eddie.

    1. You’re welcome Declan

  5. Wow! Thanks Eddie, brilliant post. It was a long and enlightening read, so many issues to dissect. I just hope we get the summer transfers right because it’s going to be one of the most important transfer windows in recent history.

    1. you’re welcome mate..I just wanted all this out so everyone could voice out their opinions about this, with all this revelation I have a few problems with this whole way Raul Sanllehi is running the club, London colney being like a camp and spa for the players instead of training place, Raul preferring to do business by himself with the likes of Raiola or whatever his name is, I’ve never fancied that fella, so we’re letting go of Sven’s long term preparation and player evaluations only so we’ll rub Raul’s balls and say he’s getting us players… Giving Ozil that contract and forcing him out this way,It’s all disturbing..
      Kroenke family doesn’t care

    2. Great read. I see a dead end of a summer for us.

  6. “On the flip side, they are ultimately holding the purse strings and making the final decisions. That presents a pretty problematic dilemma at times, particularly when it comes to what budgets are available. I’m taking nothing away from Jeremey Wilson, a brilliant journalist (who ran the Superbowl interview) who has built a relationship with the Kroenkes, but we don’t often hear from them on some of the subjects that the supporters and public really want to hear from them on, such as the direction of the club. I don’t see a really clear vision of where Arsenal are going. If they have it, we’re probably not hearing it articulated well enough or precisely enough because, as you say, at the moment it sounds a bit fanciful and not in touch with reality.”

    “That would appear to be the case. It’s a stark reality that Arsenal are the only Premier League club whose owners have not put a penny of their own money into the club.”

    Those are quotes from Ornstein. It is the duty of every Arsenal supporter to get Satan Kroenke out of Arsenal. That is done by an ongoing and loud statement that Kroenke is unwelcome at our club. Kroenke has not invested his money. He owns your money. You pay for the club and he owns it. He gives you ‘the supporter’ little joy. He cares not an iota for you. You and Arsenal are a portfolio to him. The only cure for our present disease is to get rid of it and that disease is Kroenke and his narcissism and self interest. He has no joy for others. We must get him out of our beloved club.

    1. Funny every time I run into a Manure fan he tells me that their owners haven’t put even a cent into the club.. How does that jell with this” Kroenke hasn’t put a cent into Arsenal?”…Who to believe?

      1. “The Glazers’ takeover has drained more than £1bn out of United since 2005, not too far off the amount Sheikh Mansour has invested into City”

        That was from the telegraph.

        Yet UTD built up the business and income so they could spend on Pogba…

        People blaming Silent Stan just do not want to think properly, they seen a bandwagon and jumped on it with a big fat dumb grin. I’m not saying Arsenal can spend £100 million tomorrow, if we work on our business side then why can’t we compete like UTD do?

        While it is no secret that the owners hold the purse strings, the owners will not allow billions of spending when the purse doesn’t have it, they will pull those strings and close the purse.

        To think that we can’t spend any from that purse is delusional. We have net spend more than Liverpool who are doing well this year and they have spent big on a couple players… yet they have net spent less than Arsenal over the past 5 years.

        Arsenal can spend.
        Arsenal have spent.
        Arsenal need to sort their business out to ensure long term success, not short term gambles.

  7. What I get from that interview is that Raul Sanllehi is a Kroenke “yes” man who has moved behind the scenes to ensure that Mislintat was pushed out mainly because Mislintat was a threat as he knew his job far better that Sanllehi does.
    Also that there will be little in the way of change and that same as ever until we shift wage ponces like Ozil who has robbed us in terms of performance since day one that we wont really see any improvement in transfers.
    Mainly we are B@ggered in terms of competing with the big clubs as we are about the only club that takes FFP seriously and that’s only cos it suits silent stan to do so.
    One can only hope that something unfortunate befalls both him and his moron son, something permanently unfortunate.

    1. Raul has more experience. Sven done some good deals but he also got us Lich who is a total waste of space. He also got us Sokratis who is not a CB who can play the highline tactic that Emery deploys. He done good and bad. I am not being biased here, my biased nature say to back Sven. Got to look at things logically though.

      While Raul may have wasted some funds at Barca, he did get them some highly rated players, he was behind Neymar and he went for a record fee.

      As for Silent stans yes man… Any CEO can be called that. Raul appears to know what it takes to be competitive, he helped Barca for many years and look how competitive they was with him at the helm…

      Lastly, we are not the only club to take FFP seriously, some clubs may make a mockery out of it but not all apart from us.

  8. In my opinion it was Wenger’s fault that Ozil was given such a huge pay increase, now we’re stuck with him, because there is no other team that would be prepared to put up with the way he acts. One game he’s fine, then he’s “injured” for the next couple of games, yet he can still go off with his girlfriend on holidays when he’s supposedly injured. He’s holding Arsenal to ransom and they are allowing him to get away with it. Get him off our books and let someone else pick up his wage bill and his spoilt boy behaviour.

  9. Interesting read, especially the bit about many within the club not wanting Ozil to get a new contract. I wonder who they were, and who officially signed off on the Ozil contract?

    1. Wasn’t it our old manager Wenger who wanted Ozil to stay!!

  10. you’re welcome mate..I just wanted all this out so everyone could voice out their opinions about this, with all this revelation I have a few problems with this whole way Raul Sanllehi is running the club, London colney being like a camp and spa for the players instead of training place, Raul preferring to do business by himself with the likes of Raiola or whatever his name is, I’ve never fancied that fella, so we’re letting go of Sven’s long term preparation and player evaluations only so we’ll rub Raul’s balls and say he’s getting us players… Giving Ozil that contract and forcing him out this way,It’s all disturbing..
    Kroenke family doesn’t care

    1. Eddie
      If this does not wake up our supporters to realise there is no point in blaming Emery or even blaming the players if they are not good enough. With an owner who has no personal dream for Arsenal. No inner driven love for Arsenal. A man who sees us as a commodity, then there can be no magic in the air. Looking backwards we had shareholders who were supporters and who loved the club. It made magic. Now we rely on the financial whims and fancies of one narcissistic man. It is our duty to get him out.

      1. Dont realy see the owner being culpable. he is NOT a football guy. Does not pretend to be. Who are the football people? Who is recruiting rubbish like Mustafi for 35M? Who is parking the bus against bottom level clubs? Who puts the best playmaker in the league on the bench for the sake of his system? …. It sure as pie isn’t the owner.
        The only problem with the owner is he hasn’t fired this coach.

        1. You think Ozil is the best playmaker in the league? Wow!

        2. In fairness the two major hurdles most mentioned are A) players that include and are like Mustafi, and B ) the Ozil Contract, You have to assume in fairness that Wenger had a huge amount of influence in both issues there, I can say that getting shot of Ozil has to be a priority if we are not going to get anything from the Kroenke camp, and it seems that’s the case regardless of if we like it or not, self sustainability seems to be the only way forward and loosing Ozil is a big step in the right direction as he has proven he isn’t going to consistently deliver.
          We all need to accept that Stan Kroenke has absolutely NO interest in how well the club does regarding footballing success for the club as important, Only that it remains financially viable for him to mortgage the clubs assets against other projects in the USA, that’s all stan Kroenke cares about he has little of no interest in football as either a sport or a competitive competition ONLY the revenue that its generates.
          You wanna blame someone? Blame Nina Bracewell smith, Danny Fizzman and ultimately Peter Hill wood, they all championed Kroenke for their own ends as they were major shareholders and none of them had any real interest in the clubs footballing accolades.
          I hate them all and what they have done and continue to do to the club, you also have to worry that Dick Emery is here for the long haul and what his motivations are? Any manager / coach who walks into the job knowing he has little or no money to spend is either only there for the money or has little or no ambition, No genuinely competitive manager / Coach would want to take the Arsenal Job. Not in my opinion anyway.

        3. crispen
          I quote you. “He is not a football guy”. Think about what you just said.

          Sean

      2. There are so many problem around this club, I don’t know what to expect

      3. Silent Stan is the one insisting on a high line even though everyone and their granny can see that a high line hurts us defensively..

        Or is it Emery playing those tactics and refusing to at least adjust while he has the slower CBs while working on getting players who will fully play his style.

        Is it Silent Stan who refuses to play Ozil even if the team is struggling to create key chances?
        Or is it Emery?

        Emery was supposedly going to continue our attacking style yet we have thrown that out the window in favour of boring football. Silent Stan isn’t on the training ground or picking the tactics.

        Emery holds some blame.

        1. Midkemma, I’ve said it on here more than once, if the chance comes up to move on from Emery will I take it? Yes I’ll gladly do so, seriously him, Raul and Stan, they’re responsible for all this mess…
          I saw up there you blamed Sven for getting Sokratis, don’t forget Sokratis wasnt Sven’s target, don’t ignore the fact that Sven wanted to get us Abdou Diallo but the club and Emery wanted Sokratis.
          Sven isn’t at fault for that transfer.
          The Lichtensteiner transfer backfired though is on him

          1. I thought it was Sven who wanted Sokratis, he doesn’t appear to have the pace to fit Emery style so I do find it surprising that Emery would have pushed for him.

            3rd May from the Independent:
            “Now Arsenal want two new centre-backs and Mislintat has identified Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Borussia Dortmund – his former club – as a priority. ”

            Emery took over on the 23rd May, 20 days later.

            How come you say it was Emery who wanted him and not Sven? Reports of two CBs and we was linked to some younger CBs along with the experienced Sokratis.

          2. Sorry for the double post.
            I also wanted to say, I don’t mean to turn into a Emery bash, it was seeing the comment about how we can’t blame him that got me…

            Not meaning this to turn into an Emery bash, your article was a good read with many good points.

          3. First of all Midkemma even though I haven’t asked for him to be sacked.. I don’t believe he’ll be the one to win us the EPL, and I don’t see him as unquestionable, I question his tactics a lot, so I know where you’re coming from.
            secondly again, Sokratis wasn’t Sven’s first choice, I’ve even posted the links on here twice.
            Sven’s first choice was Abdou Diallo, Sven wanted us to sign Diallo. But the club refused and because of his fee, they went for Sokratis with the claim that we are gathering experience defenders to lead at the back.
            We signed Sokratis and poof!! Dortmund went on to sign this same Abdou Diallo identity by Sven that the club rejected

          4. “Sokratis wasn’t Sven’s first choice, I’ve even posted the links on here twice.”

            Sorry to ask for a third posting of the links but needle in a haystack comes to mind when I think about finding which threads they might have been on. The transfers may not be years old but we do have a nice number of articles on this site 🙂

            I am not disputing that Diallo was Svens first choice, who was Svens 2nd choice? Was that decision made prior to Emery getting the job? If it was then how did Emery pick Sokratis when he wasn’t our manager?

            Really would like to read those links if you don’t mind dude, always like to know more about Arsenal XD

  11. Thanks for the interview write-up – great insights!

    Obviously all these points lead to 2 follow-up questions and a rant.

    1. What do the Kroenke think about the lack of success, the repeated promises and evolution of Arsenal’s brand value, and their view on the perception of the population which brings the big sponsorship money – ie not match-going fans but the global “fan”base, – how long do they think they can string the”jam tomorrow” message we’ve been hearing for the past 10 years? And of course, the brand is not only important financially but to be able to attract talent. Right now I’d say Arsenal’s not in the top 5 most attractive clubs in England for a super talented young player. We could offer game-time and real estate in London but no prospect of trophies.

    2. We hear a lot about “StatDNA” being great – though only in Arsenal.com or paid ads. Does anyone else think it’s great? As I remember, Lucas Perez, Gabriel and Mustafi were StatDNA findings. Hmm.

    Right now Arsenal has a world-class attack, some decent talent in mid-field, good enough wing-backs, a promising keeper but a bottom-of-the-league level central defense. In 5 years, our only world-class attribute – the attack – will be gone and creating a similar squad in 5 years time will be impossible financially. Therefore either they invest big time next year and the year after to capitalise on the world-class attack we have and get some trophies which will protect the brand and help attract talent, or we will be bound for mid-table obscurity for the rest of Kroenke time.

  12. Lots of “Wows, thanks Eddie” so far. Now I add my own one to all those! Hard to know where to begin. I suspect the club structure is far more complcated than most of us were aware. What I MOST took from this fascinating mass of intertwined people is the FACT that ultimately the problem remains of us being owned by Kroenke and Josh. NOTHING alters that problem. You may well say, so what , if he gives the others complete freedom to run things at the “coal face” and that may well be so, in some respects. But the overriding FACT that changes nothing is that we , by comparison with our rivals , are trying to run in a Formula One race, against Mercedes and Ferraris with a Robin Reliant. In other words, missing power(money) and a wheel(stability). We also lack ambition as a sane Robin Reliant would do if competing against giants with power and ambition.
    So then, THERE is the problem and what CAN WE DO to change it? It seems to me , NOTHING AT ALL, UNLESS we are prepared to boycott matches, merchandise, even buying Sky/ BT Sport packages and none of those are going to happen, sadly but totally understandable. We are left then with merely discussing / moaning/ analysing/ dissecting / letting off steam etc on here. Which we will continue to do. Oh and did I mention the ONLY emollient that will help our sanity, while we wait for the slow change that is ALL WE CAN HOPE FOR? It is patience! Not something much given to football obsessives like us. So perhaps we should all just weep!

  13. Lots of “Wows, thanks Eddie” so far. Now I add my own one to all those! Hard to know where to begin. I suspect the club structure is far more complcated than most of us were aware. What I MOST took from this fascinating mass of intertwined people is the FACT that ultimately the problem remains of us being owned by Kroenke and Josh. NOTHING alters that problem. You may well say, so what , if he gives the others complete freedom to run things at the “coal face” and that may well be so, in some respects. But the overriding FACT that changes nothing is that we , by comparison with our rivals , are trying to run in a Formula One race, against Mercedes and Ferraris with a Robin Reliant. In other words, missing power(money) and a wheel(stability). We also lack ambition as a sane Robin Reliant would do if competing against giants with power and ambition.
    So then, THERE is the problem and what CAN WE DO to change it? It seems to me , NOTHING AT ALL, UNLESS we are prepared to boycott matches, merchandise, even buying Sky/ BT Sport packages and none of those are going to happen, sadly but totally understandable. We are left then with merely discussing / moaning/ analysing/ dissecting / letting off steam etc on here. Which we will continue to do. Oh and did I mention the ONLY emollient that will help our sanity, while we wait for the slow change that is ALL WE CAN HOPE FOR? It is patience! Not something much given to football obsessives like us. So perhaps we should all just weep!

    1. Jon this club is ruined, we all knew Kroenke doesn’t care, but finding out he doesn’t even do anything or interfere in matters at the club while leaving everything to the likes of Raul and the rest means we are in for a long ride, and we have nothing to do but moan and moan, I bet Kroenke can’t name five coaching staff, why would he see or consider what we go through?
      Everything that’s up there about Raul also is disturbing to be honest

      1. It strikes me Eddie that the whole bunch are only there to line their own pockets now.
        Kroenke will NEVER be got rid of from the AFC as he’s probably not even aware of the feeling of the fans and even if was does anyone think he gives a fig?.
        All the other big clubs get around the FFP rules one way or another but it suits Kroenke to play by the rules. We’ve been a club on the wane for over a decade now and the fault lays in the hands of the Board Pre Kroenke, Wenger, Gazidis, Hill Wood, Bracewell Smith and finally Silent stan himself. They have all been taking the fans for a ride for a very long time and giving little if anything back, Im not talking about the days when we were competing at the top level per sey but certainly in the last ten years. And with this new bunch jostling for power behind the scenes and knifing each other in the back it wont get any better, a bit like the politicians who run the country its become all about the individual and not the collective, and thus none of them care about the overall success of the club as a footballing entity

      2. Eddie, I love your passion to bits man! Underneath all the many disagreements all us devoted fans have with OURSELVES on here and elsewhere, WE ALL KNOW that the real enemy is KROENKE and certainly not each other of us. If it sometimes gets a bit overheated on here – which is only NATURAL for footie obsessives anywhere -think what a punch up it would be if the creature from Hell himself came on here to answer our comments. I reckon we would all be banned or even jailed within minutes. It would be worth it, to tell this slimeball where to go!

        1. Jon

          Spot on and truthful.

          Sean

          1. Loved the Formula 1 analogy Jon, not too far from the truth. It’s a painful reality that patience is the only option we have as long as the Kroenkes are in charge.

      3. I thought it was obvious he left everything to the people he hires to do his work for him… To be fair Eddie, I have been saying this for years and while it is a negative in many ways, I have been trying to highlight the positives.

        Arsenal make a lot of money, we may not have an owner willing to put billions in himself but he isn’t taking out billions either, telegraph reported that the Glaziers had taken a small fortune out of UTD to buy them yet they are still spending big once the business side picked up and Glaziers had paid for UTD.

        UTD built some good foundations to allow them to spend big later, that later is the present, it is a path we could take.

        Raul may not be perfect and I am a bit worried about some of what I read, I do think though that he is looking at our finances and looking at options we can take, even if I am not fully behind the Ozil issue. Raul looks to be aiming to reduce the clubs outgoings. For what reasons we can only speculate, to please Silent Stan or for the club to invest… I hope for the latter.

        To be honest, I do have a small hope that Raul may not back Emery after his current contract (unless he wins big), Raul wanted Enrique when we was looking at managers and it was the finances that appears to block such a high wage manager. While it may not be Enrique when Emery contract comes up, Raul appears to have wanted a better manager and may be willing to sanction it. If we sort our financies out well enough in this short period then that manager could have a respectable transfer kitty with some well developed prospects.

        1. One question midkemma,since you have made it clear you would like Emery to go, whilst standing a single point from 4th place behind a far deeper and better United squad/team, is this: just WHAT would it have taken for Emery to do to have achieved to impressed you, in “that lengthy spell of his long six months since August”? The treble perhaps? Or maybe him moving in to live with your “mighty” OZIL . Sarcasm aside, exactly WHAT please?

          1. I would like to be entertained for more than 5-10 mins a game.
            I would like it if Emery could give up on the high line until we can get the players who will fit that style, not saying he should give up on building his Emeryball but consider the players we currently have.

            Those two are the two biggest issues for me.

            Ozil is an example and the biggest one currently, he is our highest earner and we are lacking in numbers when it comes to chances being created. Make use of Ozil for the remainder of his contract, recognise he can’t be as effective in a high pressing game when not all the team presses anyway. Adjust his tactics to play to Ozils strengths while encouraging the team around him to build towards the Emery way. Find a blend. His job to find that answer.

            Ozil can be replaced in games for… for examples sake, ESR. Next season he comes back and he is told to overtake the aging Ozil. The groundwork that has been built with players who are used to the extra def effort to accomodate Ozil, they will find it easier when a harder working (defensively) player comes in.

            Ozils vision is exciting, it is unpredictable, it is his talent. We will have other players with that vision, Zelalem has shown that in glimpses and his loan in scotland had helped to build hopes for him, ESR has shown he can offer something intriguing from that central role as well.

          2. midkemma , I appreciate the honest reply as you see it. That is all any of us can do- to give our honest opinion. It matters not that I do not see things your way on Ozil, though I do agree with much else you wrote. I even agree that Ozils vision is exciting BUT to me anyway, I find that more than wiped out by his sheer lack of effort. Lack of effort ONLY , is why I want him gone. I always judge ALL players by what they bring to the team. To me that is ALWAYS ALL THAT MATTERS, about any player, since it is a team game. It seems so many prefer such and such an individual above the team and that seems the very opposite of supporting the TEAM, to me anyway.

          3. Takes effort to run distance.

            Admittingly I find it hard to find recent stats but the ones I found indicate that he was putting more effort in than people give credit for.
            SkySports did run an article about how lazy is Ozil, this was the 16/17 season. That season he had covered the 2nd most distance in the squad.

            I know sprinting takes more out of you than a measured pace.

            Ozil puts effort in. You may claim he doesn’t and that is your opinion. I will back down on this if you show me stats which prove Ozil is lazy and he doesn’t put effort into his game. Show me he hardly runs with facts over perception.

            Looks like isn’t an indication of reality, you know this as well as I Jon. You know not to judge a book by its cover (I seen your anti-racism posts, not complaining about them at all, it’s an example of when you refuse to judge a book by the cover and respect for that)

            Do you not think you are judging Ozil by the cover?

  14. Very interesting reading. One point maybe is the difference between active and passive owners. As the interview pointed out Kroenke is hands off but still controls the purse strings. That’s never really a good situation. It doesn’t help that no one really knows what Kroenke actually wants so plenty of scope for confusion and doubt. In some ways the situation is similar at Chelsea. Managers are hired and fired while Abramovich lurks in the background. That worked for a while but doesn’t seem to be working anymore. You can contrast it with the situation at Spurs, Pochettino runs the team, Levy runs the club, everyone knows what they are trying to do.

    1. jod, i think your question asking what kronkie really wants, is the million dollar question.
      Unless and if, he actually decides to tell the fan base, we will be in limbo land.
      He doesn’t even “lurk” in the background, the complete silent owner anyone could ever have wanted to bring our club to it’s knees.
      Everyone assumed that the new regime would come in as one, with a shared vision agreed with all involved.
      It seemed the right move, out with the old and in with the new.
      We were shafted by both the old and the new.

      Eddie, thanks for this opportunity to read, what in all truth, eclipses anything that we, as supporters, could have imagined our famous club was/is going through.
      A really painful read that overshadows any past crisis in my 60 odd years following our club.

  15. Eddie , now that you and Tolstoy have something in common what are your own thoughts on Emery’s apparent reluctance to play Mavroponas?Surely be cannot be any worse than Mustafi.Excellent article by the way.

    1. Mavropanos should’ve gotten his chance against Huddersfield, I bet he’ll play more league games now.
      He’s just being integrated back into the team after so many months on the sidelines, I expect him to get game time soon, and since Emery prefers being defensive all the time, Mavro would get his chance

  16. Probably would’ve been better to break each one of these sections up into articles, each question and answer. It was a great read, and allot to talk about, but I got information overload and the Ozil part remained freshest in my mind. We all know the Ozil situation already, he hasn’t told us anything new there. The money part was interesting, I know he mentioned 100m already, but he’s not all that sure and he says we aren’t even sure of it up stairs. And what is this crap about 2019/20 season, at first I thought he must have meant to use the old deadline that kept getting pushed back, now am not sure, this is news to me. I also thought Sven came out of this sounding brilliant, the way he immerses himself into the background of a player and gets involved with his day to day life, bonds with them. He also backed Unai’s appointment, and I’m sure Unai is someone who would respect that.

  17. They don’t no what the heck they are talking about if he plays if he leaves. Us fans don’t give a toss about what we pay to our players as long as they are winning titles and if they start winning titles and so on there will be more money 💰 for everyone THEY SHOULD JUST CONCENTRATE ON BEING SUCCESSFUL ON WINNING TITLES AND FOOTBALL MATCHES THEN THE REST WILL FALL IN PLACE STUPIDITY FROM TOP TO BOTTOM THAT IS NOT THE WAY OF MOOVING FORWARD GET THAT KROANKE OUT UNTIL HE GOES OR STARTS SHOWING AN INTEREST IN OUR FOOTBALL CLUB WE WILL BE AVERAGE

  18. The scariest part I thought was that we don’t have money to sign anyone. How do we compete for anything when we do not sign anyone?

    We looks good for 4-6 placing but for how long can we remain there? Even the most fertile farmlands need to put in some effort.

    How long will be before our star players’ patience run out and leave?

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