Friday, June 14, 2024

Wenger: We must revisit our structures & scouting policy

Arsene Wenger says the arrival of Sven Mislintat and Raul Sanllehi doesn’t alter the fact that he still has the final say on all Arsenal’s transfer business but he has admitted that change is needed on the recruitment front.

The hiring of the German from Borussia Dortmund as the club’s new head of recruitment and the impending arrival of the Spaniard, who has previously been at Barcelona and will take up a role as head of football operations, appears, on paper at least, to be the first steps taken by Ivan Gazidis in planning for life after Wenger.

Last week, Wenger said he was looking to find ‘a new balance’ within the changing hierarchy at London Colney and while the potential acquisitions of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have Mislintat’s fingerprints on them, he insists he ultimately signs off on all transfer business.

Quizzed on Friday as to whether he still has final say over signings, Wenger said: “Yes.”

While that may not have changed, he went on to make clear that the club have improvements to make in the scouting arena.

“We have to revisit the way we structure our club, and our scouting policy,” said Wenger.

“You look at world-class players now, you look at Ronaldo, Neymar, Sanchez, their level of financial demands and the level of their costs, you have to go younger and certainly these players are not affordable.”

Despite not being able to compete financially with the richest clubs, Wenger still believes that Arsenal’s ability to offer regular game time to new signings – perhaps down to the fact their squad isn’t as competitive and filled with star names – can play in their favour occasionally.

“What is important today is that we are the club that can maybe give them a chance, more than many other clubs,” he said.

“Modern football has created a kind of game where the best players in the game are grouped to a various small number of clubs but that doesn’t mean that you cannot compete on the pitch.”

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“We have to improve scouting and structures but we know every playe already and I don’t know what a director of football does.”
A. Wenger, Confused of Highbury N5.


I’ts easy to misinterpret.
A. CockEndRider


Oscar Wilde lives.


Is that a testicle sticking out of Arsene’s chin?


I get what Wenger is saying but ultimately you still have to spend money. It doesn’t matter what these are kids now. Look at Mbappe as a prime example. He’s 18 and people are willing to sign him for £100M. The days of true market value for players have gone. When you have Man City inflating the whole market, willing to sign Kyle Walker for £50M, there isn’t a whole lot you can do. I also find it funny that he chose to reference Ronaldo, considering he met with him plenty of times before he ended up being signed by… Read more »

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

I can’t wait the time where all the football inflation will collapse just like bitcoins will.

Asrar Ahmed

You mean like the pound after brexit… look at it now though. That’s the markets for you

Twisted cuntloks

“Modern football has created a kind of game where the best players in the game are grouped to a various small number of clubs but that doesn’t mean that you cannot compete on the pitch.”

Erm… I think you will find it does mean you cannot compete on the pitch., particularly on a consistent basis not over a one off game. The team has proved this over and over the past 10+ years

Wenger\'s Medulla Oblongata

@Twisted It could be argued however, that clubs like Dortmund and Arsenal (20yrs of continuous CL football) proves that it is possible to compete on the pitch. There’s been a handful of times over the last 13yrs where Wenger only needed to add a decent striker, midfielder or goalkeeper (how was Almunia ever our number 1?) to have probably won the league. It is possible to compete on the pitch with less resources but, let’s not kid ourselves that we’re not actually near the top of the food chain with the resources we have. We offered +-£90mil for Lemar, few… Read more »


#Wenger/’s Medulla… 1. I agree that we are a great club with a strong team (and it deserves appreciation in my opinion), but I think those 1-2 players are the difference in many times. (Just imagine our team with Malcom – who could have been bought from the sale of Ox + a keeper like DeGea and a CB like Varane, or VvD) And it connects to the second point… 2. We didn’t want to srenghten our team with a 90 Million talent in the summer… We wanted to cover his price by selling our best player first… to our… Read more »

Twisted cuntloks

@Medulla You raise valid points for sure. IMO we have been 3-4 world class players short of seriously challenging for the title since 2006. At Highbury we didn’t have huge resources but competed. Since the move we have accumulated 200+million, charge the highest ticket prices in the world and have had up to recently top 5/6 turnover in the world but now can’t compete. With Lemar we may have offered 80-90m but we would have received 60m for Sanchez so our outlay would have been 20-30m. Any team in the PL if they had Sanchez would easily afford the 20-30m… Read more »


Well said! Just take a look at the competitions where we were successful and where we were not:

Cups Vs. League


Wenger needs to face axe very simple; he’s out of the game tactically and has an akward pride and selfish ego, by licking the dicks of his american owners


He needs to buy capability in now but also players who have a bit of future with us. Instead we are back to 2011-12 buying either older players as stop gaps or again investing large sums in youth. The sort of players the first team needs are those around 24yrs to 27yrs. Players like Draxler and Mahrez. Understandably the German may not be cheap but if his ball park is anywhere between 60-80m, he is worth the extra dosh to say Aubameyang for 60m at 28+ yrs. Mahrez I think is a better purchase than Mhykitarian. Why buy an older… Read more »

Bould\'s Eyeliner

You assume too much. 1) There are no ‘risk-free’ transfers, just good payoffs in hindsight. 2) A quick-fix is a vague term that misinterprets the intentions of Wenger and the board. In my opinion, simultaneously bringing in Mhky, Lacazette, and Auba in one season is very ambitious compared to what this club typically does. In fact, this ‘all-forwards’ mentality reminds me a lot of Wenger’s bullish attacking attitude of the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I hope. Is it the right decision? Hasn’t even happened yet, so we can entertain those thoughts afterwards. 3) We took a risk on Sanchez,… Read more »

Stuck on repeat...

Tend to agree Santori. The only point I would make is that we’re simply not good enough for the CL at present. Sure, the money’s good. But I would prefer to actually compete in Europa than simply qualify for the CL to inevetably get knocked out once we’re out of the group stages. Invest in the squad now, & give it another year & we’ll see how things change.


So, just to be clear, he said one of our selling points is that we have a shit team so you can walk straight into the starting XI….


I think he is referring to squad, not team. That includes academy.


Nope, he’s talking about the first team – e.g. “Hey Miki, overall you cannot get in to Man Utd team but you would definitely play if you signed for us. I think you are a top, top, top player and our squad has great mental strength and good spirit. P.S. Did you know I have never broken a contract?”


“Also, before I forget, I need to remind you time and again that I have been a manager long enough to know everything.”


Thanks for everything Arsene it’s time for a change


Im shocked there is so many downvotes. Do people really think Wenger should stay?


grod – There will always be some but they are firmly in the minority and their numbers are getting smaller with each embarrassing defeat.

btw does anyone know if protests are still planned prior to the match tomorrow?

Chippys chip

Yes 2pm outside marble halls.


Protests… you guys really need to get a life outside of football entertainment.


Im not shocked, they are only 25 people as of now.
I think Arsenal’s next manager will be a German. I wish it was Klo.pp. I can think of a few names.

Chippys chip

Did many know wenger when he arrived? We nicked George Graham from millwall. Anyone from anywhere will do.

David C

I was one who used to think Wenger should stay so we avoid a Liverpool or Moyes’ Man U, but how can we get any worse than where we are? Out of the CL for prob 2 years running should be enough to make the change.

and Arsenal tickets still the most expensive…so sad.

My hometeam (Toronto FC) reduced my brother’s season tickets 40% a few seasons ago because the team was so crap. Can’t see Arsenal doing that…


So basically we give young players a chance?
Wait for them to mature? So we then sell them to a club with more ambition and who are willing to match their wage demands?
It’s exactly what we’ve been trying to do since moving to the Emirates.
But we no longer improve young talent.. so it’s unlikely they’ll progress in the first place.


I’m a bit confused. I thought we moved to the Emirates so we could compete financially with the world’s biggest clubs. While I agree that we can’t match Man City’s, Chelsea’s, or PSG’s petro dollars, we should be able to compete with clubs like Man U and Bayern that spend what they generate. The question I have is why haven’t we made greater strides in generating income?


For me it simply comes down to a lack of winning titles.

Champions inevitably get the most exposure and the best sponsorship deals providing the cash for reinvestment.

That’s why I can never understand the lack of ambition in this club – going for the gervinhos instead of the hazards is simply a false economy.

Success makes money, surely they understand that at Kroenke towers??


The football money has changed since we moved to the Emirates. TV & other financing deals bring in more money than the gate

Andy Mack

Unfortunately the explosion of TV money since then has made the stadium income less important, which together with Abramovich and the $iteh oil money as reduced the benefits of the stadium move dramatically.

Asrar Ahmed

Man Utd have grown into the marketing behemoth it is because of its huge sponsorship deals which were generated off the success of Sir Alex. This is why I think even if Roman left Chelsea they would still be a big club because they have the foundations to be a worldwide brand now. Arsenal can become the next Bayern/Man Utd simply through success and that can only be achieved by: 1. Signing top players 2. Building a stronger team and actually winning titles, especially the champions league 3. Increasing its worth worldwide as more and more people join the fanbase… Read more »


Jesus, what a defeatist attitude, trying to make us sound like West Brom to hide his continued failings.

Thankfully a smaller club like a Leicester haven’t won anything major using excellent scouting, coaching & not paying millions in fees….Oh


And an impact manger


“What is important today is that we are the club that can maybe give them a chance” Hope Perez and Kolasinac aren’t reading this


He’s clearly referring to the young up and coming future stars. Don’t think Perez qualifies there and Kolasinac has had plenty of game time prior to a loss of form and injury he just returned from. Plenty of things to complain about without making things up.


“You look at world-class players now, you look at Ronaldo, Neymar, Sanchez, their level of financial demands and the level of their costs, you have to go younger and certainly these players are not affordable.” Reading between the lines (since he is stating the obvious) I think he is ensuring that somewhere along the line we need to make top offers, at whatever level (youth, prospect, development team, 1st team etc). Could this indicate that the board have been playing moneyball and exclusively offering Wenger a list of candidates from the “affordable” level. Which includes youngsters. After all the type… Read more »


“Gazidis’s reputation” *laughing crying emoji*


Welcome to the forum Gazidis aka thumbs down, pls stay around 24/7 and quit your day job


Ancelotti or Allegri IN. Wenger coming off as a prick now.

Chippys chip

Only now?


Does it say “now”?


Yes – last word in the sentence. Hope that’s resolved your query.


Well, I guess we aren’t going to challenge the likes of Bayern Munich, Ivan.


According to Ivan, we are over performing!!!


Wenger has named the correct part of the strategy which we are seriously lacking in. And probably the most important for long term success.

For a club of this size, or our attempts to be, we should be trying to achieve the barcelona type situation where you have a mixture of the best youth players, acquire the best development players and buy the best first team players.


I think Southampton’s scout are better than ours, or at least before Mislintat. They made a lot of money because of it.


It’s not that simple Southampton could sign raw unfinished talents and allow them space to develop into better players who can be sold on for more. At Arsenal we cannot carry players who might not be performing in the same way Southampton can. I would imagine a lot (if not all) of Southampton signings would have been known to our scouts

Public Elneny Number One

Deeds not words.


This is why having people like Sven around is so important. If you read between the lines, Arsene is basically saying that Arsenal’s best route to being competitive is to find disgruntled veterans at big clubs and buying them at a discount with the promise of first team football. And sure, that can serve you well in the cases of Ozil, Sanchez, etc. But this model isn’t sustainable, especially since AW seems to scoff at the going rate for 20 yr old prodigies in the world right now. Some veterans have certainly served us well, but what do you do… Read more »

Asrar Ahmed

I think we definitely got less than half of what we could have got if we had been a lot more ruthless in signing players up to long term contracts before selling them as well as selling players maybe a season or two earlier. IN the current market, why is an Alexis not being sold for £100M? Giroud was easily worth up to £30M, Walcott possibly £30-£40M, Oxlade £50M…. I think Liverpool have done well in this regard because they have been able to get the big fees for their sales. Why are we not able to do so?


If he’s dithering over every signing and cannot implement intelligent tactics or motivate his players it’s all pretty irrelevant.

Sheffield Gooner

Wish I had a pink chin like that.


If the main allure of our club is that we can offer young players game time and the opportunity to develop, we are then by definition a feeder club.

This then means that we should continuously expect our players to play and then hop over somewhere else when they are good enough. Arsène believes that “loyalty” will win over and they’ll choose to remain with the club, but unfortunately that’s not how the world works anymore (Not really sure it ever did).


Very well said!

But as the 2nd paragraph concern: I think we musn’t forget that these player are real competitors too. Even if they love the club – at the point when they realise that given our mentioned strategy (feeder club) we will never/or just occasionally be able to compete with the best teams – they will have to choose between their ambitions/perfectionism and loyality.
If they choose the second – they will give up their dreams and motivation that brought them to the top.
If they choose the first – they will be labelled as mercanaries/traitors.


Ok but like, these players are affordable because teams are buying them. They’re not ‘affordable’ to average mid-table teams which is what we have become. The point of the move to The Emirates was to help and encourage players like Neymar, Sanchez and Ronaldo to join Arsenal FC. Now these players aren’t affordable? What the actual fuck? You know, for a professor in Economy you sure suck at economics.

Andy Mack

No one could foresee the explosion of the TV revenue or the arrival of Chavski/$iteh/PSG Oil money. Everyone in football thought we were making a really clever move when the new stadium was first announced, but the financial landscape has changed beyond all recognition since then.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

Not sure why this is being thumbed down. It was a good move. It was such a good move that all the people with insane truckloads of money did the exact same thing. Someone invested in a brand, and a lot of dudes with bottomless wallets said, holy crap, there are a lot of brands. It was the same deal with Wenger making foreign player transfers a mainstay of the EPL–good business, that everyone jumped on. Investing in Arsenal has been nothing but a good move for Kroenke, and he’s not leaving anytime soon. The fault in Wenger and the… Read more »


Why does he even answer all these questions? These are supposed to be internal policy matters. We fans just look at results on pitch. Don’t care how we get it anymore.


Does this mean we might get a new 1st team goalkeeper before his next extension?

Quizzed on Friday as to whether he still has final say over signings, Wenger said: “Yes.”

Guess not, as you were.


ha, you should have thought about that ten years ago

Brown American Gooner

I don’t think scouting is the problem. We’ve managed to sign very good players but haven’t been able to make them work as a team. I think the bulk of the blame comes down to management and coaching.


Management & coaching, something King Canute will never take the blame for. Even if OX & Theo etc improve after there exits, the old bugger will try to delude the fans even more.


“That doesn’t mean you can’t compete on the pitch ” Yes it does. Well for us anyway, other clubs have a plan. We’re embarrassing with a dinosaur in charge who is too scared of life after football to do the decent thing and walk away This window has again highlighted how we have no plan in place it’s being made up as we go along Even in the summer we recruit a lb to play wing back in a system that he doesn’t like who he doesn’t think is good enough to play in a 4 We’re taking a player… Read more »


And if “that doesn’t mean you can’t compete on the pitch” then what about this:

10 points behind Leicester at the end of the season.
18 points behind Chelski at the end of the season.
23 points behind Man. City in January.


dr Strange

Yeah but that’s for the next manager.

Sean Juba

No shit. Start with restructuring yourself out of your job Arsene. Don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out


But you are in such a comfort zone you say it now. Why didn’t this start years ago? Everything is so reactive how about being fucking proactive for once

Stuck on repeat...

“Modern football has created a kind of game where the best players in the game are grouped to a various small number of clubs but that doesn’t mean that you cannot compete on the pitch.” Interesting to note that apparently, even according to AW, Arsenal are no longer considered in this “various small number of clubs”. Why in the middle of a transfer window are we just realizing as a club that we are shit at transfers? Also he doesn’t do himself any favours (again) by simply touting off the just the top top names of footballers, & saying ALL… Read more »


Mislintat got you a 18 year old Greek boy and you put him in the first team after 3 days of training.

If you had bought him, you would have sent him on-loan to some Boondocks United and we’d never hear from him again until you have to sell him.


Oh and we’re still rebuilding from 2006 since moving to the Emirates.


We must revisit our manager recruiting policy.

Spanish Gooner

We already have some talented youngsters! Bellerin was wanted by City and Barcelona, Iwobiwas a full international while a teenager, Holding marshalled Diego Costa in an FA cup final,, Toral won 3 player of the year awards while on loan as a teenager, Zelalem & the Jeff earned rave reviews in youth tournaments, but none of them have kicked on as expected. We need to overall the coaching staff more than anything else


I think the hiring of Sven Mislintat and Raul Sanllehi is positive development. Also, I think if it was up to AW alone, we would not be attempting to sign both Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang in the January window. I think AW is the one who needs to change.


I went for a walk once, and saw a dog running happily through a meadow. It made me wonder what will future paleontologists think of this world 200 million years from now. I mean with all the plastic trapped within siliciclastc sediments and the decline in coral species in carbonate facies………. Will these scientists determine the widespread facies change due to global eustacey? Or will they think a giant volcano spewing plastic coincided with an asteroid impact initiated a mass extinction event. Back to the dog oh how he galloped withhis tongue hanging to the side, what a funny little… Read more »




I don’t think the new scouting set up is all that either. They basically plumbed for players they have inroads to which is fine. But when you consider what we need to balance out the squad, it was somewhat too convenient. I would have got Mahrez personally for 40-50m. He’s the creative force we need on the right to balance left side and at 26yrs has plenty of residual value not to mention has yet to hit his peak. He would also afford Bellerin better leeway and not as much pressure to come forward. Mhykitarian is not a wide specialist… Read more »

Jean Ralphio

Agree that we should have gone for Mahrez. No way Mahrez would go for 50 million though. 75 million at least. Also Mkhitaryan played on the left and right at Dortmund.


We should move to a bigger stadium so that we can compete with these clubs


We are no longer in a position to compare with those few clubs signing the most expensive players, we just lost a top player in the making to pool, not to mention how we allow our little broder next door to catch-up. You have to be made of ever so stubborn wenger dna to not see the trend; klopp, pochettino and the guys have just as admirable positive football mindset, yet where AW is basing it all on philosophy & “values” these guys work hard with the tactical side. A legend status he deserved, but AW of today is at… Read more »


There is a vital difference between building a team and collecting/keeping players that enjoys the freedom you offer AW.


We are owned by two billionaires. Of course we can afford to pay wages that make sanchez or neymar happy. Our owner refuses to which is why we get average players. And why we are now an average club closer to Burnley than the top four.

Burnley for crying out loud.

The teams with the best players running around the pitch are the teams that win.


Does Wenger expect us to believe he had final say over the ” the Greek kid who looks good in training”? Hahaha, come on Arsene. These deals are getting done whether you like it or not.


Literally what 2 years ago we were told we can compete with United and Bayern. Now all of a sudden their saying we need to find youngsters to develop once again! Now I’m happy with us finding the next wonderkids and having a fantastic scouting and academy and I get prices have inflated excessivly but still the club have clearly gone back on their word!!

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