Grimandi tipped to link-up with Henry at Bordeaux

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According to reports in France, Thierry Henry is closing in on his first managerial appointment with Bordeaux readying him as a replacement for Gus Poyet.

After drawing a line under his coaching apprenticeship with the Belgian national team, the Frenchman has been on the lookout for his first big boy job and did at one point look like he might end up at Aston Villa.

While that opportunity came and went – Steve Bruce eventually persuaded the Villans’ owners to keep him – Henry hasn’t been short of suitors. He even has the backing of Arsene Wenger who confirmed this week his former charge rang him up for advice.

Should Henry get the green light from Bordeaux, he’ll need to quickly assemble a backroom team. RMC claim that one of the candidates to be his right-hand man is former Arsenal teammate Gilles Grimandi, currently the Gunners chief scout in France.

While a Grimandi departure would be a headache for Sven Mislintat, you can see the attraction for Henry who’d have a trusted pal with an encyclopedic knowledge of French football at his disposal.

For the record, Bordeaux haven’t yet sacked manager Poyet, however, he has been suspended for an expletive-laden press conference during which he castigated the club for selling players without telling him. He’s due to formally get the chop in the coming days.

Look out for 27 October – we might well have an Henry versus Patrick Vieira managerial showdown when Bordeaux host Nice. That could be fun.

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Yash Modi
Yash Modi

Hands off our scout, mate!

Pedant
Pedant

Why haven’t we got any of the latest World Cup winning French stars in our team?

If Grimandi has such a great knowledge of French football surely we’d have a few?

Pedant
Pedant

Genuine question – applies to Wenger too.

Any reasons? – we were successful in the past by knowing of French World Cup winners (Vieira, Petit) and buying them early and cheaply. What changed?

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

I agree. Everybody knew about Mbappe at age 4 or five. He took pictures with Henry at that age. Cannes was about to sign him. Where was M. Grimaldi ? Those videos of the gifted boy at age 5 weren’t available to him?

Martin
Martin

Wenger tried very hard to sign him and Mbappe himself said how close he was to joining us.

Gunnar Eli
Gunnar Eli

the internet … 🙂

1993
1993

Sanogo?

Gunnar Eli
Gunnar Eli

good thing I wasn’t drinking coffee 😀

A Different George
A Different George

Come on–with the single exception of Pavard, there were no even relatively unknown young players on that France squad. I think this is just another “why didn’t we get Kante before Leicester.” Well, for the same reasons PSG, Barca, Real Madrid, or Man United didn’t. It’s not 1998–every big club knows about every promising player in the second and third division of every important league. Kante (and I hope, Guendouzi) is the exception that proves the rule.

C.B.
C.B.

Why didn’t we get Kante or Griezman or others before they were famous? Last French stars we got were Kos and the HFB. It’s about knowing about them earlier than the rest. What changed?

mo974
mo974

Because Arsene didn’t believe in them. Strangely he knew about the Kante, Mendy , Lemar, Mbappe, Dembele very early. All those players have a mix of power and skills but in his latest years he turned away from that mix and tried to imitate the tiki taka Barca style. To the depressing results we all know.

Martin
Martin

He always played with the tika taka style even before Barcelona. We won all our trophies playing that way but in latter years he didn’t have the class of players who could play it well.

Charles Charlie Charles
Charles Charlie Charles

No we didn’t. We played a mix of powerful, direct play and counterattacking football. There were moments of awesome skill certainly, but it wasn’t based on trying to bore out opponents to death passing it around. That came later.

David Hillier's luggage
David Hillier's luggage

I feel it’s more to do with those closing the deals at the club than the scouting system. Griezmann for example came through the Spanish system as no club in France would take him, so would have been tough for our French scouts to spot him as a kid. Even so, the player admitted we tried to sign him when he was a relatively unknown at Sociedad, but we dallied/messed around as we tried to get Suarez. Didn’t Wenger also admit we were trying to get Mbappe before his breakout season, but were unable to find an agreement with Monaco?

Obviously not all deals go through for all clubs, but the ability to spot talent has never been in question. Guendouzi is a good example, if a player of his age and quality was on our radar 4-5 years ago there is no way we would have paid £7m for him (or whatever £7m was then relative to our revenue). We’d have topped out a £2m and left the deal hanging for another club to hoover up.

Oberon
Oberon

Didn’t we sell Giroud, have Koscielny who was injured and try to buy Mbappe for 2 years?

Tommy Gunner
Tommy Gunner

But then who will we have to consistently fail to spot the best up and coming French talent??
[tongue-in-cheek]

1993
1993

Guendouzi along with Mavropanos have shown us there are still bargains out there in the right price range. To be honest, I’m starting to feel like the likes of Welbeck and Elneny are a waste of space.

Db412
Db412

Neither of those were Grimandi’s finds though. Guendouzi was via emery and mavropanos via sven…

Valentin
Valentin

Incorrect.
Everybody in France knew about him. He was a big player in the France U19 team. Had he not changed club, he would have gone to the Euro U19. The coach of France U19 lamented the fact that he had to change his plan at the last minute.
Matteo was in contact with Arsenal since January. Exchanges accelerated when he fell out with Landreau the Lorient’s coach (IT seems that half the team fell with Landreau, Hence his sacking).
Matteo has the choice to either go to PSG (his original youth club that he left when refuse give him a path to the first team), Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Sevilla or Arsenal. Becaiae of the connection with Henry and Pores, he had a preference for Arsenal, but He chose Arsenal after talking to Unai Emery to get confirmation that the head coach wanted him.

420Goonerblayzeit
420Goonerblayzeit

Off topic – Does anyone with a Red membership have an idea of how quickly tickets go from Arsenal website once they go on sale? Do they sell out in a few hours? They go on sale at a weird time in my time zone and don’t want to miss out. Thanks for any input

Zenithreptile
Zenithreptile

Depends on which match- If it’s against a bigger club they normally go very quickly and I think (and may be off the mark) there are less put up for sale to red members. There are normally quite a lot floating around the ticket exchange if the game is against a lesser club (ie West Ham, Fulham, Spurs*) though, and you can normally pick them up until the day before the match. I haven’t renewed my membership for the last couple of seasons, for fairly obvious reasons, so may be wide of the truth on a few of these.
*Spurs normally sell pretty quickly but thought I should include them in that list.

420Goonerblayzeit
420Goonerblayzeit

Thanks very much for this. I’m looking at Everton and Watford home games next month. I’m thinking I’ll wake up at 5 AM my time in order to secure them. I appreciate the advice

David Hillier's luggage
David Hillier's luggage

I don’t think you’ll have too much trouble with those games. If they do sell out there’ll be a bunch of season ticket holders posting on Ticket Exchange or @arsenal_tickets

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Depends on how many tickets you want. If it’s less than 3, I’m pretty sure you’ll get them, you just need to log on about 30mins before they go on sale. Don’t refresh/exit because the red ring isn’t moving though just be patient and wait for your chance to come round. I made that mistake for West Ham (it’s a new system since I last purchased any tickets and it looked like it had timed out) and ended up not getting on until an hour later.

Bould Move
Bould Move

Blogs, the Wenger hyperlink is going to the Wilshere article.

Santori
Santori

Grimandi has been excellent for us.

BUT over the years (particularly following City’s entrance into market – the operating environment for our scouts has got more difficult.

We should remember :

1) Where Engelund were allergic to all things foreign when Wenger first took over, they shed this self professed inhibition very quickly with new foreign managers, oil rich tycoons and in general the redistribution of TV wealth affording even teams in the championship ability to buy from abroad.

2) We faced a double squeeze in market. We were pushed out of the very top with City, Chelsea and PSG entering the game with big money (Of course the Milan teams got weaker it has to be said)

But we were squeezed from the bottom with as mention TV redistribution meaning the ‘lesser lights’ in the league also bought up foreign players.

3)Where Wenger enjoyed near dominance in the French market early on, this has also become competitive.

Wenger’s early reign also had the fortune of coinciding with a golden generation in France. We are now seeing the second generation this world cup but we are in a different era with Arsenal out of CL and unable to attract the best. In that sense, we have done very well to have found Guendouzi but the batting average has dropped. For every Guendouzi, there is now a Sanogo or a Reine-Adelaide.

It has not been easy for the likes of Grimandi in more recent period. Nor has the club shown more lucid recruitment policy IMO to help the scouts in their job.

Merlin's Panini
Merlin's Panini

I don’t really care if we lose Grimandi. I don’t think he’s all that great as scouts go. Sven will no doubt find a replacement easily enough.

LAParrot
LAParrot

Agreed. My understanding is that Grimandi watched Kante once and decided he was not good enough for Arsenal, and even after being asked to go back and take a second look, was still of the same opinion.

Valentin
Valentin

Incorrect. He decided that he was not ready at the time to directly slot in the first team. Which he was not. He took him a while to get in the Leicester squad. The surprise was that once he was in the squad, he got better and better.
Most of Kante past coaches said the same thing. He is like a sponge. Once he learns about the system and his teammates, he will exceed your expectations.
Most players can’t make the leap from France ligue 2 to English Premiership top 4 without requiring time and adjustment.

Santori
Santori

In terms of defenders alone, we were late in the game for Clement Lenglet who was grabbed by Barcelona.

I mentioned early summer he should be the sort of Cback we needed.

Instead the club went for the Greek statue to complement I suppose the German one we have.

Part of the problem is not just scouting but the decision making of the people in charge of buying (shan’t mention the name)

In January I mentioned that we have NOT bought to the best of our ability in accepting :

1) Aubameyang. We did not consider strategic implications. Even if we should have bought him then, we should have agreed on all terms but taken him in the summer allowing us to keep Giroud on instead of having aplyare cup tied for the all important (potential) Europa route back to CL.

2) Mhkitaryan was forced upon us by the agent and United. Rather than accept a lower bid from City and bought Mahrez, we went for a swap deal at United which brought in seemingly more but in reality did not give us better balance in the team.

Come the summer we made more blunders IMO :

3) Chiefly Sokratis. I like that he is experience and he has value in that respect but he is NOT the player we need to play the game the way the incoming gaffer wants (Highpress/Highline)

Of course there will be those (inane) voices that call for us instead to sell Mustafi but if you are anyway realistic, granted the German is not without fault, the options we have in Holding (made way more mistakes than Mustafi pre-season) and Mavropanos (untested and was suspect in some occasions as well end last season) are not better.

To think we would sell one of our better (sad to say) Cbacks in Mustafi when we were reluctant to go the extra mile in bringing in Papastepopoulos, think again.

Granted options in market fro Cback was tight, not every 29yr old is the same. For example, Boateng is still on the potential sales list for Bayern who carry three 29yr olds at Cback.

PSG were keen but had we showed better gumption to throw a bit more at a solution at Cback, we may have got the German who as a unit is bigger and more mobile than our current Greek.

Not all early buying is good particularly if you do not wait for input by a new incoming manager for a critical position in the team (and to weigh in on how he wants to play the game)

4) Wide player is still fundamentally deficient. We have Iwobi (As hopefully) the next best thing and potentially Nelson but you feel you need another player to quicken our often ponderous transitions.

We do not have players currently (bar maybe Iwobi) that exhibit the strength and ability to hold the ball for us where we have now Granit, Guendouzi, Torreira and Mustafi all able to put accurate long balls out from the back.

There were plenty of options available in the summer in the impressive Mexican Hirving Lozano at PSV, the young Brazilian David Neres at Ajax. Florian Thauvin may have been more expensive to pry away from Marseille but an excellent player to give us something out right other than Mhki who is liited at wide position. Carrasco out in China is a bit more left field but he is still ONLY 24yrs.

That we did not bring a player in (and more importantly we still have difficulties shedding dead weight) points to our purchasing team having not improved much if at all.

Someone needs to have a serious look at what is going on.

I think Emery proved he is the right pick over Arteta in not being naive to politically challenge the current arrangement where the Spaniard was ready to go head to head (likely at detriment to relations)

BUT as he starts to bed in, I’d expect Emery to wield a lot more control and say over the buying team. Otherwise we will continue to provide him with wooden nails for the job.

Valentin
Valentin

The problem with Sokratis is that we needed a dominant, but agile and quick left side centre back, basically a young Koscielni. The agile and quick part got lost in translation with Mislintat.
To be fair to him there is not a lot of those and they are quite often quickly snapped. All the good young ones in France ligue 1 left for Spain and Germany as soon as the window opened. By the time, the new coach was installed they were already gone.

Also Unai Emery does not have a good reputation in France. None of the PSG players have good things to say about him in term of man management. As Hatem Ben Arfa can testify he can hold a grudge for a very long time. You can clearly see that the team are afraid of him. Cech blindly following the orders because he does not want to lose his place. AFC tried to get some players, especially some from PSG youth team. None of them were willing to join. Yacine Adli (winger), Stanley Nsoki (left centre half or left fullback) both decided to stay put in France, despite an offer of more money and more playing time. With Wenger at the helm, they would have joined, with Emery they stayed.
With that in mind, Gilles Grimandi has his work cut out to get young French players to Arsenal. So maybe joining TH at Bordeaux will be his easy way out.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

You’re using Hatem Ben Arfa as an example of how bad a manager is at man-management? He hasn’t got on with a single manager he’s played under. Presumably because he’s an enormous bellend.