David Ornstein has expanded on some of the information he put out earlier today via Twitter in relation to Arsenal and some of our transfer business this summer.

Here’s a full transcript of what he had to say.

“Where to begin with Arsenal. Well everything is prefixed by their budget, and their wage bill. So what have they got to work with?

“Missing out on the Champions League was a crushing blow in terms of the transfer market because they were confident of bringing in players like Wilfried Zaha if they’d made it through.

“They’d still like to sign Zaha, and he would like to sign for Arsenal, but it’s very unlikely they’d be able to get the money to bring him in.

“Crystal Palace’s asking price is up to £80m, Man United have a sell on clause in the Zaha contract which would reduce what Palace earn, so it would require Arsenal to make a major sale.

“Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the only conceivable candidate for that and I don’t think they’d want to lose their top scorer from last season. There would need to be a huge market for him also to get the price they need.

“But Arsenal, as we know, also want a central defender. It’s emerged that William Saliba from Saint-Etienne is one of their options. The suggestion is he’d be loaned back for a season which wouldn’t be ideal as they need a centre-half now. There’s no confirmation on that but talks are ongoing.

“I was told that after the Europa League final that Unai Emery, who had always put his faith in Shkodran Mustafi despite a number of high profile mistakes, has decided enough is enough with him and he is no longer in favour of keeping him, so he could be sold. Arsenal have tried to sell him almost every window since they signed him.

“Left back: they are continuing talks for Kieran Tierney. There is optimism around the deal that it will be done. They’re ready to go with medicals etc if they can strike a deal around the fee, but that hasn’t happened yet and Celtic will look to drive a hard bargain of course. They’ll look to create a market around him, drive the price up towards £25-30m, but some feel Arsenal can do it for under £20m.

“They still want a box to box midfielder, we’ve talked about that before, and a wide player.”

On the recruitment process and who is involved

“Raul Sanllehi is the leading the recruitment process, he has Frannie Cagagio who is a senior scout. Huss Fahmy who is negotiating contracts since Dick Law departed, and he’s involved in the process of course too.

“Unai Emery, and he’s got some people around him too who are influential. Of course it’s not the same kind of power that Arsene Wenger but Emery is very much in the fulcrum and the decision making process and pursuing targets.

“And then Edu is starting at Arsenal as the Technical Director in the week after the Copa America finishes. So it’d be naive of us to think he’s not involved in the decision making process in some way.

“Sanllehi is a contacts man, he works on relationships, so I’m sure he’s working with key agents who can help Arsenal fill the positions they need but with so little money to do it, it’s not going to be easy.”

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Matty T.
Matty T.

So this is where if you had a multi-billionaire owner with any genuine ambition for success for his Club he would be persuaded to invest some of his own money to get us back on track. Stump up for a Saha for example.

Stan! Stan! Stan! Stan! Stan! STAN! STAN! Stan!…..

Leemillion
Leemillion

Louis Saha? I know we need a backup striker but a 40 year old guy who has retired seems a bit desperate.

So we’ll probably do it.

Matty T.
Matty T.

Zaha ffs! 😀

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

Imagine if Arsenal eventually put out a press statement that said that they had never heard of Ornstein and he certainly had no connection with the club.

And then it turned out he was a chubby adolescent from Arkansas.

Wouldn’t that be something.

Fuckspurs

Funny, I’m from Arkansas and my first name’s David 😉

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

How much can you tell us about the validity of these Louis Saha rumours?

UdGooner
UdGooner

Hahah that comment made my day

Chibs
Chibs

Or an emotionless businessman who’ll employ the best guys for the job aka Raul and Vinai and insist on running a self-sustaining business as an investment he’s made.

Chibs
Chibs

Plus UNAI

Gunners
Gunners

Stan is SATAN

Skipidipopopopopop
Skipidipopopopopop

Stan Stan Stan Stan SATAN>>>

btw
btw

We are fucked, but I can’t help but think that this is mainly the product of bad decisions made in the last two years. If we had sold Sanchez to City, managed to sell or just not renew Ozil’s contract, and sold Ramsey and Welbeck last summer, we would not have Mhkytarian on the wage bill, and would be >100M richer for our transfer budget. Big mistakes were made, and the current regime is struggling because of it. If I were Stan I would be hesitant to take the risk of injecting my own money to fix this entirely preventable mess. Reall bad management from Gazidis, Wenger, Emery, Sanhelli, and who knows, maybe that is why we lost our transfer guru.

myrtle
myrtle

This is so easy to write in hindsight. I was one of the many who favored actually keeping Sanchez etc in January as they were actually a more likely to help us qualify for the CL those seasons. Just because we might have got 50m doesn’t mean it would have been spent wisely on players who would hit the ground running and make a real contribution to that season.

Dougie
Dougie

Although Wenger aside, all the people named are Kroenke’s hires. So the buck pretty much has to stop with him.

Fuzz
Fuzz

bleak

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

On the plus side we all seem to agree on what needs to happen, more or less

Having no money isn’t going to help

kaius
kaius

Yeah, the most encouraging part was reading that Mustafi’s time is finally up.

If we can sell him as well as Xhaka, Mkhitaryan and Elneny I don’t even care if they’re replaced or not. Gonna go on a bender in my new away adidas kit just to celebrate.

Chibs
Chibs

Lol

thw14
thw14

The depressing part was reading we’ve wanted to sell him every window since he arrived. Shambles, this club. Make them turn in their yachts.

Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0

It’s telling how his only 2 managers at arse al both fave up on him afternoon just 1 season each.

Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0
Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0

Wow, why does this always happen when you try and post via a mobile browser? always butchers words randomly.

Ian Wrights Gold Tooth
Ian Wrights Gold Tooth

Time and place and i’ll join ya.

#Mustexit
#Mustexit

“Arsenal have tried to sell him almost every window since they signed him.”
😭

Atom
Atom

Really need to get Ozil and Mik off the wage bill but seems virtually impossible with comments from Hogenstein about Ozil digging in. And as much as I hate the idea of having to loan back a player we just signed, its important we also take a longer term approach so if we think he’s the guy and it’s the only way to get him then so be it.

Keeping it Monreal
Keeping it Monreal

I kind of want to block all arsenal related content over the summer. It makes me sad and angry. Some would say sangry. Add an a onto there and you basically have sangria. I have my solution.

Long day…

Leshanta Perera
Leshanta Perera

preparing for a disappointing summer… again.

Bacary Lasagna
Bacary Lasagna

This is not exactly encouraging… I’d love to be proven wrong come the start of the season.

Andrew Allen
Andrew Allen

“Arsenal have tried to sell him almost every window since they signed him.“ That’s gotta sting.

Magneto
Magneto

“Arsenal have tried to sell him – Mustafi – almost every window since they signed him”.

That says it all. But I’d still like to know what Arsene saw in this guy that led Arsenal to sign him, for big money, in the first place.

Yar B
Yar B

I believe Wenger was not convinced of Mustafi’s qualities.

Snagger
Snagger

The CV at the time read that he played for the German team also could play RB. The reality unfortunately is he can’t defend and all we can hope for is some other team looks at his CV only and not video analysis.

Chibs
Chibs

I would peddle Mustafis stats to an ideal club for him eg in Spain or Germany. I don’t believe it’s should be hard to sell him. Then I’ll get him in a therapy session and sell that story as well because he’s definitely going through some shii

Terry henry
Terry henry

:/

Jalex
Jalex

I remember a lot of talk of his vertical passing at the time too – similar with Xhaka.

Samgunz
Samgunz

He was trying to keep Ozil happy after his lover Flamini left, Mustafi is his boy from way back. Genius work, as both have progressively got worse and worse.

Pooner
Pooner

Emphasises the absolutely insane way that our football club is run.

Awesomesauce25
Awesomesauce25

If you recall, we had been crying out for defensive reinforcements and the first few targets he wanted we missed out on due to fees. Also, i still think it’s a bit hard to say Mustafi was the problem when he was successful in other systems. He just didn’t fit into the system we deployed and lost confidence and never seemed to recover it. Confidence is a fickle thing, yet it hugely impacts a player’s performance.

Shmokin'em
Shmokin'em

Huh? Do you mean the system that everyone adopts?? Attack, midfield and DEFENSE

DB10s Air Miles
DB10s Air Miles

He was desperate.

JamesGodwinson
JamesGodwinson

His stats was impressive.

But i agree, our recruitment in Wenger’s late years really sucks.

Bertieme
Bertieme

Yes this was–Mustafi, Elneny, Xhaka– “stats DNA” not Wenger.

Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0

I think it was a flaw in Wenger’s own desire and recruitment; as in Wenger’s choice of players was almost seemingly based on their ball-passing ability, of which Mustafi is really good at, rather than his defensive ability. He also liked smaller technical and front-footed defenders, ala Gallas, Vermaelen, Gabriel, and even Koscielny (the latter being the best).

Mustafi is just another example of when Wenger changed his Recruitment to put Moreno emphasis on ball playing above all else.

Rich
Rich

A squad full of average and over the hill players earning too much money to move on, and a budget of just £45 million…

Our fan base is going to be in meltdown lol

I really like Emery….. but my prediction is he’ll be gone by the turn of the year if the club don’t manage to move on the likes of Ozil+Mustafi permanently, the new manager will get a short honeymoon period, but that’ll be over within a few games.

I fancy us for our worst finish in 25 years, we finished 12th in 94/95, and haven’t been outside the top6 since.

The only way I can see Emery surviving is if the club manages a huge clear-out, and he goes with the likes of Nelson, Willock, Smith-Rowe and Bielik, having a core of young players may buy him a bit of time? and might mean Kroenke takes the majority of criticism.

Klopp+ Liverpool are talking about going hard, United will continue to throw the kitchen sink at it, City are on a different planet to us, Spurs are spending £65 mill on a midfielder in spite of a £1billion+ stadium debt.

I adjusted my expectations after the summer of 2011, they’ve continued to get lower, and are set to get much lower again….

Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0

I’m not even sure Emery is the guy for that kind of project. Doesn’t seem a project youth kinda guy.
DOnt be surprised if our next manager is Freddie

Jimmy the Rimmer

Think the next manager will be the one at Nice

kas
kas

I for one will be pi**ed off if Newcastle get either Arteta or Vierra, whilst we’re stuck with PSG’s ex coach. I read on here once that was one of the reasons Gazidis left, he did not want Emery & was overruled.

Goonerjae
Goonerjae

How the f*ck can you bring in a new manager, and then give him f*ck all to work with in 2 transfer windows. It’s not even his team or vision

If emery walks i wouldn’t blame him one bit

its become an organisation of bumfoolery at Arsenal… Amateur hour

what good is the best kit in years being worn by Arsenal if we are still having our arses handed to us on a plate by lower table teams due to squad issues.

As for Gazidis that C*nt seems to be trying to destabilize us even further with every single attempt, he is ever so close to having a horses head in his bed.

Awesomesauce25
Awesomesauce25

Agree. We probably should have brought in a different manager who would be able to utilize the tools at his disposal a bit more readily, but once they decided on Emery, they needed to commit to him fully if they want any chance of success.

CLEGooner
CLEGooner

Who could utilize these tools to do anything? Gandalf the Grey?

Scott P
Scott P

I think it’s going to take the revitalized Gandalf the White, at least, to get us out of this one

Chibs
Chibs

Awesomesauce, or maybe they are pulling off some intelligent Spanish trickery ? This bunch is unusual, this group at the helm of our Club are business PROs. I am an aspiring business Pro and I’m fascinated watching them

Feeno
Feeno

Ornstein is just making it up like the rest of them now.

Niall Shannon
Niall Shannon

Weird thing is, Mustafi & Zaha were the 2 players who dropped us into the EL for next season…

Scrap that, it was all Mustafi… Zaha could have been any other player in that situation

myrtle
myrtle

Absolutely, and knocking spuds down to fourth in the process. It’s not inconceivable that it would be us in talks with N’dombele and them scratching around in the bargain bin instead. Huge, f-cking sliding doors.

Anne Noyd
Anne Noyd

Think you mean fifth but I agree..
At least the new kits are good! If you’re gonna fail, fail in style.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Hang on, we left Highbury for this?? T_T

Richie

Zaha would be a quality signing but I can’t see us raising the funds for that. Alternatively, Éverton would be a decent addition; he’s really impressed for Brazil in this year’s Copa, young (around 22 or 23), can play on either wing, and playing for a mid table side in the Brazilian league I suspect would be available for less than 20m. Edu should be all over this already.

Gooner Sam
Gooner Sam

As per usual then our transfer window is clear as mud

Gooner Sam
Gooner Sam

One thing to point out though is that everyone who blames Kroenke completely…..If you look at the money we have wasted on bad guys and big contracts/ not selling and contracts expiring, the club has been very badly managed! If it was my money I’m not sure I would invest unless I saw a big sorting out of the finances and a proper strategy

JamesGodwinson
JamesGodwinson

Oh please.

Everyone makes mistakes.

City have bunch of flops. United have spent over 200 mil since Ferguson retired. Liverpool wasted more than you think. Andy Caroll, Benteke, Joe Allen, Lovren but they bounced back quite well. Chelsea? Oh forget it!

I don’t see it as an excuse for Kroenke.

We are underinvestment. That’s a fact!

Der32
Der32

You must be GoonerStan in disguise.

Floppy Gloves
Floppy Gloves

Yeah but if the squad had been managed well then Stan wouldn’t feel a need to invest because we would be performing better in the league.

gunner17
gunner17

how are clubs lower than us spending tens of millions more than us every window?

CLEGooner
CLEGooner

Starts with self, ends with sustaining model

Weedz
Weedz

What annoys me the most is that 13 years ago, we, the fan-base, were told by our club that building and moving to a new stadium would make sure that our club had plenty of cash to compete the other ‘big’ clubs in the transfer market.

How has the exact opposite happened?

If we could produce football as good as Arsenal FCs owner and board produce hot-air, we’re be EPL champions ATM.

A P
A P

Because big money entered the game and skewed the finances, that’s why.
Do you want a refund??

Matt
Matt

When we embarked on our stadium move, at the time it was the main way of revenue. TV deals were getting bigger but we were already down the road in terms of preparing for a self sustaining model just like Manchester United.

Munich, Juventus, Madrid/Barcelona, Man United would have been our main financial rivals. Considering Munich, Juventus, Madrid and Barca are Juggernauts of their respective leagues they will always have the attraction to players and the funds to go for them. United are so well run OFF the pitch in terms of finances that they too are a juggernaut.

BUT

Chelsea’s money, City’s money, PSG’s money, coupled with our own austerity period from 06 – 13 before new deals could be negotiated led us to fall down the pecking order and into the same bracket as Liverpool, Spurs, Dortmund, Milan’s, Athletico and co.

Bad Performances and mismanagement from the board and manager from 13-18 led us to stagnate/fall behind the latter clubs mentioned as they all pushed on during the same period and gave themselves the platform to compete for the best of the rest of the players who didn’t go to the juggernauts of their respective leagues.

We’re now in this god awful position where our financial model works but is outdated and hinders us. We cant compete with juggernauts of other leagues, we cant compete with the best of the rest in those leagues cuz they’re better than us, we can’t compete with our own domestic juggernauts and we can’t compete with the best of the rest in our own league because they’re better than us as well.

We’re basically bottom of the rung in terms of Europe’s top 15 or so clubs. Maybe the Milans we’re on par with at the moment.

I don’t solely blame the owner, or the stadium move or the board or Wenger or Gazidis or the oil money clubs……….it’s kind of been the perfect storm of all the thigs that could go against you all happening over the last 15 years.

Sad thing is…each piece that’s went wrong was fixable along the way, but it wasn’t and instead we have so many things to fix I personally can’t see, given our track record, how it can be done.

Don’t think I’ve been this disillusioned with the club ever.

CLEGooner
CLEGooner

Really having a hard time seeing anything good happening. Beginning to think our best hope is to sink so far Stan decides to sell.

Football sucks now anyway.

A P
A P

Sink until Stan sells? Well, many wanted to sacrifice ECL football so AW would leave. Didn’t think too much about the consequences then eh?

Clegooner
Clegooner

Why? You think if Arsene was here we’d be better off?

Jack4343
Jack4343

I wouldn’t mind having Zaha but £80 million? No way are we paying that. Even in the overinflated, English player in the Premier League market I just can’t see him being worth anywhere near that. That is madness.

xxxrob
xxxrob

Honest question.. why the fuck do we have no money? Like, seriously? We suffered (suffering being relative to what came before it… I’d kill to be ‘suffering with consistent Top 4 finishes now) for years through the stadium debt, losing our best players, losing our status as a serious club for nothing it truly, truly seems.

Guesses as to the losses:
As far as I have seen, KSE have taken 2 (?) payments out of the club of about 6m or so (again ? on the actual figures – and are they higher than what we’re told?).
We have high earners and players who are paid well but we don’t get performance out of.
We have lost assets which had sell on value for free or minimal fees.
We spent a “big” amount in previous windows (Laca window, Auba window, Torreira window).
We have lost the Champions League revenue (or at least as far as Round of 16).

Gains/Positives:
We have paid most of the stadium off to the point it shouldn’t be crippling us
We have the mega money TV deal (this might have worked against us really, 25m deals today were probably 10-15m prior)
2 new kit deals (Puma and Adidas)
Highbury apartments
Renewed shirt sponsors etc etc.

Summary of this incoherent rant? Where is the money? Are the losses that FAR outweighing the gains? It doesn’t feel like they are or should be.

Prakhar Tripathi
Prakhar Tripathi

I am so happy to know that club tried to sell Mustafi every window since they signed him. Restores my faith in this club I love.

Ponsonby Gooner
Ponsonby Gooner

Can someone please explain to me why we have no money when the tv deal is even bigger than it was last year??

xxxrob
xxxrob

Based on my rant above, I can only guess that whilst we have more money through the deal, inflation has just nullified it.

100m in 2019 doesn’t buy what 100m would have bought in 2015 because the selling clubs know they can extort the buyer for millions over value.

JamesGodwinson
JamesGodwinson

Still, it is not the excuse for our extremely low budget.
40 mil is way too small for Arsenal.
Let alone Kroenke, we can still generate a good amount of money.

Something is fishy!

Gunnerlocutor
Gunnerlocutor

We all knew in January it would be dicey to finish top 4 or win Europa. And we all knew the club desperately needed the £€$ and prestige that only UCL can bring. We had 3 key players out with injury. HOW could we not bring in one new player in that window to get us over the line?? (I’m not counting Suarez.). The chickens have come home and are roosting. Thanks Stan!

AramJ
AramJ

MAGPIES!

N10
N10

I’ve heard all the equivocation and word salad I need to hear. Stan Kroenke is a POS and we need an owner who says, I’m going to spend some money to win.
For how many years do we need to do this people?

Mohammed Gaus Shaikh
Mohammed Gaus Shaikh

But Mustafi didn’t even play the Europa League Final…lol

JamesGodwinson
JamesGodwinson

Not related to this article but.
I heard #GlazersOUT campaign is working for United. Saudi Arabia prince is about to make a takeover bid.

This makes me wonder can those online campaign can work with us?

Is there a possibility that a trillionaire from Dubai can save us from the Kroenkes?

The Spoon
The Spoon

Stan won’t sell up, even if the stadium was empty every week, its pittance compared to TV money and all the kit/sponsorship deals. We could of had a decent owner but Stan eventually bought him out. I don’t blame Stan anyway, I blame the previous owners who sold up without researching this buffoon before signing over.

JamesGodwinson
JamesGodwinson

You mean Peter Hill Wood, Danny Fizman and Lady Nina Bracewell Smith?

Eric Blair
Eric Blair

You want to be saved from the Kronkes….by the Saudis? Perhaps they’ll finish Stan off with the bone saw.

para
para

Cant help thinking that we’re going to get players that no one has heard of, all this is just “deflection”. Anyway, looking forward to the 1st pre season. The youth(who will be playing 1st game) know it’s NOW to stake their place. I hope we get many of them playing with/in the 1st team this season.

Nik

I’m just glad at least they’re trying to do something about the squad. But trying isn’t the same as doing. Hope everything works to plan.

Brian
Brian

“I was told that after the Europa League final that Unai Emery, who had always put his faith in Shkodran Mustafi despite a number of high profile mistakes, has decided enough is enough with him and he is no longer in favour of keeping him”……….

This statement looks farfetched to me. Mustafi did not play in that Europa final. So why would Unai go against his own faith on a player he had faith all season based on a match the player never participated in?

goonero
goonero

I think this is read as “after the final, the end of the season, he finalized his assessment of who he does and doesn’t want going forward and Mustafi is a no go”. Perfectly reasonable.

Floppy Gloves
Floppy Gloves

He probably reviewed his line up later that night and tried to figure out how he could have improved the starting XI. Looked at Mustafi’s name and immediately vomited on the hotel bed. That’s when he knew…

Sean Williams
Sean Williams

Kroenke has borrowed to buy Arsenal and has also borrowed massive for a multi billion LA project. He needs a valuable plump Arsenal without debts if his LA project screws up. So he won’t borrow for Arsenal. How far would he let us slide. His MLS team Colorado Rapids are so poor they will almost certainly finish bottom of the MLS

12 Colorado Rapids 17 4 9 4 27 36 −9 16

Satan Kroenke as he has become known in the States, is not liked in any circles in the states, it’s always worth checking him stateside, it shows that we are just one of many diluted ventures he has. His LA project is his biggie and we are a chlorinated chicken to him.

Del Boy
Del Boy

I thumbing your post up… but i just didn’t like reading any of that

Al The Gunner
Al The Gunner

How about if we buy Saliba and loan Mustafi to St Etienne?

Limey
Limey

After the Europa League final,Emery decided enough was enough with Mustafi. REALLY.
This makes zero sense, Mustafi never played in the Europa League final, not for a single minute.Dont get me wrong, the fella is a disaster and needs to leave,if we can somehow get rid, I’d drive him to the airport myself.
This is a bit like when Emery blamed Ramsey for our end of season collapse.
I’m all for giving him another season, but the signs are not good.

Floppy Gloves
Floppy Gloves

Maybe when setting the starting XI Emery realized didn’t have the confidence to start Mustafi in the most important game of the season and opted for a 33 yo who looked off the pace in the match. That speaks volumes about Mustafi’s value to the club.

Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0

“Emery is very much in the fulcrum and the decision making process and pursuing targets.”

This concerns me, greatly.

goonero
goonero

Heavens forbid the man charged with coaching and selecting the players to achieve the club’s goals has any input in who those players are!

Vonnie
Vonnie

Emery doesn’t do talented players he does workhorses. He also doesn’t do youth, and plays negative football, so if the recruitment is left to him we’ll end up like Southampton. I’m hoping that the Barca and South American influence of Sanielli and Edu, along with our tradition of playing the beautiful game will ensure that we get decent players and our youngsters are given a chance. Emery is the coach, not the manager, and he’s on a short term contract. He needs to up his game or out, he failed last season.

Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0
Faisal Narrage aka Mr. Project Youth 2.0

Strawman much?
Did I say he shouldn’t be involved? There’s a difference between being involved and being “the fulcrum”.

Emery has never been the decision-making guy in all his previous roles, his best work was with Monchi.
Ornstein has already said in the past how Emery gravitates towards experience and players he already knows. Last summer he made recommendations for the likes of Nzonzi, over Sven’s Torreira. How do you think that would’ve panned out?

He’s been a fulcum in one windows, and that ended up with Denis Suarez. Need I say more? The whole purpose of the new structure was to prevent this.

Let the coach, coach. Let the best recruiter, recruit.

Olivije Žirod
Olivije Žirod

Imo Mustafi won’t be sold unless the a good offer comes. I don’t think he is transfer listed. Arsenal fans love to forget who was actually partnering Holding in those game – MUSTAFI. He benched Sokratis until we started playing with 3 at the back against Bournemouth. I think Emery will give another try to Mustafi – Holding partnership in the next season.

Bob
Bob

You know, that 2016 summer transfer window really screwed us – we signed Xhaka, Mustafi, and Perez for approx. 80m, and lost Gnabry at the same time. We’re still living with the hangover of that window.

Floppy Gloves
Floppy Gloves

I still have the headache and nausea 3 years on.

Matt
Matt

We signed Holding that window too, for peanuts, and he’s been great. But yeah, I agree, it was an awful summer and Wenger never recovered from it.

Santori
Santori

This is the problem. We don’t have a Technical director.

We have Caggagio promoted from scouting and he may pull the rabbit out of the hat but little experience getting deals across the line which is VERY different from identifying talent.

Plus consideration also has to be put into greater strategic (looking 2 or 3 seasons down) outlook and tactical concerns neglected by Mslintat.

Raul is also no more than a relations specialist from Barca.

Obviously he has wrestled control from the frankly hit and MSis Mslintat but whether we are surrounding ourselves with good solid know how to work the limits ona tight budget and the lack of CL pedigree now for 3 seasons is another issue.

Someone like Campos at Lille OSC (formerly at Monaco) is worth his weight in gold but we are too stingy to get him. Consider Lille a club of lesser means (albeit in CL next season) have the temerity to keep this chap and we lack the cojones to get what a club of our size can really benefit from over and above ANY signing.