Sunday, May 28, 2023

Report: Arsenal make experienced addition to scouting network

Via Sport (es) in Spain comes news that Arsenal have appointed Toni Lima to the scouting department.

The Barcelona born former Andorran international joins from La Liga side Alaves, and has previously worked with Manchester United and Inter Milan – where he was their main man in Brazil.

Lima is credited with talent spotting the likes of Philippe Coutinho (who he brought to Inter), and Neymar (although that was probably an easy spot, in fairness).

He was in charge of international scouting at Alaves, but the report suggests he’ll be responsible for the Gunners scouting in Spain – a role previously carried out by Francis Cagigao whose work in the past brought us players like Cesc Fabregas, Lauren, Santi Cazorla, and Nacho Monreal.

As the pandemic hit last year, Arsenal did away with a large part of their scouting network, but earlier this year brought on board a recruitment to headhunt new hires.

Obviously it takes time to see how effective the work of any one scout can be, but if his experience can augment the reported data-led approach to finding new players, perhaps he can unearth a gem or two on the Iberian peninsula.

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hopefully in 3-4 years we will come back to this article and say congrats and thank you to him


why must my football club be so weird. we fire the scouts. we hire the scouts but again. seems like strange business to me

Vaibhav Pandey

You know sometimes you need to renovate the house


And sometimes the house needs demolishing and rebuilding.

John C

And that exactly what Edu, Arteta and Vinai are doing but you’re complaining about the finished product before the foundations have been set, although the real analogy is these guys have been tasked with rebuilding the house whilst still living in it!

People are complaining about the state of the club despite this being the way those found it in.

If these guys are replaced how long will you give the new guys before you start complaining, because i can tell you for nothing our problems won’t be fixed in 18 months.


You don’t have a clue what you are talking about.


People would have been far more understanding IMO if 2 things had occurred: If we had a clear defined style we were working towards that people thought would be effective, even if we lacked the players to optimize it. What we’ve seen from Arteta is an ultra defensive counter attacking team against the big sides. That’s been relatively effective. However he has consistently struggled against any side we’re expected to attack. We play extremely conservatively when moving forward & constantly slow the game down, there’s no real rhyme or reason to our pressing & our playing out of the back… Read more »


Yup, Arteta is completely inexperienced and yet he was given full reign over the clubs market dealings and comings and goings. Emery was vastly experienced and made a coach and only a coach. I’m not going to say Emery was going to fix anything long term as I don’t think he was the right choice either, but he was far more constrained than Arteta is. Arteta is spending on who he likes, sending who he likes to the dog-house or worse (to Newcastle), and he is completely surrounded by yes-men at both coaching and transfer levels. Edu seems to be… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

Blame Wenger for everything. He never finished eighth and outside european positions in the league.

John C

What reference have i made to Wenger in this comment?

And who cares if he never finished outside the European spots, he never made any attempt to win the Champions League, instead he happily saw the club trouser the cash at the expense of the playing squad.

Make no mistake, Wenger’s complacency towards finishing in the top 4 and antipathy towards signing top quality players is the reason we find ourselves in this position.


balls, arsene wenger left the club in a position to build, the academy scouting system and directors positions were filled—these were then systematically torn down by edu, arteta and raulthe thief—

John C

Like fuck he did!

He had just sign a declining Ozil to a massive contract, spent a club record fee on a striker 6 months after spending a club record fee on a striker, a swapped out most productive player for one that had already proven out of his depth in the league on twice the wages!

He left us 33 points of the top and 12 points off the champions league spots! He left us in a massive hole!!


How can it be Wenger’s fault, he was only working with what he had when he arrived.


No mate, they are the foundations and if the foundations are shite the house is always in danger of falling over.


We knocked our old house down and so far have asked inexperienced architects to design a new one. We’ve sold off good assets and kept hold of bad ones, some players have even become liabilities instead. I have little trust left in our current architects and owner. Kroenke has invested little when football underwent crazy inflation, and both him & Vinai tried to pull off the ESL. Arteta and Edu have done little to show their worth.


If Arsenal were a hotel bedroom, we’d need Keith Moon and Oliver Reed to trash the living shit out of it.

Which is exactly what I felt like doing to the tv the other night when the Sky Cheerleaders, led by scouse phlegm gob Carragher, were brown nosing Brentford. Hey Jude, fuck off.


This is a great comment.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Looking at Barcelona and even Real, I would say #kroenkeIn, #EduOut, ArtetaOut.
Kroenke never décided it would take 18 months for his 72M on Pépé to yied some results on the pitch, 100M on Auba and Laca and the team not scoring goals is not his job.


Are you serious? Who the fuck put Edu, Arteta, Vinai, Gazidis, Josh Kroenke, and all the other incompetents into positions of power at our football club? Stan Fucking Kroenke that is who. Who pushed Arsenal into an ESL? Stan Fucking Kroenke that is who. His ignorance of English and European football and his general ambivalence to the club (it’s an ameliorating asset to him) is why this club is going in the direction it is. I don’t have any belief left in Vinai, Edu or Arteta, but it all comes down from the top. If there was any accountability in… Read more »

Vaibhav Pandey

Maybe you need to move on then!

Teta's cult of personality

Said every mob boss ever😁

John C

What’s weird about firing crap scouts whose performance has been poor for years with better ones?

Teta's cult of personality

Well, for starters, we don’t know if the headhunting fees and appointments will end up costing the club more than keeping the original department. We also don’t know if anyone at the club already has a pre-established relationship with Nolan Partners and favours are being exchanged.

I don’t want a scenario like at Real Madrid back when Flo Perez sold their old training ground just so his construction company could make extra money from the expensive building projects that took place after.


It’s because we’ve got a highly paid hierarchy who are basically shit at their jobs.

Kroenke has no more idea of running a football club than employing a reputable wig designer.

Vaibhav Pandey

Did you apply and got booted? If not then it your turn mate to put house in order


I think it’s too little too late for me. We are having an absolutely horrendous window currently, and firing our whole scouting department without any consideration for how we were going to replace them at the time, was maybe one of the most stupid strategic decisions we could’ve done.

Out of all the internal promotions we’ve made over the last 24 months, the one candidate who was actually worthy of a top position was Francis Cagigao, and we fired him…


TBF, the biggest problem we have with this window is in selling, which is little or nothing to do with the scouting system


I know I did state ‘ this window’ but I kinda was also grouping the last couple together, and we all know bar one or two the player acquisition has been really poor. And given Francis was allegedly going to be promoted into a technical director position I can’t help but think we would not have wasted money on Soares, Mari, Willian, a new Xhaka extension, etc.. But for me, I really want Arteta, Edu, and Vinai gone. I think the experiment has been absolutely horrendous and needs to be cut short. Luis Campos is floating around without a job,… Read more »

Timorous Me

Well, you’re going back more than a year and a half with some of those transfers. I don’t know how much influence Edu had on the Willian signing, but I think it’s reasonable to look at his transfers beginning with Raul’s departure. Clearly he was the man running things up until then. So since Edu took control (paired with “Manager Mikel”), we’ve seen a significantly improved approach–an actual plan, it seems–and the incomings seem promising, even if they haven’t all lived up to expectations just yet (like with Partey, but obviously we’re talking about a very good player there). I… Read more »


Edu 100% was a key driver behind the Willian transfer.. the signing happened at Kia’s house… I also dont quite understand how you’ve come to the conclusion that we have had a significantly approved approach to our transfers? When quite literally all of the same players are still at the club as last season — we are handing out contract extensions to awful players that have not been good enough for the last 5 years. We have also had to take out a bank loan to pay off the contracts of others. We have failed to secure loan spells to… Read more »


Theres also the Saliba stuff.. when he was named in the Europa League squad.. and just sat around wasting on our bench when we could have loaned him out at least or actually given him minutes in that competition..

The Runarson signing..
The Mari signing…


Campos is as dodgy as Sanllehi be careful what you wish for.


Ulitmately Vonnie, I think it comes with the territory. Most of them are..

Vaibhav Pandey

So that acceptable to you fair enough

Teta's cult of personality

If, as you say, Francis Cagigao was allegedly going to be promoted to technical director, that makes his sacking less about cost-cutting and more about corporate politics. That is arguably malpractice if true.

I don’t see Luis Campos ever wanting to work in England. The rules around foreign players and third-party ownership are stricter (though Big $am says otherwise). The transfer fees here are higher but it might be less lucrative for him personally.

John C

Considering the state the the club were in when Edu, Arteta and Vinai arrived, what’s a realistic time line in which you think change and improvement should/can be made? My opinion has consistently been whomever took over from Wenger required at least 3-5 years to start reshaping the club into something resembling coherent. Emery was sacked after 18 months, so the clock resets at zero with Arteta. He’s basically 18 months in himself, so i personally don’t think we should realistically expect to see the fruits of his labour for another season, probably more likely 2. Until people are realistic… Read more »




The club didn’t have Willian on its books when they arrived. Nor Cedric, nor Mari and we did have Emi Martinez, Joe Willock and William Saliba. Two more season of dour football and decisions like those? God, I hope not. The clock is ticking, they needs results in the next 6 months or they’re cooked. Just wish I could say the same about the Kroenkes, but sadly rich fuckers like them can do what they want with impunity.


@JohnC Vinai for me is a huge cause for concern. I know of people who have worked with him back when he was an oil trader, and I have it on good information that he was fairly incompetent at that job. And basically the fundamental thing that makes you a good or competent trader is being a good decision maker. I’d argue its probably one of if not the most important skills to have as a CEO too. So yeah — a huge cross in that particular box, although I appreciate that is just anecdote you can take or leave.… Read more »

Alan Sunderland

Think they go hand in hand, if we were scouting good players other teams would be interested in them.

Brady’s bunch

If you think we’re bad have a read of the Barca article in the Irish times “how barcalona blew a fortune and got worse” that’s frightening how quickly a big club can fall away with the wrong people at the helm.


Can he find us a new owner?


And a new manager?


He’ll have to headhunt one but hopefully this will be his number one priority….

Lord Bendnter

I’ll take a new third kit as well please


And the overpriced freezing cardboard, glue and sawdust masquerading as food in the catering outlets needs a rethink.


In theory (in theory), there is some merit in looking beyond European academies, into countries where there’s a depth of talent and a decent chance of getting visas.

Brazil being good at football is not news, but finding Premier League talent (Martinelli) in the Brazilian third tier opens up possibilities.

Of course, what this club giveth, it often taketh away. So we’ll see if he’s one for the long term I guess.


According to the reports he’ll be focusing on Spain.

Ex gooner

Why do they need a scouting network when they can easily sign Kia Joorabchian’s clients and give them 350000 a week contracts?

Virginia Gooner

Exactly what I was thinking. Edu doesn’t need a scout to sign Kias’ players, he has the man himself in his ear telling him which one of his players they’ll pocket the most from.

Craig Brown

Get a RB then


Taking a rain check on this one. Nothing against the guy personally, but even my old Nan could have told you that Neymar was “kicking that ball well for a youngster.” Anything this current hierarchy do anymore is something I’m going to take with the proverbial half ton of salt, because when it comes to their track record, the words ‘Piss Up’ and ‘Brewery’ spring to mind. If this dude can unearth the next Neymar for us, we’ll that would be lovely, but until then, let’s just say the jury – as far as I’m concerned – are well and… Read more »


I am sure he could unearth the next Neymar, but what will happen then is that we are outbid or simply not attractive enough even for a 10 year old megatalent, as he is not the only one able to discover such players. We might have been attractive for young prodigies under Arsene, even without being a top3 club in Europe, but I wouldn’t know what could convince a megatalent to join us at the moment. It won’t be the financials, it certainly won’t be the current success or standing in the game and it also won’t be the style… Read more »

A Different George

Only partially on point: I read an interview a while back where Granit Xhaka talked about his Switzerland winning the under-16 World Cup (I think that was the age group) against Brazil and Neymar was in the team. Xhaka said Neymar already rolled around in agony whenever he was fouled (or maybe not fouled). He also said the really incredible talent on that Brazil team was Coutinho.


Yeah, but Coutinho didn’t singlehandedly won the Libertadores at 19, and has been a flop everywhere except Liverpool.


Really surprised Edu’s connections to, knowledge of the Brazilian talent pool hasn’t led to us signing another young gem like Martinelli. Brazil just defended their U-23 title at the Olympics yet we’re not linked with any up and coming Brazilian talent. Thought that was Edu’s sweet spot in terms of scouting…


I read somewhere a few years ago that many Brazilian players aren’t even bred in Brazil anymore as they are scouted and snapped up by European clubs when they’re quite young. If that’s so then it’s possible that the talent you saw in their U-23 team during the Olympics all belong to big European clubs already.

Teta's cult of personality

Good spot. I checked the Olympic squad and 11/22 players were contracted to European clubs. I’d even increase that to 12/22 because Red Bull Bragantino are part of the Red Bull group of clubs.

How FIFA allows entities like the Red Bull and City Football Group to exist, I’ll never know.

Alan Sunderland

Mikels picking the players, he got control over it with his contract extension after fa cup win.


Amen bro, thought he had the connections.

Dave Cee

Yep, fuck you areeblog of the last 10 years. Stick your advertising up your ass


Think someone needs a bit of a lie-down


It’s what following Arsenal does to some.

Poor man.

Man Manny

How did this slip through moderation?

Alan Sunderland

Is that you Roy?

Brady’s bunch

Click and you’re back in the room

Teryima Adi

Welcome on board the Arsenal, Lima.


Makes no sense to fire a slew of experience scouts and than have to start from scratch again.

Club is poorly run.

Like I said, we are better off bringing in experience football Directors like Campos at Lille but owners don’t like people who will challenge/stand up to them.

This is the big problem.

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