Sven Mislintat’s Departure Could Be The End Of Hope For Arsenal

Rumours that Chief Scout is set to leave do not bode well

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Ivan Gazidis and Arsene Wenger combined to leave the club in a right pickle. Operating on a Champions League budget, players were being overpaid and the handling of contracts left the club with valuable assets able to run down their deals and leave for a fraction of their worth. Two seasons out of the Champions League saw decline in revenues whilst costs continued heading north. Arsenal, supposedly run on tight business lines, dropped further out of contention, as the money that was spent in the transfer market was spent poorly.

Credit to Gazidis for two key decisions though. One, to take away the control of the scouting operation from Wenger by recruiting Sven Mislintat, and two, maybe nine years later than justified, giving Arsene Wenger the boot. The latter told us he’d be managing at another club this season, although my suspicion is that he is not getting any offers from clubs he considers worthy of his status. Go figure.

Anyway, with only a modest budget to play with, Arsenal’s chances of bucking the odds were reliant on good scouting, good youth development (although that will take time to bear fruit) and good coaching. Mislintat, Mertesacker and Emery.

The former Dortmund scout came with a reputation for finding young unpolished diamonds who became superstars – Hummels, Lewandowski, Gundogan, Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembele are some of examples of his work. Mislintat was behind the signings of Torreira and Guendouzi last summer.

If Arsenal are to rebuild, they need a quality man in charge of their scouting operation. That Bayern Munich are reputedly interested in Mislintat’s services tells you all you need to know.

Assuming, he does depart, it will knock Arsenal’s chances of recovery back severely. Remembering he was Gazidis’ appointment (arriving a few months before now ‘head of football’ Raul Sanllehi), things may have changed at the club since Gazidis handed over the reins to Sanllehi and Vinai Venkatesham. For starters, there have been stories that the club are trying to recruit former player Edu as a ‘technical director’. This, apparently, was a position that Mislintat was interested in, and his not being considered for it is effectively a demotion in terms of his position in the hierarchy at the club. Add to this the possibility that Sanllehi and manager Unai Emery may prefer other targets than Mislintat has identified (news stories point to a disagreement over Dennis Suarez, for example). Such things also undermine his work. As indeed does Emery’s admittance that the club are only looking at loan deals in the current window.

But most of all, one suspects that there has been a souring of relations because Mislintat is not an easy individual to work with. He has been described by one source as “not a team player”. There is no disguising the ugliness of his fallout with Thomas Turchel at Dortmund, a feud that ended up with Mislintat being banned from the training ground. Such personality differences may point to the head scout’s treatment – effectively it seems to come down to the head of football deciding he cannot work with his head scout and marginalising him to force him out.

This is pure speculation of course, but at a time when everyone should be pulling together, the smoke signals from the Emirates indicate that this just isn’t happening. In terms of working relations, the departure of Mislintat may be necessary. But looking at the club’s ability to find quality talent at bargain prices, the German would be a huge loss. The club line is that their head scout is going nowhere. Let us hope that is actually the case, in spite of all the stories.


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  1. mbg

    Jan 17, 2019, 22:23 #112949

    Nos89, you've just made sure i'm going to have nightmares tonight with the last few lines of your post.


    Jan 17, 2019, 21:03 #112948

    Hi ACG, good to see you back. I am still convinced that Dick was a smart & obvious choice for AFC but also now convinced that AFC, under Stan Not The Man, was not a smart choice on his part ( or any other ambitious manager). Even the MSM seem to be coming around to accepting that KSE are totally disinterested & therefore toxic for us fans.

  3. A Cornish Gooner

    Jan 17, 2019, 20:25 #112947

    Markymark, CORNISH. I posted a response to your 'Where are they now?' Cornish/West Country Brethren comments on the Chambers article, after watching the West Ham game. Things seem to have got even worse at Arsenal this week. But nice to see Tony Evans and jj have returned.

  4. TonyEvans

    Jan 17, 2019, 11:58 #112946

    Frankly I don't think anything bodes well for Arsenal as long as Kronke has his money grabbing mitts all over the club. It was great to finally get some hope back with the removal of Wenger but, as we all knew, that was only half of the battle.

  5. Nos89

    Jan 17, 2019, 02:05 #112944

    I'm not too convinced that Mislintat leaving will have any affect to acquire players. He may have been promised a budget to re-build and that no longer exists. Since he left Dortmund there has been an upturn in their fortunes. I'm more interested in where and when are the board going to put the club first and invest money in the team. This self sufficient model is great if you're Cardiff or Bournemouth but we are The Arsenal and can operate above our means as we have the capacity to pay it back. FFP is a farce so why are we so scared of a system that has been abused to the point of extreme? Simply lining the pockets of people who have no interest in the welfare of the club. Wouldn't be surprised if Wenger turned up on the board and to be honest at least we know he has the best interest of the club at the heart of his decisions, much the same way Ken Friar did.

  6. mbg

    Jan 16, 2019, 22:39 #112942

    If you ask me there was as a lot of us thought, there was never these clubs looking for TOF, all lies and spin, and of course there were those who fell for it. The millions that waster stole from us over the last twelve years and lavished on other wasters is deplorable, gross misconduct, and now we apparently afford proper players. Just when you try and put TOF to the back of your mind and forget him something always comes up to remind you how much you hated the sight of him.

  7. Bard

    Jan 16, 2019, 15:53 #112941

    Whatever the reasons its not good news if there is discord in the camp. If he has got an offer from Bayern why wouldnt you go. As I wrote in a previous post he has a hell of a job trying to find players who cost nothing. Or he has seen that the club are going nowhere fast.


    Jan 16, 2019, 15:10 #112940

    If the Club has been as badly mismanaged over, say, the last decade as many of us believe then ultimately there is only one person to blame. Kroenke never had his eye on the ball & probably it was only hubris that motivated him to acquire what he had been told was a surefire, safe Brit investment - requiring zero involvement other than turning up for the odd Wembley jolly. That's turning out well isn't? We will probably see another 100% turnover in the "top management" very shortly. No top coach or administrator will touch AFC with a barge pole & it's loyal fanbase ( often going back generations) will be the subject of ridicule from our rivals. Fans deserve so much better than this. I think it is ultimately up to the fanbase to sort this & show our major sponsors that this Stan is definitely NOT the man.

  9. peter wain

    Jan 16, 2019, 13:14 #112938

    well not too impressed by the Greek centre half he bought.