Sanllehi | Willian | Ozil | and ANR is 25 years old today

A week is a long time in politics. Two weeks is an age in football. Twenty five years?

An age seems to have passed with the departure of Raul Sanllehi. When will the top management at Arsenal stabilise? Yesterday we hear there is an internal investigation into the signing of Nicolas Pepe. Arsenal have to pay Lille around £10m this season for the forward, as part of the £52m debt on the player. Any connection with the Spaniard leaving? Cost saving measure? Back to Barcelona?

Arsenal’s official line is of streamlining and restructuring and wanting one person – Vinai Venkatesham to lead the club forward instead of two. Mikel Arteta and Edu will take control of the footballing side, with Huss Fahmy trying to seal the transfers.

Whatever, Sanllehi’s three year legacy is mixed. Besides his reliance on agents, and some over-the-odds payments, with Bernt Leno, an example, and the continued failure to tie players down to longer term contracts – witness the current Aubameyang situation, following the Ramsey disaster, there were some wins including the Saka and Martinelli long term contracts.


Easy for journalists and pundits who have never run a business, especially a business in a recession to add two and two and make five.

If costs exceed revenues, action has to be taken to avoid closure and or administration.

Arsenal are right to focus on the core business of investing in the team. Redundancies are distressing, but part of business.

The club is the first Premiership club to declare large scale redundancies. Although in the same week it was reported that the following companies: WH Smith – 1,500, Pendragon – 1,800, Boots – 4,000, Airbus – 1,700, Royal Mail – 2,000, Swissport – 4,556, Rolls Royce 9000, British Airways 12,000  – have lost staff. But Arsenal with their 55, took a disproportionate amount of the headlines.


Who does Ozil’s PR? How ridiculous to come out with the statements that he did.

“My position is clear. I’m here through to the last day of our agreement and I’ll give everything I have for this club.

“Situations like these will never break me, they only make me stronger.

“I showed in the past that I can come back into the team and I will show it again.”

Arsenal are allegedly upset that he was only one of three players not to agree to a pay cut and to say publicly that this was a reason why Arteta didn’t play him.

Only major transfer to date is Willian

To date according to transfer rumours Arsenal have ‘captured’ Megalhaes, Partey and Promes as signings and Coutinho and Ceballos on extended loans and Aubameyang on an extension. Only a matter of time when these happen, according to some media.

Some are saying the jury is out on the Willian transfer which happened yesterday. Seems like a no-brainer. Arsenal need the experience to help the younger players, they need a creative number ten between the lines. They need options when formations need to change. And they need the forwards to track back – which the Brazilian does tirelessly -or did at Chelsea.

Still in doubt? Willian created 76 chances for Chelsea last season – the seventh most creative player in the Premiership. The top Arsenal player was Pepe on 40. And Arsenal were 15th in the number of overall chances created.

Also his third year basic salary is £5m – a small price to pay considering his potential.


Meanwhile Emile Smith Rowe is re-joining Arsenal from Huddersfield.

The Mirror says Arsenal envisage Smith Rowe as a long-term option at No10 or as a No8 in the 4-3-3 that the head coach intends to utilise as his base formation.

That casts a doubt over the potential Coutinho loan. There are also doubts about his value as a player given what has happened

Three Subs for next season

In other real news, Arsenal lost out in a vote for five substitutes in Premiership games next season, which favoured the bigger teams. Less than 14 clubs voted for the change.

25% of fans back at Emirates?

And fans look like being admitted to grounds – later September and October. Estimates indicate that the Emirates will have an allowed capacity of 15,000.

Wonder where Arsenal will be in 2045?

And finally a massive thanks for Myles Palmer for all his work on ANR.