Life as an Arsenal fan is never easy. After years of struggling through the tenure of Arsene Wenger, the Gunners will have thought that a new dawn was on the horizon following the arrival of Unai Emery.
After a shaky start, the Spaniard quickly turned the Gunners into a formidable and unbeatable outfit in the Premier League, only for the club to then hit another phase of rocky form.
They’re yet to regain the stability that positioned them as genuine top-four contenders in the Premier League, even if they have steadied out somewhat.
Now, though, Arsenal have been handed yet another major blow in the form of a big name backroom exit. According to a recent report from ESPN, the Gunners are set to lose chief recruiter Sven Mislintat after behind the scenes disagreements. He’d been considered the man to help rebuild Arsenal following the departure of Arsene Wenger, and he’s had a hand in all of their transfer business over the last year or so.
Not having him, though, leaves their rebuild plans in tatters.
After all, the influence that he’s had at the Emirates is evident. It’s clear just how influential he’s been behind the scenes, and it’s been highlighted by the quality of the personnel that he’s brought in. Perhaps the most notable of these is Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang. The Gabonese forward has made an electric start to life in England over the last year, and he’s been at the forefront of all of Arsenal’s success. He was, of course, at Borussia Dortmund when Mislintat was there, and his talent then didn’t go unnoticed – and he’s arguably been even better since. Arsenal had been struggling for a reliable forward, with even Alexandre Lacazette not stunning supporters. Aubameyang was exactly what they needed, and they have Mislintat to thank.
The departure of Arsene Wenger was supposed to usher in a new era at Arsenal, but the reality is that – just a few months later – it’s all looking rather familiar, both on and off the pitch.
Mislintat is perhaps best known, however, for his ability to scout young players. He’s made a career of plucking talented youngsters from obscurity and offering the perfect platform for them to grow. That’s highlighted by the rise of Matteo Guendouzi, who’s been brilliant since moving to the Emirates from the second-tier of French football. He’s settled right into life in the English top flight, with his range of passing and determination offering an unlikely solution to Arsenal’s long-term midfield issues.
Mislintat’s departure also means something more broadly for Arsenal. Under Arsene Wenger, their method of signing players had become archaic, with Wenger heavily involved in the process – and that led to more than a few shocking deals. You can pinpoint the moment that Mislintat moved to the Emirates, as their approach immediately changed. They stopped signing bad players, and started signing good ones – it’s really that simple.
However, by effectively forcing him out, Arsenal have a taken a step back. It’s important for managers to have a say in transfer talk, of course it is, but Emery should be focusing on what happens on the field – not what happens behind the scenes.
The departure of Arsene Wenger was supposed to usher in a new era at Arsenal, but the reality is that – just a few months later – it’s all looking rather familiar, both on and off the pitch. Arsenal are no closer to regaining their status as the top dogs of English football, and this departure proves it.
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