Opinion: Why offloading Mislintat can be good news for Arsenal
According to media reports, Arsenal's head of recruitment Sven Mislintat is set to leave Arsenal, possibly for Bayern Munich. Fans on social media take it as a huge loss for the Gunners but maybe it's just the other way round? Fansided's James Dudko believes it is.
No clash of philosophies = stability and clarity
Former Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis organised a soft exit for Arsene Wenger. Instead of the Frenchman who was visibly in charge of everything, Gazidis built a network of professionals, with Mislintat and Sanllehi the most notable appointments. With Unai Emery's appointment one question arose - where the final say comes from.
"The phrase 'too many cooks in the kitchen' was an obvious early concern about Arsenal’s supposed brave new Wengerless world," writes James Dudko.
"Gazidis, who was meant to oversee the new setup, soon muddied the waters by leaving for AC Milan. While the man claimed to have engineered a 'revolution' ought to have stayed to see his work through, the 54-year-old was also swayed by the kind of offer mere mortals can only dream of.
"Gazidis’ decision-making triage was the type of idea that sounds great in theory. But the realities in practice are cold, hard and fraught with peril. So it’s proved, as there’s no coincidence about the timing of reports Mislintat will leave. The January transfer window has presented Arsenal with the chance to bolster a squad still threadbare in key areas.
"It’s also been the first true test of how the big three can operate together. Money was spent in the summer, but the well has run dry for the winter, forcing Arsenal’s three wise men to be more selective about what they can do.
"Disagreements have clearly emerged, with Ornstein describing their nature: although there has not been a major breakdown in relations with Mislintat, Arsenal’s lack of money to spend in the January transfer window has also caused issues.
"They are only able to bring in players on loan and those primarily responsible – Sanllehi, Mislintat and Emery – have not been collaborating as effectively as they did previously.
"It’s better for Arsenal to put an end to such squabbling rather than letting it fester. Protracted tension between the men charged with putting the club back among the elite would wreck not only this season but subsequent campaigns.
"Mislintat’s own history shows how ugly things can get. He famously fell out with then-Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel over the proposed signing of Oliver Torres. Mislintat pushed, Tuchel said no. Mislintat upped sticks and left, but only after being banned from the training ground.
"Arsenal don’t need this kind of animosity between a director, manager and his chief scout distracting from the season. By declaring a winner early, the Gunners can move toward the kind of clarity sorely lacking since Wenger left. One coherent message has to emerge, one voice articulating a unified strategy.
"It was never going to happen with two of the big three becoming entrenched at opposite ends of the spectrum.
"If Sanllehi has assumed control at the expense of Mislintat, Arsenal at least begin to have some much-needed clarity. Mislintat may have been the people’s choice because of his work at Dortmund, but the identity of the man in charge isn’t as important as merely having a sole figure of authority.
"Sanllehi steering the ship gives Gunners supporters, understandably baffled by the raft of seismic changes taking place since 2017, some answers. After that, it’s going to be on Sanllehi to prove he’s up to the task."