THE Arsenal fanbase has had a few days to absorb the news that Raul Sanllehi has been deemed surplus to requirements, becoming the 56th and highest profile departure last week.
Much has already been written on the reasons for this sudden decision, although it seems it had been a while in the making.
Some of this has majored on the strange timing, given Raul and the club are in the middle of a crucial transfer window, where the coach is requiring considerable support to rebuild his squad.
Rather than focus on the possibility of less interaction with super agents and the loss of Sanllehi’s much vaunted little black book I have chosen, perhaps romantically, to look at the situation, as an opportunity to
return to ‘The Arsenal Way’.
Surely, even in modern football, it can be about tradition, history, previous glories and a desire to return to those times.
When your team is at the peak of the domestic game and knocking on the door in Europe, the sell to a potential new player is straightforward, the allure obvious.
It is easy to add one of two to an already successful model and of course, copious amounts of cash make it easier still.
However, this is not Arsenal in 2020 just as it was not in 1995 when Arsenal Men sold the history, class and future vision of restoring Arsenal’s past greatness to Dennis Bergkamp and a year later Arsene Wenger himself.
These men were sold a dream and they helped make it a reality but the club ensured they did so in the Arsenal way surrounded as they were by keepers of that flame, in Bob Wilson, Pat Rice and the late great Geordie Armstrong.
So here we are in 2020, similarly placed to The Arsenal sold to Bergkamp and Wenger.
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A Cup team with a sprinkling of top talent, a crop of sparkling youngsters and with aspirations to claw their way back to the pinnacle of the domestic game initially.
Now though the custodians are different, but the belief and vision the
There is no David Dein but there are now two gentlemen who are well equipped to sell Arsenal Football Club to top footballers, whether from abroad or at home.
Our exciting and talented young coach came to this club as a player, taking a pay cut, because he understood
what it meant to play for ‘The Arsenal’.
He skippered the club he had fallen in love with to their first trophy in
nine years and he knew just how much that meant to us all.
Now Arteta is our leader, believed in by board, players, staff and fans alike.
He is known over the globe, thanks, in part to his time with Guardiola, as a man who simply makes good players better.
In truth, the sort of coach, players who aspire to be the best they can be,
want to play for.
I trust this man to sell himself, his vision, the club’s aspirations and what it means to wear the cannon on the shirt to players he wants.
Arteta, like Wenger with Dein, now has a sounding board and partner in Edu Gaspar as his Technical Director.
Perhaps unproven for this role at club level but similarly to Arteta, this is a man who knows what being at Arsenal means.
As a player he had to jump through hoops to cross the world to play for this club.
A man who whilst never the first name on Wenger’s team sheet was absolutely integral to a squad that won FA Cups, two Premier Leagues and went a season undefeated in the league.
A man who knows what it felt be part of greatness at Arsenal Football club and I suspect feels the fire burning within himself to restore those times.
Another individual that hand on heart, I have no doubt, sat alongside Arteta, I would trust to do a fabulous job of convincing a mutually identified target to join us.
There is no concrete evidence to back up my Red and White tinted confidence, just a strong belief that in 2020 Arsenal Football Club, need Arsenal Men to sell the Arsenal Way.
I just sense that being in a room with these two articulate, intelligent, passional Arsenal Men, selling what it means to play for this institution and what their part in the vision for a return to the pinnacle will be, might just convince a few top players to join the quest.
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