How Arteta and Edu have revived Arsenal

By | October 12, 2022

Arsenal are flying this season and their commitment and patience to the project under Mikel Arteta and Edu's leadership has been key. David Ornstein joins Mark Chapman to discuss their faith in their young leaders and why challenges lie ahead over contract negotiations for the likes of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba.

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00:00 Arteta and Edu
7:41 Arsenal's contract situations

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Where's the big change come in the last 12 months well where to begin I think It's An example that you don't need to over Complicate these things but you do need To apply patience because Arsenal backed Michela Teta squarely Um in bad times and in better Um when there was intense scrutiny over His position in the early part of last Season they were absolutely Unequivocal in their support for him There was a no stage any wavering from Anybody in the Arsenal hierarchy that he Was going to be continuing as manager They have been wholehearted in their Vision Um and that's really edu as technical Director in conjunction with arteta as Head coach and then manager they've Actually slimmed down their structure Whereas a lot of clubs Beef It Up and Arsenal did previously less is more Seems to be the approach they've taken And make sure you've got a really tight Unit of people from ownership level to Executives to those on the grass and That that sort of togetherness permeates Down to the squad they've had to do a Lot of surgery to that Unit in terms of players leaving players Coming not everything has gone well and It won't necessarily continue to but They've got to a place now

Where everybody absolutely knows their Roles they believe in each other they Know where they're going they're Sticking to it and around this largely Young nucleus with a sprinkling of Trusted and experienced players Um they've they've struck a good chord They've Um got on top of the contractual Situation a lot better than they had Done in previous years Um their recruitment has been really Impressive on the whole and One of the most important factors that We cannot understate even though it's Pretty obvious to everybody is the Connection with the fans Arsenal simply Didn't have a Decent atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium after moving in 2006. there were The odd High Point Um when big teams were beaten or they Were stirring comebacks but now every Single game the fans Um are creating a febrile atmosphere Um that positivity extends to social Media and conversation around Um the support base uh that there seems To be been a a step change in both the Team and those that back them and it's Put all of these factors together to um Put them in a much better position than They've been at any time in recent years Um you can see the the football in

Credit will definitely go to our Tetra And his coaching team and certainly the Development of young players under him a Lot of the stuff that you have talked About there presumably the credit has to Go to EDU Yeah edu is technical director having Sort of assumed full control after the Departure of Rao San Lehi who is head of Football Um uh definitely has Um Stirred this ship forward and and Rightly and an increasing amount of Plaudits across the industry Um even those who I speak to now who Were previously cynical at other clubs And in other roles within football Um are now sort of holding their hands Up and and saying Fair Play Look At what Uh cynical about what were they cynical About well edu came to English football In this role of course he had been an Invincible as a player with Arsenal and Played elsewhere in Europe too Um As a rookie as a novice when it came to Being a sporting director technical Director director of football in the European game Um he had worked at I think Corinthians He had worked for the Brazil National Team and those are roles that should not Be sniffed at however he hadn't operated

Within the British European transfer Markets or Club system and you're not Coming into sort of any club you're Coming into one of the biggest clubs but Also at a time where they've gone Through such incredible amounts of Change and There were a lot of claims is he over Reliant on certain agents Um and a small amount of relationships And gonna do all his deals with them Um who really runs that relationship is It Edward's technical director or Michael arteta who had endorsed his Promotion from head coach to manager Um there were some who even questioned At various points in in recent years if Edu was going to be the next to go after The likes of San Lehi has farmy Sven Misslandt Ivan gazidis all departed and More there are names that I I forget and Um and he survived and he's earned the Trust of the ownership and I've talked On this podcast and on other outlets Before in how Many of the successful ownerships have Their person on the ground in the UK in Terms of Um Man City's model is quite unique because You know kaldun Al Mubarak is the go Between when it comes from Abu Dhabi to Manchester he he's not here all the time And then you've got fair and Soriano

Cheeky bagira staying very clear Delineation you've got Mike Gordon on Behalf of FSG with Liverpool you had Marina granovskaya on behalf of Roman Abramovich at Chelsea Um and Arsenal didn't really have that But in edu I feel that he really does Have the trust of the cronky family who We've always said and reported that they Placed their trust in their Executives On the ground Throughout their sports franchises and They give them the authority to deliver If they deliver then then they get the Backing if they don't then then they're Out they've also added Tim Lewis into This mix who helped them with their Takeover he was a Clifford chance lawyer Um he uh has uh sort of increased in Influence in in more recent times and to The extent where when you talk to other Executives around football and even People at Arsenal they say that he Really is the man running the show we Reported in in my Monday column last Week that he he has actually resigned From his position at Clifford chance and Although he remains non-executive Arsenal he uh is spending more time than Ever before on Arsenal then I think Venkatesham Remains the chief executive Of course but Tim Lewis is kind of the Eyes and ears for the cronkies on the Ground and I think that edu

Um has has benefited from that Uh and he has uh been given the Um the the freedom to implement his Ideas his Visions Um There's still a lot of work to do across Academy and first team but yes he um is Responsible for a lot of the good work That's gone on there Um and there's still a lot more to be Done we talk about how together they are This young Squad and Dynamics you know One big new contract for one young Player can then send all the other young Players going well hang on a minute I'll Knock on the manager's door and and I Want I want a similar deal and they do Have some issue do you have some Contracts to renegotiate yes they do and It's a bloody expensive process Um that they're going to Embark upon Because they want to renew bakayosaka as A priority and it has been for some Months now Um I think they would have liked to have Done it over the summer during the Transfer window it didn't happen and and They'll hope that it does Um in the times ahead obviously Um I think his contract uh obviously it Does have some time to run and there's An option in there as well which Arsenal Have got in a lot of their contracts

Including Gabriel Martinelli which I Think it was reported in the evening Standard last week has 2024 plus two Years Um so there's security there but when You see players performing at the level Of Gabriel Martinelli it's not how long You've got to run and a club just Sitting back and being complacent about It you need to reward these players and Recognize them because they all build Admirers from elsewhere who will pay Them the money that they believe they Deserve if you don't and so you need to Get around to dealing with situations Like that similar William Saliba Um who is under contract till 2024 and Mika lauteta has made the right noises About all of these situations in in the Last week I think Um saying that Arsenal are working on it But that is going to be a potentially Tricky negotiation because Saliba for However well he's doing and the love He's showing for Arsenal and vice versa He spent three years out on loan after Signing from Centennial Um those were not easy three years Arsenal didn't feel he was ready uh Artetter didn't feel he was ready and it And it looks like it's been managed Really well now Um but People don't forget these things quickly

And so you have to manage it in a Delicate way Um and it even extends lower down we Revealed in my Monday column this Morning that Um Charlie patino this rising star of English football 18 year old currently Doing very well on loan at Blackpool Um he's out of contract in 2023 Arsenal Again have an option to extend by two Years however there is an expiry for That option at a set date in the coming Months and if they don't get it done Before then and and as I understand it Talks haven't started yet then they'll Have to renegotiate afresh with him as Well and there are a lot of Clubs who Are looking at him although he's very Happy at Arsenal so that is a major task For edu who we mentioned there Um there's even I was going to say Earlier that when you speak to people Across the game there's been interest in Edu from elsewhere he's had Opportunities Um from what I hear but but they are Aren't going to hope to keep this Nucleus they've got together now at Executive level and at player level and It can be a hazardous process as we've Seen in the past but it's a hell of a Lot easier when you're winning if Arsenal make it into next season's Champions League then the revenues will

Take a massive uplift don't forget that The cronkeys have been largely Um funding this process Um in what exactly what form in terms of Loan or Equity or whatever I'm not an Expert on but um you know it's it's a Serious undertaking and and and and it's Something that Liverpool have uh seen Themselves because I remember speaking To so many people at Arsenal a number of Years ago and the closest comparison They drew to how they would like to Rebuild and the inspiration they could Take was actually livable Um who like Arsenal lost the Europa League final Um and although they stuck by Jurgen Klopp and Arsenal changed from unai Emery to Mikhail arteta they were very Determined on the path they were on how They wanted to do it and where they Wanted to go and and Arsenal appear to Be getting towards there they're still Behind way behind what Liverpool have Achieved in recent years and Jurgen Klopp just signed a new contract so I Don't think he'll be thinking anything Other than enthusiastically about this And and determined to turn it around I Do find it really interesting that Michael Edwards as technical sporting Director Um decided to leave maybe he felt that It was the end of his cycle whether he

Also felt it was the end of Liverpool's I I don't know and there was a very Smooth transition to his assistant Julian Ward Um and it's going to be it is a tough Period for him now early in the job and I'm intrigued to see how it goes I think Arsenal may be looking to do a bit of a Restructure themselves in terms of those Um executive roles but using existing Personnel as well in Recruitment and so On in Academy too Um so they are really interesting Parallels The two clubs to talk about And contrasting fortunes at the moment But we know how quickly things can Change