At times, it’s felt like AD were the only Arsenal blog questioning the role of head of football Raul Sanllehi. Arsenal’s meltdown has been obvious to supporters for many years since American owner Stan Kroenke rolled into town and seized control but it becomes worse if that’s possible under Sanllehi.
Former gunner Giles Grimandi has now voiced his opinion on French TV station Canal+ (via Daily Mail):
“We’re not able to read the project that’s in the hands of the directors and Sanllehi right now.”
“There have been some debatable signings and it’s not possible to totally see from the outside what they want to do.”
“There’s a lot of incoherence in the choices.”
Sanllehi has been in my sights for some time for skillfully offloading blame and interfering in football matters which he isn’t exactly qualified to do. Is he a coach? No!
However, his ego allows him to think like a coach, so he dabbles in the transfer market and then passes on his acquisitions to the coach to make them fit in the side. This guy is a real piece of work!
If you were worried about Kroenke, take a look at how this accountant and marketing wizard is destroying the club whilst wasting millions of pounds in the process.
Since Arsenal started streamlining and altering the structure, head of football Raul Sanllehi has become the most powerful man at the club with total control of everything on a day to day basis. His only barrier is that he can only spend what wonky Kroenke allows him to and that’s probably not a bad thing at present or we could have ended up with even more overrated, wage inflated problem players.
In short, there’s not much about the head of football Raul Sanllehi that I like, he’s another bullshitter in a designer suit. Someone that appears to make sense, but lacks it in abundance and someone prone to making the same mistakes over and over again.
You don’t believe me? Then you haven’t looked at his baffling appointment hard enough. Back in July 2019, I wrote this in a blog:
‘Much has been made of Sanllehi’s role behind the scenes of a successful Barcelona side but let’s shed some light on the subject.
Firstly, Raul is not a natural football man, to the contrary. He has a BA in Economics, Marketing, and Finance from Guilford College and an MBA &PDG from IESE Business School of the University of Navarra.
His initial introduction to Sport was in marketing (ring any bells). He joined Barcelona in 2008 as a marketing manager but surprisingly assumed the mantle of Director of Professional Football.
It was said that he got the post because of his ability to attract finance from Nike for the Catalan club’s expansion plans. The success story on the field continued but behind the scenes, it was allegedly Sanllehi, who was guilty of leading the charge and in the process making a number of poor decisions.
The wrong players were leaving to be replaced by expensive mistakes like Zlatan Ibrahimović, who regardless of his talent, could upset God on a Sunday and cause an argument in an empty room. Sanllehi was also thought to be responsible for offloading Samuel Eto’o, which came as a shock at the time.
In the meantime, Zlatan caused unrest and constantly clashed with manager Pep Guardiola, labelling his manager “a coward”. By way of contrast, Eto’o went on to win the treble at Inter Milan.
Have you ever asked yourself why Barcelona would let Sanllehi go? Surely, they would have tied him down to a lucrative contract because he was so important. Well, it turns out he wasn’t that crucial to the project, they still managed to pick up a La Liga title and the Supercopa de España this season.
Anyone thinking that Barcelona’s semi-final exit from the Champions League could have been avoided if Sanllehi was still in his expensive swivel chair, would be massively mistaken. Barcelona’s exit was just football blowing a raspberry at us all, for thinking that the tie against Liverpool was over.
Barcelona’s loss would appear to be Arsenal’s latest fuck up. The North London club have a habit of shooting themselves in the foot in recent years. They got rid of Wenger who had too much power and Gazidis who wanted more control, to replace them with a pair of commercial wizards, who like Gazidis have a passion for spreadsheets, not for football.
In the final analysis, Arsenal’s performance next season will be based on their transfer dealings and ability to compete and Sanllehi will again, one assumes, be unfairly credited with any degree of success but by the same token, he will manage expertly to take cover should it all go wrong’
Well, my friends, it appears that all this chaos is coming from a failed business model and can be traced back to Arsenal’s head of football Raul Sanllehi and owner wonky Kroenke. How either can show their face at the club and act like they have control is beyond me.
If Arteta fails to resurrect Arsenal, it won’t be because he is a bad coach or that he lacks experience, it will be that he wasn’t allowed to change things by those in the shadows.
Of course, Sanllehi will make sure he survives any disaster because he has to, there’s nowhere else for him to go. He’s been exposed for his failures and for his constant meddling in matters he doesn’t understand, associated with a role he could never fill. As football goes forward into the future, one can only hope that clubs give their managers/coaches the tools to manage and allow them to build the sides they want like Klopp and Guardiola.
Clubs like Arsenal that want a figurehead who can coach a team without the ability to select their own personnel are doomed to failure. If it were my responsibility, Sanllehi would be served notice that one more season of failure will cost him his job.