Arsenal: A Bit of Common Sense


@GoonerReverend joins us this morning from the adjoining parish  (I bet you were expecting a match review)

Arsenal have parted ways with chief scout Steve Rowley after 25 years and replaced him with ‘diamond eye’ Sven Mislintat from Borussia Dortmund. If you believe the press and some of the more fanciful Arsenal bloggers who have their own personal axe to grind this was a Coup d’état orchestrated by that fiendishly clever and devious Ivan ‘Brutus’ Gazidis in retaliation against his arch nemesis Arsene ‘Caesar’ Wenger in retribution for going behind him and getting Stan Kroenke to renew his contract for another 2 years without consulting Gazidis.


Like a Roman tale from the ides of March they would have you believe that Gazidis was so slighted by Wenger refusal to bow to his personal wishes of punishment by ‘decimation’ or failing that just leave without question that he decided without Kroenke’s knowledge or approval to completely re-shape Wenger’s back room staff on his own. This of course sounds ridiculous because it is, if we have learnt one thing about silent Stan it is that he may not speak in public but no decision is made without his direct approval.


Gazidis no more did this on his own than did Wenger go behind his back to get a new contract. One of the more hateful anti Wenger bloggers would have you believe that Gazidis was so tormented and traumatised by Wenger’s new contract deception that he considered walking away from the Arsenal football club but then suddenly conceived a fiendish plan and decided to take on the old dictator at is own game.

This makes great fantasy fiction for the believers who lap that sort of stuff up but again its absolute nonsense and purely designed for all of the click bait magnets out there. Gazidis had just been paid a huge bonus and he had absolutely no intention of quitting Arsenal. Further more when they finally sat down to discuss Wenger’s final contract Gazidis would have included succession planning provisions in the agreement to ensure the club was not left in the lurch as Man Utd were in 2013. Succession planning is a standard business function involving the formulation of one or two plans to achieve or maintain optimum balance. Wenger has been at the club for over 20 years and when he leaves a lot of the intellectual knowledge will go out the door with him. By having a succession plan in place and then successfully executing it will help to ensure that there will be minimal disruption when the transfer of managerial power finally occurs.

The 6 steps to succession planning are: 1. Analysis of the future 2. Role analysis 3. People analysis 4. Training, development needs analysis 5. Development Activities 6. Key employee placement.

If you look closely at what is happening at Arsenal with Gazidis moving from his city office to the training ground to be closer to the action the manager and the players along with the new head of recruitment & Mertesacker taking control of the youth academy in 2018 it all points to the fact that Arsenal have definitely implemented their succession planning and Arsene Wenger is very much a key part of the change management process. When people have been in an organisation for an extended period of time they become wedded to the system they have always used because it worked for them in the past. When the organisation decides to go in different direction it’s very difficult for some of these custodians to change their methods of operation and so new blood is bought in to make it easier to make that change happen. This was never more evident than when Sir Alex Ferguson suddenly retired at the end of the 2013 season. Utd clearly were not prepared and the significant issues faced with both Moyes and Van Gael bear testament to that. The notion by some fans that simply moving Wenger on and everything will automatically change is quite frankly naïve and ill informed. Once Arsene Wenger does go the whole infrastructure needs to change and waiting until the last minute or even worst after he is gone to do it is equally naive hence the succession plan that’s currently being implemented.


The next phase of the plan will involve bringing in a director of football like Michael Zorc as well as identifying a new potential manager for the 2019-2020 season and Arsene Wenger will be a key component in this decision-making process because he will be as keen as the Arsenal board to ensure that the transfer of power is as smooth as possible because any failure to do so will reflect as poorly on him as it will on Kroenke, Gazidis and co. Arsenal are a proud club steeped in history, tradition and sound business principles of self-sustainability so for anyone to suggest that what is currently happening behind the scenes is merely a feud between Gazidis & Wenger is either miss informed or is just grinding their own personal anti-Wenger stance to further their agenda. To suggest that the owners have no idea what they are doing is also a fanciful notion. These are very successful men who are extremely calculated in every decision they make and they know exactly what they are doing every day of the week. Just because they don’t personally tell the fans on a daily basis doesn’t mean otherwise. So, forget the click bait merchants who are merely trying to increase their follower count by posting unfounded propaganda and use a modicum of common sense when trying to read into the current events happening at Arsenal.


36 comments on “Arsenal: A Bit of Common Sense

  1. Morning Phil and a thought provoking review of the next steps forward the club are taking, and will need to take. A very rare manager is able, or wants, to leave the foundation in place for the next ten years. Shankly managed it, Ferguson did not, Clough never tried.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Now that was good. With a bit of luck Phil will give us more articles and the site will be better for it, Marvelous start. Bravo.
    Oh and thanks Andy Nic. for making it happen.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. the problem that most of the ASB have with the term “succession planning” is one of two things, or maybe both in some cases

    1. they think succession planning means hiring the replacement for Wenger now, either to replace Arsene now or to work alongside him(in fact the think it mean make the calls with AW just a figure head)

    2. they think we as fans should be privy to, nay should have our opinions on who the next manager is listened to and acted upon (the funny thing is the club does listen to the opinions and acts accordingly, that is, they ignore them completely, just as they should, Coyle, O’Neill, AVB, Harry, etc etc etc

    they really don’t understand what succession planning is, what it really means, and they ignore that over the last four years Arsenal have been changing staff and adding staff at a massive rate, the medical and fitness section has not only had a overhaul of its facilities, but of its staff too, same at Hale End, same with our Analysis department, new Academy head, new youth team manager, new first team coaching staff, not one section of the club has stayed the same, not even the board. But as long as a certain section of our fan base see Arsene Wenger as manager they convince themselves that nothing has changed at the club.

    By the way a guy called neil brooks tweeted some stuff after he attended a training session at London Colney and seen AW in operation, of course the ASB and WOB will ignore it as it flies in the face of all their silly stupid soundbites about Wenger

    Liked by 4 people

  4. well that game didn’t really deserve a good post match review. this was much more interesting. thanks phil.
    to my mind, the fact that we have players who can massacre throw ins, not to mention the corners (eek!) puts the play itself into perspective. ‘orrible.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a brilliant piece, full of common sense and intelligence. Thanks so much – it has left me feeling decidedly upbeat.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Now that was worth reading for so many reasons!

    Sensible, balanced, authoritative and informative. No faith required just evidence and experience. Great stuff, thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Very good.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Gooner Reverend, Preach!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Great interesting insightful wrteup

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great piece, full of common-sense and dare I suggest divine wisdom!

    Anyone who has been anywhere near the club can but marvel at its complexity and multi-layered ‘functionality’ – there is just so much of it.

    How they even calculate and manage cash-flow alone is a subject one can only speculate on – depreciation, off-setting, projections blah blah blah. To suggest that such a behemoth could even function with two key ‘actors’ supposedly at each other’s throats is an act of wayward fantasy hardly worth the paper it’s written down on.

    But I DO think Wenger acts as the bridge from the ‘old world’ Arsenal to the contemporary one. When he pitched up from Japan, we were still pretty functioning as we had been since the 50’s – certainly the 70’s if the PL money starting to feed into play is accounted for.

    So Phil’s excellent piece is right on the money and this will remain the case if Arsene goes in two years or four. Modern structures do not just go up overnight and the individuals roped in to the new Arsenal take time to bed in and take the club forward.

    And yes, it IS very exciting although how any of us will feel when the big change occurs is anyone’s guess. If Arsene gets the major successes he surely deserves in his final seasons then there will be many millions very choked up Gooners and observers feeling a bit sorry for themselves.

    So it’s good to know that, unlike Manure, AFC will have the structures in place to do more than hand out the tissues to dry our eyes.

    Thanks Phil for a great article.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. An investment company that invested in M.Fellaini is suing his boot supplier for supplying crap boots. I wonder if the letter to the court will instruct the judge to:

    “Pull yer finger out, buddy”

    Investment companies? Lawyers? Brand distasters? No wonder the ASB Experts that are against Modern Football were so keen on the “Investment Opportunity” that was a £35M footballer that can barely play football (tbf he can head the ball).

    If only the owner of Everton who has had the full support of these arsenal holes alongside his cryptic colleagues at R&W Holdings had managed to take over AFC, the club could be following the same path as Everton! Nevermind the Football dear

    “I’m Reaaaach Bitch!”

    The old “trickle down effect”, innit?


  12. Another aspect of succession planning is clearing the deck.

    When Arsene steps down as manager, will he, should he, be offered another meaningful position in the club ?

    I have no idea whether AW would actually want to take on another serious job if he was not the man in full charge of the football side. My instinct though is that it would be more difficult for any new manager, no matter how talented, to have Arsene just down the corridor, prowling around Colney and popping in and out of Ivan’s office.

    I shall throw it out there.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Great read, far.too sensible.
    Ivan Gazidis, what the fcuk do you do, apart from succession planning to move forward from a manager, the last of a kind, transitional management, day to day roles, recruiting, meeting fans at AGMs, overseeing community and foundation projects, looking after the brand, overseeing finances, but apart from that, just what do you do when not falling out with the manager that is?

    Liked by 4 people

  14. How did Everton’s Niasse get banned and that Watford guy did not?


  15. surely mandy he had to oversee the decoration of his new office at london colney, you know the new office that office that he had the use of any all along, anytime he needed one at the training center

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Arsene Wenger has revealed the latest team news ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash against Burnley at Turf Moor.

    He provided updates on Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott and this is what he said:

    on team news…
    Everybody looks alright. There are some kicks because it was quite a physical game [at Cologne], but overall we have no injuries. Everyone who played will be available to compete for the squad on Sunday. That is one of the positives of last night, we have no injuries. The fact we can rotate means the players are less overloaded with competition.

    on it being a nice feeling to have those options in such a busy period…
    Yes because we play every three days. Apart from Theo Walcott, and long-term Santi Cazorla, all the players are available.

    on Theo Walcott…
    For the weekend, no [he is not available]. He’s back in training now, so he should be okay for next week. He has been ill.

    on Santi Cazorla…
    I hope to see him soon, that he comes over to give an update.

    on Danny Welbeck…
    The last time he came back from injury, we played him at Watford and after an hour he got a bad hamstring. This time I didn’t want to take that gamble. I wanted to be a bit more progressive with him. Almost certainly, nothing would have happened but I felt it was more sensible to do it. He’s fine. He’s completely fine.

    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/team-news-updates-welbeck-and-walcott#hhMBlHD24VjmePZx.99

    Read more at https://www.arsenal.com/news/team-news-updates-welbeck-and-walcott#gb1C0ueT2bHaDdzF.99


  17. Sounds like the stubborn Old Veng has been listening to those pioneering sports physios who oversaw a Northern European squad to be the first such team to win a summer tournament in S.America, again.

    Playing a B team with numerous teenage cameos to top the group in the Europa league? The greatest Football team in the history of the premier League with the best fullbacks in Europe (that high praise from the Experts must explain how the manager of that team can afford to drop one of these amazing FBs for a player who’s shown better form for both club and country…) didn’t get knocked out by Gent (or was it Ghent?) for this.

    It’s a flippin’ shambles™ guv’nor, that’s what it is.

    But not as shambolic as the idiot/expert that insisted that the Europa League “Brand” requires it’s own, lesser, theme tune/jingle. I blame Vengarrrrrrrgggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. That B team was no run-of-the-mill B team. They should have pulverised Cologne…

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Th A team is no run of the mill A team – They should have pulverised Stoke and Watford …..

    But like the total-wasters they are they pulverised Tottingham instead *smh

    Liked by 7 people

  20. And the earnest critics insist that Vengaaaa doesn’t change. His ways. And other stuff (hard to keep track of all the allegations, I wouldn’t bother).

    From not having a Plan B to having an entire B team in the space of a few seasons. Crikey.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Arsenal U23’s lead West Ham U23’s 2-0 at half time, both goals scored by Vlad Dragomir. Eddie Nketiah has also had a penalty saved

    Team: Macey, Osei-Tutu, Bola, Sheaf, Pleguezuelo, Medley, Dragomir, Dasilva, Nketiah, Willock, Smith Rowe

    Liked by 2 people

  22. FT: Arsenal U23’s 3-0 West Ham U23’s

    Nketiah added the third in the second half, after two goals from Dragomir had seen AFC lead 2-0 at half time

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Good result especially from the lads returning from Germany last night

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I really enjoyed that Post/Article. Well done, Phil. (?)

    A ‘bit of common sense’ is in rather short supply nowadays, and unfortunately gets lost in the miasma of unhelpful inter-fan rivalry.

    Naturally ‘succession planning’ is integral to all successful business, and is applied from the ground up, so that employees are developed or recruited at all levels, and eventually when key roles at the top become vacant there is someone steeped in the ethics and vision of the business who can seamlessly take over the role.

    It is difficult to see what anyone can find to fault that – presumably someone will.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. I see our U18s just beat Tottingham U18s 6-0


    That is not a bad way to start the weekend is it ?

    Liked by 4 people

  26. “It is difficult to see what anyone can find to fault that – presumably someone will.”

    It was the headline Henry – it needed a bit more oomph – “Wenger and Gazidis locked in Fight to the Death” or “Wenger outsmarted by by Syruppy Stan”


  27. The best of the goals;

    Liked by 3 people

  28. Cracking year for youth so far. Great to see Coyle back after long time out. Looks Nelson-type talent from glimpses I’ve seen.

    U18s were without a fair number of most promising players as well.

    Smith-Rowe and, of course, Nelson, but also centre backs who mostly play for u23’s Medley and Olowu. Couple of 1st years who have done well so far, Balogun and Tyreece John-Jules (The Cat’s cousin!). Then a couple more, McGuiness and Mceneff, who’ve been injured all year.

    Hopefully be a good year in youth cup!

    Liked by 4 people

  29. The assist on about 0.35 is the best bit for me. Dennis himself would be pleased with that

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Amen Rev
    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. And Man Utd get themselves a poxy own goal to put themselves 1-0 up at home against a plucky Brighton & Hove Albion.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Hard worked for point for the Baggies – If we manage to win tomorrow at Turf Moor we slip in front of the “greatest Tottenham team in 60 years”

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Borussia Dortmund lead 4-0 at half time today v Shalke, the game ended 4-4


  34. ONLY man u did not read my expected script for today…

    with today’s results we will slide under the radar into 4th with a win tomorrow and as per usual get no credit for doing so.

    i imagine if we had not been defrauded in at least 3 of our lioses and they ended in the minimum of draws… stoke Watford and man city…. Hmmn

    Oh well we battle on

    Liked by 1 person

  35. New post up


  36. Thank you for all of the reviews, ill definitely be contributing more over the coming months.


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