Is Arsenal’s transfer policy a hopeless mess as Mislintat has said?

By Tony Attwood

In the article Is Arsenal a dysfunctional club as Mislintat suggests? I tried to look at what Sven Mislintat had said about Arsenal after his departure.   He came to the club as an acclaimed talent spotter and recruiter, but left after 14 months full of very bitter talk about Arsenal and how, “The very structure of the club is in question with problems mounting for head coach Mikel Arteta as he bids to return them to where they believe they belong.”

He was a member of Borussia Dortmund’s recruitment team before joining Arsenal and brought in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi.  All three have been said to be leaving this summer.  Does that tell us something about what was going on with him?

It certainly seems a sad coincidence that the players he brought in are the players who are likely to leave.  Did he make ludicrous promises and then get found out?  Are Arsenal still trying to unpick what he set up?  Or is it all Arsenal’s fault as the media will always say?

One of the things that one has to note about Arsenal is that dysfunctional club or not, they have got an amazing collection of young players coming through.  So amazing in fact that clubs across Europe are desperate to get their hands on the lads.  Some have already left and others are about to leave.

So again whose fault it that?

No business likes to wash the dirty laundry down the laundromat so we are unlikely to get any real statement from Arsenal, and anything Mislintat says is going to be shrouded in his own propaganda.  After all, he won’t want to be known as the fixer who brings in players and then edges them out again when he falls out with the club’s admin.  Although that’s what it looks like at the moment.

At the heart of Arsenal’s problems is the fact that while in other countries reserve players can play for a top club’s second team in a competitive lower league, this is not the case in England, where the only options are either the Under 23 team played in front of tiny crowds, or a loan, where the manager of the loan side has absolute discretion over whether to play the player or not.

The former doesn’t meet the desire of the player to experience the full match experience, the latter quite often doesn’t meet anyone’s wishes as the gnarled and determined lower league club manager seeks to knock the fancy ways out of a talented player and tells him to get stuck in, because “you’re not at Arsenal now son, you’ve got to man up here.”

All this comes at the time when we are going to lose Folarin Balogun, who is not renewing his contract – which of course allows the crowing crowd at the Toppled Bollard (home of the journalist drinking elite) the chance to blame Arsenal.

But as one or two sources have pointed out, players of Balogun’s age can only sign two year contracts and that is what he did.  Arsenal offered him an extension based on performances, but he turned it down for a chance to play for a club where he is more likely to get games.

Chelsea of course tried to get over this sort of problem by having vast numbers of young players loaned out across Europe and playing regularly for their teams, but Uefa put the lid on that one, and Chelsea ended up with a year out of European football as a result.

But it is not just an Arsenal problem.  Jadon Sancho left Manchester City and went to Borussia Dortmund and he’s earning huge money and playing regularly.  They are struggling with England’s unusual rules about young players.  Liverpool as we know, also fell foul of the rules and were banned from signing youngsters for a year.

Balogun is unlikely to get too many games at Arsenal because of the number of forwards at the club – how would fans react if Aubameyang and Lacazette left and we have a new forward line made up only of youngsters?  It might work, but more than likely it wouldn’t fire up immediately, and habitually the Arsenal crowd is very short on patience these days.  And the three managers in two years problem does not make young players convinced that anything the club says will be kept to.  Who knows how long this management team will last?

The one man who could make it work was Mr Wenger, who could put out League Cup sides made up of 17 year olds and beat the lower league teams without blinking.  Sadly he was hounded out by the card carrying turnips.

But it would be wrong to argue that Arsenal are going to lose “another player for nothing” as I saw written the other day.  There has to be an agreement between Arsenal and wherever he goes, and if there is not then Uefa’s panel steps in and arbitrates.   The deal invariably involves not just a fee, but also a percentage of any sell-on fee.

Things are not perfect at Arsenal – but part of the issue might well be simply that we do have rather a large number of youngsters coming through at the moment, and with no chances of playing them in a B team as would happen in many European countries, the attraction of being in England lessens.

And that is before we start talking about whatever regulations the FA are going to want to impose as Britain leaves the European Union at the end of the year.   For the first time since the 1990s, European players won’t have an automatic right to be employed here: which is exactly what the FA wants, in order to bolster the chances of England actually winning something.  Sadly the clubs still have no idea what football after Brexit will look like – and that is not helping anyone.



17 Replies to “Is Arsenal’s transfer policy a hopeless mess as Mislintat has said?”

  1. “But as one or two sources have pointed out, players of Balogun’s age can only sign two year contracts and that is what he did“

    Not correct.

    He signed his last contract on 13 February 2019 when he was aged 17, which ended at the end of June 2020. The maximum length contract a player under the age of 18 can sign Isn’t two years it’s three years.

    Here’s FIFAs rules

    The minimum length of a contract shall be from its effective date until the
    end of the season, while the maximum length of a contract shall be five years. Contracts of any other length shall only be permitted if consistent with national laws. Players under the age of 18 may not sign a professional contract for a term longer than three years.

    As for this bit

    “Chelsea of course tried to get over this sort of problem by having vast numbers of young players loaned out across Europe and playing regularly for their teams, but Uefa put the lid on that one, and Chelsea ended up with a year out of European football as a result.”

    Think you are getting confused.

    Firstly UEFA don’t have jurisdiction on matters re players that is FIFA but irrespective when did Chelsea ever get banned from playing in European football ?

    Seems even more confused

    There has to be an agreement between Arsenal and wherever he goes, and if there is not then Uefa’s panel steps in and arbitrates. The deal invariably involves not just a fee, but also a percentage of any sell-on fee.

    There doesn’t have to be any agreement between Arsenal and where he goes.

    If he goes to a club in England if the two clubs can’t agree then a panel will sit and yes it’s possible that a % of any sell on may be paid but it’s not a given.

    But if he goes outside England. /Wales then it’s nothing to do with UEFA it’s FIFA rules that determine the fee and there is no arbitration the training and solidarity payments are already determined and applied

    Details of the compensation, which at most will be a few hundred thousand are detailed on pages 66-69 of this guidance

    As you will see no sell on or the like would be payable.

  2. Maybe, but you’re not exactly Sherlock Holmes are you, more PC Plod if truth be told.

  3. Wasn’t Holmes a drug addict?

    Irrespective are you suggesting my post is incorrect ? Or do you believe Tonys comments are correct?

  4. You may or may not be right, I don’t know and more importantly I don’t care.

    I haven’t even read what you’ve said because I don’t have to, to know you will of contradicted everything Tony has said, because that’s what you do.

    You also do it to me.

    In fact you do it to just about every topic this site highlights such as media bias, cards and penalties to name just 3.

    If you have nothing better to do than ‘police’ a blogg that you fundamentally disagree with, then good luck to you.

    Personally I think it’s tantamount to a rock fan going to a Jazz concert and endlessly whinging about the lack of any real tunes. A bit stupid really when you think of it.

  5. Ignorance is bliss as they say.

    You don’t care clearly that the comments made by Tony could be wrong just goes to prove the point that you have closed your mind to any other view point or indeed the facts.

    My take on your comment is that Tony’s word shouldn’t or indeed cannot be challenged. I hope that’s not his take because my understanding is that he is open to challenge but such challenge should be based on fact not opinion

    Look I get it Football is tribal and very much based on opinions. Most supporters tend to view matters that effect their clubs very much through the eyes of a supporter and that can often result in different interpretation on a past incident or how things will look going forward but when it comes to matters which aren’t based on opinion but fact then surely questioning of in particular the written word should be acknowledged not ignored as you seem to be suggesting is your approach.

    The other day a poster called Deb posted some stats that put into question the supposed bias that Dean has to Arsenal . I found the stats quite revealing but there was little to no comment again I guess ignorance is bliss.

    I can’t find the link but I read the other day that Over the last few Arsenal have committed the most fouls where advantage has been played on of all clubs in the PL. Add to that the most yellow cards that have been awarded from such incidents. ln other words until the fouls recorded in the stats include advantage played the number of fouls committed based purely on the ref blowing the whistle are incorrect.

  6. Martin, I thought the whole point of Untold was to get to the “facts”. Clearly not. Never let the facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory.

  7. Mark Mywords

    I do care. I didn’t say he was right or wrong. I didn’t even read what he said.

    My point is he takes a contradictory stance on everything this blog says and then often as not conveniently disappears when asked to support he’s view.

    Yes he does dig deep in to stats, but only when it suits.

    He mascarades as fair and balanced, whilst calling out everyone on UA as Miopic when he’s more one eyed than all of us put together. He’s a fraud and I certainly will no longer enter into a debate with him.

    It is for that reason I called him out.

    Maybe you should know both sides before picking one.

    As for his post. Tony is perfectly capable of defending his own articles but has said many times if what somebody says is not worth bothering with he won’t bother.

    Maybe Mike T is Just not worth the effort for Tony either, in which case Mike T may as well stop wasting his time visiting a blog he fundamentally disagrees with. Just a thought.

  8. You sound like you’re just intent on being confrontational. If someone posted something that isn’t true, shouldn’t we be grateful for clarification, especially when it comes with a source?

  9. Lily, the fact is that it is you who is confrontational and gives no evidence. Take that post of yours where you listed 30+ players that were hyped by Untold as the “future of Arsenal” and who fell by the wayside. You gave no evidence there, you gave a list but no citation or detail of when we cited the player as being the “future of Arsenal”. There are several players there who I recall watching in the under 23s and having quite a few doubts about, so although I may have mentioned the player positively once or twice, I can’t imagine I ever said “the future of Arsenal” or anything like that. Since this is a blog which as a matter of policy supporters the players rather than rails against them, the positives of all of them were undoubtedly noted, but only the future in the sense that they were young and most of their careers were ahead of them.
    Indeed as you said at one point you couldn’t give evidence.
    The point is Untold Arsenal says on its masthead, “supporting the club, the manager and the team”. That is what we do. Now clearly you don’t like it, which is fair enough. Lots of people in the 12 of so years we have been publishing have not liked it.
    But what I don’t get is why you bother reading it and the commentating on it. I mean I occasionally look at the Daily Mail’s sports coverage to see what they are saying, but I don’t write to them telling them they’ve got it wrong. That would be weird.
    I can’t understand why you bother to do it.
    But really, what would be interesting would be if you could write in (or indeed write a whole article if you wish) and say why you read Untold Arsenal and comment upon what is here, when you must know in advance you are going to disagree with most of what is there.
    Still, at least we do publish most of your comments. That is more than would happen if most of the people who support what Untold is about wrote to many of the sites that oppose our point of view.

  10. Those that will have read my postings on here over the years will be under no illusion as to where my loyalties are.

    Nitram clearly doesn’t like my challenging articles which I believe are incorrect . He calls me a fraud because I disagree or don’t see things his way. It really is sad when someone can’t debate as opposed to choosing to ignore a different view

    For instance his belief is that the press are negative bias in matters Arsenal. That’s his and indeed others opinion but when I point out that other supporters at various clubs likewise feel the same about their clubs and post links from the likes of Spurs and Man City forums he will dismiss such as being not relevant.

    I most certainly refute the allegation that I call out everyone on UA as being Miopic but if I read on here or indeed any blogs that something that isn’t factual correct I will challenge . The irony is that by far the most of my comments on here why I do just that are normally issues re process , rules or a viewpoint on clubs other than Arsenal.

    Indeed if you look at my first posting on this thread my challenges are indeed about the rule book and a statement made about Chelsea.

    I have been challenged in the past in the similar fashion as Nitram is doing. If Tony choose to ban me that would of course be the end of my posting on here but to date no such ban has happened .

    Mark and Lily thanks for your support

  11. @Tony instead of writing a long textbook on what I don’t even understand, could please publish my comment that clearly shows that my earlier post about intent on confrontation isn’t addressed to Mike T, but to your bestie Nitram?
    As for Nitram taking up arms on your behalf and vice versa, we are used to it, you can bet on it, if you were eating shite Nitram would be there to cheer you on

  12. Thanks Mike T, from those of us who value the truth (facts) over being seen as correct. Would appreciate your e-mail so I can make my clarifications directly without the risk of upsetting Tony and co

  13. “say why you read untold arsenal and comment upon what is here when you must know in advance you are going to disagree with most of what is there”
    Well for me this is a strange accusation, for one it supposes that you are a mind reader, I don’t think a successful one though. It also presupposes that I comment on most of the articles and maybe comments too, seeing that what seems to have ticked you off was a reply to Nitram’s comment. I don’t know the calculations that went in to making that conclusion, but I’d love to know how it came about. That accusation from Tony seems to be common though, however I don’t see how it’s important, there are enough agreeing comments as it were, a few disagreeing ones shouldn’t lead to all that.
    I’d be glad to take up your challenge and write an article on why I comment on untold, and everywhere else I find time to comment, just tell me how. Although I suspect it might not make for a long article because the reason is simple -i enjoy talking about arsenal. In some forums I agree with the sentiments of most other commenters often, in some others quite often we are not in agreement. On none of such forums do we agree 100% of the time or disagree 100% of the time. Many times when I realize my thoughts have been previously expressed by other commenters, I see very little need to add to the debate. However, when my thoughts on the issue hasn’t been previously expressed or sufficiently expressed, I feel a need to put such thoughts across. I understand my opinion remains what it is, an opinion and I give the same courtesy to other posters. I don’t debate facts, but opinions (interpretation of available facts) by their nature are meant to be debated because they are subjective. However I acknowledge that on any forum where debate is allowed, there should be rules and administrators willing to enforce those rules without bias or favouritism. Thank you

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