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'Better off without Sanllehi': Irked fans troll ex-Arsenal chief for claiming 'mistake' made with Arteta

Former Arsenal director Raul Sanllehi fears that the Gunners have made a 'mistake' by reverting to how operations were run under Arsene Wenger and changing Mikel Arteta's role from 'head coach' to 'manager'.

football 'Better off without raul Sanllehi': Irked fans troll ex-Arsenal chief for claiming 'mistake' made with mikel Arteta snt
First Published Sep 26, 2022, 8:56 PM IST

In what has sparked massive outrage among Arsenal fans, the club's former head of football, Raul Sanllehi, had stated that Gunner made a 'mistake' by reverting to how operations were run under legendary boss Arsene Wenger and changing Mikel Arteta's role at the Emirates to 'manager'.

The Spaniard arrived in the north London club in 2018 after spending 14 years at Barcelona and took over from former CEO Ivan Gazidis. To get past Unai Emery's disastrous tenure as manager, Sanllehi introduced a new style of directorship during his time at the Emirates. He pioneered a four-person 'dream team', including head coach Mikel Arteta, technical director Edu, head of football operations Huss Fahmy and academy manager Per Mertesacker.

Also read: Will Arsenal win Premier League title this season? Legendary boss Arsene Wenger breaks his silence

Sanllehi admitted to The Athletic that the strategy disintegrated only a few months later, and Arsenal subsequently moved away from that paradigm due to his departure during the Covid-19 outbreak, giving Arteta the majority of the responsibility.

"Within the model, there are four points: head coach, sporting director, football operations and academy, and they need to be very well coordinated. Arsenal had decided to move on from Arsene Wenger — one boss who did everything. We had a good coach in Unai, but it was crucial for Arsenal to make the Champions League and losing the Europa League final to Chelsea made us stay there, which made the second year hell for Unai," Sanllehi explained.

"It had been the one-boss model. All respect for Arsene — what he did for Arsenal is unique and probably at that moment in time the best way to do it — but you had to develop, and that is what happened," he added.

Sanllehi called the choice a 'mistake', and he worries that Arteta, who seems to control everything at the club, has led Arsenal back to old bad practices.

Also read: 'Strong start rewarded': Arsenal fans ecstatic after Mikel Arteta bags Premier League Manager of the Month

"I do not agree when clubs call the first-team coach 'the manager'. First-team coach is first-team coach, that is enough. Nowadays, the workload is overwhelming, and I need him to concentrate on the first team. They have betrayed the model a little bit now. By going back to the manager at the top, that is a mistake, but that is their mistake. I would have not allowed that to happen. But that's fine, it is working so far for them," he concluded.

football 'Better off without raul Sanllehi': Irked fans troll ex-Arsenal chief for claiming 'mistake' made with mikel Arteta snt

Sanllehi's remarks have sparked a massive outburst among Arsenal fans, who believe the club has progressed since the Spaniard exited Emirates.

"The last thing we need is more management consulting from out-of-touch board members. We need people who are close to the pitch and clued in with the day to day happenings at Arsenal calling the shots here, not some suit and tie businessmen with no football background," noted an Arsenal fan on Twitter.

Another enraged fan stated, "Shut up Raul under your guidance and advice we were a shambles."

"Glad they got this man out. We were going downhill under this dude," said a third user on Twitter.

Another Gunners' fan noted, "Our business has been much better ever since he left I am scared if we let him spend the money we've spent in the last two summers."

A few fans also trolled Sanllehi over the controversial Pepe deal. One user said, "But what about the £72m for Pepé? You pocketed some of the money yourself too," while another noted, "Raul Sanllehi has a lot of nerve. You should be investigated for fraud with the Pepe deal."

Here's a look at some of the reactions on Twitter:

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