Arsenal’s backroom shuffle has continued with Sven Mislintat being handed a new network of scouts.
According to the Times (£), while Arsenal seem to be plodding along, playing mediocre football and picking up the odd win against the likes of Crystal Palace, behind the scenes, it’s all change.
The Gunners are currently undergoing their biggest backroom shuffle since Arsene Wenger took over in 1996.
Some of the appointments, such as ex-Dortmund scout Sven Mislintat, fitness guru and pioneer in tracking GPS data Darren Burgess, legal expert Huss Fahmy, and revered transfer negotiator Raul Sanllehi, you’ll have already heard a lot about. It’s not everyday that Barcelona’s former director of football of 14 years comes to north London, after all.
However, others, such as Romanian scout Stelian Farcău, have gone under the radar, yet are just as important.
As the Times report, the Gunners have even taken on an entire new network of scouts for Mislintat to have at his disposal.
Over the last four years, Arsenal have apparently doubled their football staff to around 160.
Sal Bibbo has joined as a goalkeeping coach, Arsenal legend Jens Lehmann has returned as a first team coach, and Richard Allison is now in charge of the players’ nutrition.
David Priestley, who came from Saracens, has been hired to address mental preparation.
Des Ryan now works with Arsenal’s academy, which Per Mertesacker becomes head of at the end of the season, specialising in youth physical development.
Therefore, while there don’t appear to be any ripples on the surface right now, behind the scenes, there’s plenty going on and there’s very much a feeling that the Gunners are preparing for life after Wenger.
After seeing what happened during Manchester United’s transition when Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down, apparently we’re desperate not to repeat the same mistakes.