Raul Sanllehi reveals ‘mistake’ Arsenal have made with Mikel Arteta
Raul Sanllehi, the former director of football at Arsenal, claims the club erred when it promoted Mikel Arteta to manager of the club's Emirates squad.
Shortly after Arteta took over as manager of the Gunners in December 2019, the Spaniard left the team because the club opted to play Sanllehi during the pandemic.
However, he played a key role in Arteta's appointment as "head coach" to take over from Unai Emery. This appointment was a part of the club's new organizational structure, on which Sanllehi had been working diligently for more than 18 months.
He envisioned a brand-new, futuristic organizational structure that would allow a head coach to concentrate primarily on the first team, as well as Per Mertesacker as the academy coach, Edu as the director of football, and himself as the head of football operations.
However, Arteta was rewarded with a name change that saw his role change after leading the Gunners to an FA Cup victory in their first season under his leadership.
Arteta was made'manager', which gave him more influence over the direction of the club and decisions made across the board, rather than just control of the first team.
But Sanllehi says that was a "mistake" and the decision "betrayed" the club’s model.
He told the Athletic that "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 not have allowed that to happen. But that’s fine, it is working so far for them.
Earlier in the interview, he had put forward his belief that the first-team coach should focus solely on the first team.
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