During the Gunners’ US tour, the technical director sat down to discuss his agenda at the Emirates, ruthlessly rebuilding the squad, the rationale for terminating players’ contracts, and whether he plans to continue doing so.
Arsenal finished their tour of the United States with a 4-0 thrashing of Chelsea, and it was impossible to overlook the sense of identity that was evident in their play.
When Edu Gaspar joined at the club as technical director in the summer of 2019, he discovered a team that was unsure of itself.
Arsenal failed to build a distinct style in his debut season after terminating Arsene Wenger’s 22-year reign in North London by bringing in Unai Emery.
But Arsenal have found a really stable pattern under Mikel Arteta in a 4-3-3 set-up.
Here are some bits from what he said to the media:
For me there are three elements which in my role I have to be really prepared to be strong on the message to the players. When the player is 26-plus, (with a) big salary and he’s not performing, he’s killing you that kind of player because you don’t have a valuation to sell the player. The player is comfortable – Arsenal, London, beautiful, everything is fantastic – and a good salary. How do you move this player.
So how many players with that kind of characteristics did we have in the past? 80 per cent of the squad, that’s why I said to (the board) when I made my plan: guys, it’s not easy to clean the squad straight away because most of the players have a 2-3-4 year contract. We need a strategy, we need to try to change things.