The days of an all-knowing, all-powerful manager may have ended when the monsters from Alex Ferguson to Arsene Wenger left the pitch but the suspension of the club's great power for one person is not a matter of the past. It’s just that, as Michael Zorc, Monchi and Stuart Webber testify, that person doesn’t have to be a man who chooses a team. Not surprisingly, Arsenal were so patient with finding a man to fill the vacancy at the Emirates Stadium. Significantly, they were prepared to lose Milisintat, who was considered one of Europe's most respected figures, as they did not agree with his belief that he should become a technical director. It is in the hands of the technical director to set the identity of the team, to explain what it means to be Arsenal. Find the right person and suddenly the organization can move away much faster than they would have thought possible, as Norwich City have confirmed in their return to the Premier League this season.
"It is possible that the club has just lost its way a bit," Webber, director of sports at Canaries since 2016, told My Football Writer in February. "It has been through a period of administrative change, downgrades and changes in the level of management according to a senior official who was assisting and we are following in a very fast pace. "It was a club that needed to sit down, find that foot again, and focus and move on again. Does it look different? Yes, but it's not rocket science we've done." Understanding the culture of the club explains why the knowledge associated with the club or Unai Emery was one of the most important factors for Arsenal to appoint their sporting director. So Edu has long been regarded as a club leader, someone who fully understands what Arsenal's style of play is, what fans want and what a successful version of the organization looks like. He should know that just like anyone else, he is invincible.
This is a feature of the role of technical director that may not be acceptable but is very important for Arsenal. Edu will take the lead in monitoring and evaluating players before deciding what to add to Unai Emery's first team, although the huge burden of getting deals across the line will still fall on football head Raul Sanllehi and esteemed senior referee Huss Fahmy. Arsenal have used that and it starts years ago - Freddie Ljungberg's U23 team tried to go back last season to prepare the team, now under Steve Bould, to move up to the first team - but this would define club ownership in a more accurate way, promoted by Sanllehi's time in Barcelona. As the head of the football is passed on to the fans at the latest fan forum he hopes to repeat the Catalan way where it is not that the youth teams are playing like Barcelona's first team but that all the teams are playing in the way of Barcelona.
That desire to explain Arsenal's path could explain why Edu is seen as ready to take on a bigger role at the Emirates Stadium. A good, smart midfielder who played a key role in the biggest team in the history of the Premier League, there were a few players who lined up as many boxes as a 40-year-old player.
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