Report: Chief scout Steve Rowley set to leave Arsenal

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According to a report in the Mail, Arsenal’s chief scout, Steve Rowley, is set to depart the club.

He’s apparently grown tired of being made a scapegoat for Arsenal’s transfer market failings, and despite being a long-time servant of the club and Arsene Wenger is now seeking new pastures.

The scouting department itself is one which has long been overdue an overhaul, and there have been concerns for some time that the personnel needed to be refreshed.

The Gunners bought StatDNA, a company to augment the work of the scouts, and it’s believed that played a key role in signings like Gabriel from Villarreal and Mohamed Elneny from FC Basel.

However, there have been numerous issues behind the scenes, not least the fact that Arsenal missed out on so many of the current generation of young French talent, an area in which they’ve traditionally been very strong.

Former player Gilles Grimandi heads up the French side of the scouting operation, but if Rowley does depart then we may see a real shake-up across the board.

It’s the latest in a series of stories about behind the scenes appointments, including Marc Overmars returning and the potential appointment of a former Barcelona executive, so let’s hope there are things brewing.

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47 Comments on "Report: Chief scout Steve Rowley set to leave Arsenal"

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Gooniegoogoo

Nothing wrong with our scouting. We almost signed Mbappe, Morata, Hazard, Ronaldo, Messi, Ibrahimovic etc etc the list goes on

gooner1981

Yup, seems more like we need someone who will get promising youngsters over the line.

Wengerout

StatDNA is a failure

Andy Mack

The issue is (as always) money.
Teams like $iteh and Chavski are willing to throw money at young players before they make the step up to senior football (which is a big step), whereas we don’t. We can’t afford to pay out big money on 20 kids and have none of them make the grade, so we tend to wait that little bit too long and suddenly the lad becomes the ‘next viera/zidan/maldini’ etc and is priced out of our pocket.
Add to this the problems getting non-EU kids a work permit (which is easier in other leagues) and we’re having to spend more time and effort on our hale end lads, although that does appear to be bearing fruit…

IamaGoober

Chelsea sign young players and put them out on loan straight away so they don’t actually feelthe full sting of those financial implications.

Then if they sign a big star player for the first team, they will sell off X amount of those young players out on loan to balance the books – its very clever.

City are also doing the same thing, but considering they have some ridiculous £400M sponsorship from Etihad Airways (you get no special prizes guess who owns that company) that’s how they do it.

Perry

Of course they feel the financial implications straight away. How do you think they bring the players in? Any loan fee covers at best a small part of the associated fees/wages for those players. The issue as Andy Mack says is financial. Chelsea and Man City spend without care and are able to take risks on young players that a club which is trying to break even can’t.

IamaGoober

@Perry

I think my comment was taken out of context a little. I meant as in their wage bill. Sorry I thought it was implied.

Andy Mack

They do actually have to buy MOST of the kids and some of the salaries offered to take them to $iteh/Chavski are substantial for a kid that hasn’t proven anything at senior level.
Most of the loan clubs wouldn’t pay enough to cover the costs ut (say) Chavski are more interested in seeing if the kid can make the step up, so they’ll fund the difference in salary. Occasionally who’s shown promise at a low ‘senior’ level may justify the loan club paying a fee which may be enough to cover the cost, but it’s rare.
Gael Kakuta is a great example, where Chavski did some iffy deals and officially paid around €110k to buy him at 16 years old, but his starting salary was more than most Championship players. He’s now 26 and failed to do anything of note anywhere, whilst earning more than many of us will in our lifetime. They may have recovered some money when they sold him but he’s cost them a lot more than he’s brought in.
Luckily the youth set up/costs has never been part of FFP because $iteh and Chavski would have failed those ‘tests’ every year that FFP was relevant.

Danny

Yeah but they operate on a system that’s unbalanced, unfair and means they can use their ill gotten gains to fuck over the rest of the football world. You really want that for Arsenal?

Araj

Its incorrect to say the issue is money, especially when buying youth.
This is not to say that the youth market has not moved. The best young talent (who have started playing for the first team) could now cost more around 20 million compared to the sub-10 million deals possible before. Antoine Griezzman is a good example of a player who could have been snapped up really cheap in his earlier years and the club was definitely stingy. Ousmane Dembele before moving to Dortmund too.
Also you need to differentiate between age groups and levels of talent. For the very top bracket of players you already have a good sense of their talent by 17-18 (Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar etc). Even the next tier are already in starting XIs by then. Imagining you can buy someone like that for next to nothing is not realistic. Compare what Arsenal have been willing to pay for young talent on the cusp of the first team (18-19 year olds) to the prices for which this level of players might have been available will give you an idea of the gap. In fact most of the young players Arsenal have bought in this age group have been free transfers or soon to be out of contract players at bargain basement prices (Sanogo, Campbell, Holding, Jenkinson and on and on).
If you go below even the 17-18 year level then those are truly shots in the dark (which is what Chelsea have done a lot of).

IamaGoober

Ultimately it doesn’t matter who we have as our top scout.

We can sign the best players, then they’ll get coached by the same pack of dopes that have been coaching the Arsenal first team for the last 20 years, and we will see the same mistakes, over and over and over again.

Lets not forget we are literally getting the same results with Ozil and Sanchez, as we did with Denilson and Chamakh. In fact you could maybe argue worse results.

Regardless, to see genuine change on the pitch where we are actually back challenging for the Premier League, we need a new manager with fresh innovative ideas who will bring in his own coaching staff.

Paul

Sounds hopeful. He may feel he is a scapegoat but if we’d have had more good young players coming through then he wouldn’t have to worry.

It feels like a new person/new energy coming in would be useful. Our past track record was great but others have caught up or overtaken.

Reality check

If he had downed less pints and done more work: he’d have a job and we’d have better players. He’s been absolutely useless together with our negotiating team, backroom staff and coaches. Wenger hasn’t just been complacent on the field.. fruits of his and the board’s negligence are there for all to see.

Tim

What is this about pints?

Eric Blair

Confused him with Mike Ashley? If you squint at the photo a bit…

Assshavin

it he does leave, i hope we get someone who is more open to bringing in foreign players, as it just seems that every english player we have, never really does that much for us. All of our good well developed players are all non english.

Newxieland

Part of the issue is that scouting these days have become a lot more competitive and we no longer have an exclusive monopoly on young french talents that we enjoyed during the early Wenger years.

Can’t blame all out failures on scouting alone. Our squad is good enough to at least compete if not won the league.

Can’t help but feel a fresh faces might get more out is the existing squad.

Reality check

Like wenger, his team also didn’t move forward with time.

kokafalasi

Judging player ability – 20
Judging player potential – 20

Steve Rowley, legend.

Laycawn

Ask to scout> three weeks (match reports only)> Steve Rowley (chief scout)

Bendtner\'s ego

Burn them. Burn them all!

Ozenal

The scouting HAS identified players. It’s just that we failed to sign them, financial issue as always.

Just like Kroenke the DNA of only looking internally means we will always be behind more progressive clubs.

And a failure to self analyse OBJECTIVELY, rather than dismiss others as having more money, has created this situation. This situation would have occurred early had it not been for some good investments and developments of some players.

However, isn’t it coincidental? that low-mid range ‘value’ buys like Park, Perez and Gabriel haven’t worked out and are not obviously not Wenger buys.

I think the ill advised move towards moneyball stats driven crap is a bit too heavy, rather than helping to monitor players. It is probably used as a financial evaluation tool.

I’d love to read a true autobiography from Wenger about the goings on inside the club. He is too loyal and protective to throw Kroenke in it, but he and other departments take too much flak for what is essentially a bad governance of the club.

I think scouts are an easy scapegoat, but they really just find players. It is virtually impossible to find world class players or potential for bargain basement prices. I think there are some deluded maniacs involved in this… #joshkroenke #stankroenke #notnaminganyoneinparticular

Philos sophos

Finding fantastic players out of your reach is easy: Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Messi to name a few. The reason a scout is paid to identify good players is that those players must also be within reach of the club.

Transfers are also a case of several departments working together. Changing the speed of such an important cog in this system, as the chief scout, could well have a significant knock-on effect.

Ozenal

Payet –
Kante
Kompany – enquired but never followed up just as he had broken through
Pique – deal agreed but failed to agree with agent
Mata – had a cheap clause but let it go, chelsea came in with a bigger offer
Xabi Alonso – we couldnt ‘afford’ 18m
Varane –
“He was at Lens and we might well have caught him there,” the Gunners boss explained to Eurosport. “You have to ask yourself why this player is not playing for Arsenal.

Ozenal

Khedira – took too long again
Higuain – took too long and issue with a clause

Andy Mack

Payet, inconsistent (awesome one game and disappeared the next).
Kante, wanted more money than could be justified for an unproven player.
Mata, our pockets were bare.
The list goes on, but it doesn’t mean a thing unless you add in all the players that were prospects, turned up at somewhere like Norwich or Everton or even Chavski and $iteh, but didn’t make the grade.
We can all name good players in hindsight but at the time more prospects fail than succeed.

Ozenal

The point is that whatever we did identify often didn’t get done or we were too slow.

That is criminal for a top level club and heads should roll for the inefficiency and subsequent blaming of a single department.

I’ll spell it out directly for you: someone is covering their tracks.

Kwame Ampadu Down

‘Kante, wanted more money than could be justified for an unproven player.’

You’re basing this on what exactly ? Leicester didn’t think he was asking for too much money.

Andy Mack

But we clearly did.

Kwame Ampadu Down

So you’re not answering the question then?

Andy Mack

In the summer the manager referred to Kante and said that he was interested in him at both Caen and Leicester and that Finance stopped them buying him. Whether the problem was the player or the selling club or us (or more likely a combination) isn’t clear.

Kwame Ampadu Down

‘Yes [we tried to sign him]. When he was in France, when he was at Leicester.
We cannot explain absolutely everything [about why we failed to sign him], but it’s obvious when you look at where he has gone.’

I didn’t notice that at the time to be fair but reading it again, I think the comments are probably aimed at the Chelsea deal though it could be read as him suggesting it was both times. If he is suggesting a player joined Leicester ahead of Arsenal purely based on financial reasons, then I think that is complete nonsense……

Gozie Uzo

You’ve said it all man.

Ozenal

Question: why is the club run like it is in some sort of adminstration, rather than a sporting organisation.

All these bad vibes have all the hallmarks of a club going down the proverbial financial poo pipe. Without the lack of money… weird.

Andy Mack

Are you suggesting that every successful club works in a different way?

Ozenal

By administration, I mean financial dire straits and they are pretty close to having a fire sale. I mean running the club by accountants and penny pinching without consideration of the consequences.

Andy Mack

Whilst i agree, I’d guess that at least half of all PL clubs similarly have long pockets and short arms. It’s only when you look at the top few that we don’t compare well with.

Rectum_Spectrum

“The Gunners bought StatDNA, a company to augment the work of the scouts, and it’s believed that played a key role in signings like Gabriel from Villarreal and Mohamed Elneny from FC Basel.”

hmmmm…..

Toure motors

Hope they have a sell back clause!

Santori

Stats.. That American thang.

Danny Griffiths

Makes you laugh – Rowley has def been made a scapegoat by wenger and kroenke – bear in mind when we had c.ronaldo an zlatan at coleny it was WENGER who refused to budge on the extra mill sporting wanted for ronaldo, and was the one who tried to force zlatan to trial rather than sign – same cockwomble failure who played yaya as a striker ffs despite yay’s insistence he’s a CM who wanted to emulate viera —— the list could go on an on, Rowley also tried to push wenger into signing Mikh (formerly of Shaktar and Dortmund) whilst at Shaktar and advised wenger to sign him as Cesc’s replacement in the summer of 2011 – he’s advised wenger on many many many many players whom wenger has ignored or rejected

Eric Blair

Player recruitment has been a problem at Arsenal for years now. It’s difficult to know who is to blame but I doubt Wenger is very pleased to be missing out on the next generation of Vieiras, Henrys, and Pireses.

Shouldn’t underestimate the improvements other clubs have made in this area either, and the fact there are more moneyed clubs these days competing to attract young talented players. If you took Chelsea, PSG, Monaco, and Man City out of the equation then perhaps we’d have had a Hazard, Mbappe, Lemar, Kompany playing for us. Having said that, this difference could be offset by the collapse of the big Italian clubs competing for signings.

Geefive

And the exodus begins….lol just kidding. Someone was gonna say it eventually though.

mo974

don’t know if its rowley the cause of the failure but wenger is also liable. being french how come we have missed on kante while at caen everybody who follows league one knew his talent back then it wasn’t much of a gamble in an area we have been lacking real quality for so long. how about dembele while at rennes?dortmund got him for 15millions and so on, the mbappe failure, the hazard one while at lille, varane, martial, bakayoko, mendy lemar, upemecano and i bet we are going to miss out on the new one who are going to blossom at lyon monaco or nice ( keita baldé, mboula, saint maximin, sarr , ndombele , adama traoré,etc.. ) we can’t get the next stars and we don’t want to pay the money for the actual top players … depressing time to be a gooner !

kas

Maybe cos none of these players want to play or be non coached by the old has been anymore. If we got a coach like Poch at spurs we would I’m sure see a vast improvement in the malaise that is Arsenal at present.

Lonvein

But will Arsena ever leave Steve Rowley?

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