Sanllehi was put in charge of revolutionising Arsenal’s backroom setup, which included Arteta as part of a four-man team as Edu returned as the club’s first-ever technical director, to make the decision process more inclusive after Wenger’s long reign.
However, just a few months later, the structure was abandoned and has left Arteta with far more power than originally planned, leading the Gunners to have what some may consider a ‘new Wenger’ in charge:
“Within the model, there are four points: head coach, sporting director, football operations and academy, and they need to be very well coordinated,” Sanllehi told The Athletic. “Arsenal had decided to move on from Arsene Wenger — one boss who did everything.
“We had a good coach in Unai, but it was crucial for Arsenal to make the Champions League and losing the Europa League final to Chelsea made us stay there, which made the second year hell for Unai.
“It had been the one-boss model. All respect for Arsene — what he did for Arsenal is unique and probably at that moment in time the best way to do it — but you had to develop, and that is what happened.”
He added: “I do not agree when clubs call the first-team coach the manager. First-team coach is first-team coach, that is enough. Nowadays, the workload is overwhelming, and I need him to concentrate on the first team.
“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 have not allowed that to happen. But that’s fine, it is working so far for them.”
In Arteta’s defence, he has so far done a decent job in his role.
The Gunners have won an FA Cup and narrowly missed out on the Champions League last season following some poor injury luck to top stars at a crucial point in the campaign.
Arsenal have since had another solid summer in the market and have one of the brightest young squads in the division.