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Must read articles on Emenalo with regards to Jose's return


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Credits: Rod Crowley @ bluetinted

Part 1

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So now it seems but a matter of days. The Special One, currently Public Enemy No.1 in Spain, is on the verge of a dramatic return to the club that he left in acrimony six years ago. But there is apparently one remaining problem. We keep being told in countless newspaper articles that the one sticking point stopping Jose from agreeing to return is the prospect of working with Michael Emenalo, Chelsea FC's infamous Technical Director.

We are told that Jose fears his interference, that he resents having to report to a former U12 Girls Soccer Coach and that he objects to having to hand over control of transfers to the Nigerian. Fans endlessly parrot these complaints and have come to use Emenalo as a convenient scapegoat for every club decision they disagree with.

Persisting with Torres? That's Emenalo's fault. Loaning out the likes of Lukaku and De Bruyne? Emenalo. Choosing Benitez to replace Di Matteo? Of course - it has to be Emenalo. But the plain fact is the vast majority ofChelseasupporters don't have the first clue about what Michael Emenalo actually does. Perhaps the easy scapegoat is because of his association with Avram Grant. Or possibly it is his virtually non-existent coaching track record. Or maybe it's just that people can't quite work out how he has secured himself a senior position at one of the biggest football clubs in the world.

Whatever it may be, it seems a good time to set the record straight. To separate the truth from the Emenalo mythology and to review the facts (or at least those we know) rather than just the rumour and prejudice.

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Firstly, what does Michael Emenalo actually do? The statement when he was appointed confirms his role encompasses the following:

· He supports the work of the first team manager

· He leads the club's international and domestic scouting network

· He assists in driving the technical programmes of the club's Academy and international youth network.

The role is further described as 'a vital role that will assist the overall long-term football strategy of the club'.

To shed further light on Emenalo's remit, it might be useful to compare it directly to the roles of the two people who are always cited as his predecessors as Chelsea 'Director of Football'. First, however we must note that Emenalo's job title itself is different. His post is as 'Technical Director' while Avram Grant briefly held a post named 'Director of Football' from July 2007 then, exactly two years later, Frank Arnesen assumed the role of 'Sporting Director'. The posts have different job titles because, quite simply, they are different roles.

For example, Grant, on his appointment was said to be 'responsible for liaison on, and co-ordination of, football matters across the various areas of Chelsea FC' and he also sat on the Football Club Board. But to fully understand the extent of Grant's (very short-term) remit, it is essential to note that he became Director of Football while Arnesen simultaneously held a less senior role as the club's Head of Development & Scouting (a post he had held since his appointment in 2005).

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Frienemies?

Following Grant's elevation and subsequent departure, Arnesen's role developed and expanded from previously focussing solely on the Academy and youth recruitment to him gradually assuming a much more influential role in first team recruitment and wider club matters. As if to confirm this, Arnesen was invited to join Football Club Board himself in April 2009 (while Michael Emenalo has never been part of the Football Club Board). As noted above, this was actually a few months before Arnesen officially became Sporting Director in the July of that year. At this point Arnesen was asked to 'continue with his roles relating to the Reserves and Academy' but also 'take on responsibilities relating to the co-ordination of first team activity and supporting the first team manager'.

So, if you are still following this, the clear difference is that while Emenalo's role is to support (note, not oversee) the work of the manager plus look after scouting and the Academy; he does not have a remit to co-ordinate either 'first team activity' or 'football matters across the various areas of Chelsea FC' unlike his so-called predecessors Grant and Arnesen had. He is also, crucially, not a full member of the Football Club Board again unlike Grant and Arnesen. Therefore, it can only be concluded that Emenalo's role as Technical Director is less senior than either Grant or Arnesen were in their roles. In fact it is more closely aligned with Arnesen's old role of Head of Development & Scouting with a bit of extra 'support for the first team manager' thrown in.

forde1_456x241.jpgMike Forde

Incidentally, it may well be that the even more mysterious figure of Mike Forde has assumed that missing football co-ordination role. Forde is on Football Club Board and his role is grandly titled 'Director of Football Operations'. He is apparently 'responsible for all areas of performance and team operations relating to the first team, including player recruitment; medical, sport science, psychology and performance analysis.' That sounds more like the remit of a Director of Football to me.

One other aspect may be worth addressing. Although it is not specifically referred to in the summary of his job description, Michael Emenalo has also taken on a liaison role between the manager and the board and, infamously, between the manager and the owner himself. Now it would seem logical to assume that this forms part of Emenalo's remit to 'support the work of the first team manager', but many people have chosen to interpret it either as the manager having to 'report to' the Nigerian or, on a more base level, Emenalo simply being Roman's 'spy in the camp'. I would argue that both of these interpretations are mistaken.

To begin with, it simply is not true that the manager has toreport tothe Technical Director. Emenalo is not in any sense the manager's line manager. As has always been the case, the manager reports to the club's CEO. Instead, what happens is that Emenalo is in place in order that the manager canreport throughhim. Thus, when Roman or the board have questions for the manager, Emenalo can take those questions to him and report back with his answers. Equally, if the manager wishes to raise an issue with the board or with the owner, Emenalo can act as the go-between. It is telling that none of the three managers since Emenalo became Sporting Director have grumbled about his role (even through the usual veiled moans via friends in the press). In fact they seem to have viewed it as quite a natural arrangement. AVB stated at one point:

"I have not spoken to him [Abramovich], I have spoken to persons near to him. I speak to the people close to the owner to transmit the message. People like Emenalo. That is the normal way we communicate."

And at his unveiling, Benitez 'repeatedly referred to Emenalo's key role as the conduit to the owner on footballing matters:

"The main thing is that I have spoken to Michael Emenalo, the technical director, and he's my link."

This role as a 'buffer' between the owner/board and the manager may seem odd, but when you look at the history of political tensions, professional feuds and petty factionalism that has served to undermine our managers during the Abramovich era it doesn't seem so strange. In fact having Emenalo in place as that buffer arguably introduces a level of professional distance and dare I say it, stability, at the heart of the club that was missing before.

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Part 2: about the fucker Frank Arnesan who pushed Mou out of the club with a lot of politics

To understand the need for stability, it is necessary to look back at Jose's previous time with the club and to understand exactly why it ended in such acrimony and discord. And also to explain why the club now, with Emenalo (and Forde) working quietly behind the scenes, is a very different beast from those heady days.

Jose's title when he was first appointed was 'Manager & First Team Coach' and it was made clear from the start that he would have a club-wide role. At the time he said:

"The methodology to make the team work is what I really love in football. But a successful team needs many other things which creates a wonderful atmosphere for the team to develop well. So I have to be in many other things around the football team and many other areas around the club. I have to be participating in very important club decisions and in many important club areas, and in this aspect I feel I'm a lucky person."

For whatever reason (and it's hard not to find fault with the club's decision making throughout this period) less than a year later the situation had changed. Chelsea poached Frank Arnesen from Spurs and by September 2005 he was in post as Head of Development & Scouting. In theory this post was supposed to focus on the Academy and youth team scouting but Arnesen is an arch-political operator (incidentally, with a history of friction with his managers including Hiddink at PSV Eindhoven and Santini at Spurs).

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Sith.

In the following two years Arnesen managed to expand his remit into first team recruitment aided by his previous business history with Peter Kenyon and the time he had spent with Roman's personal scout Piet De Visser at PSV (allegedly, PDV was the one who first recommended Arnesen to Roman). Remember, this was the period when Roman had become disillusioned with the quality of Mourinho's player recommendations - including Del Horno, Wright-Phillips and Maniche amongst others - and the time was ripe for the Dane to extend his influence. This inevitably led to a series of clashes between Mourinho and Arnesen over the direction of the club and who should shape its future. Sadly for us all, Roman sided with the Arnesen faction.

By early 2007 the situation was coming to a head. Mourinho was increasingly resentful of Arnesen's influence and was further angered by Roman's suggestion that Jose's assistant Steve Clarke should be sacked and replaced by a little known Israeli coach called Avram Grant - primarily to work one to one with Andriy Shevchenko. Abramovich had first met Grant around 2004 - introduced by the infamous super-agent Pini Zahavi - and by February 2006 the relationship had developed to such an extent that Roman spent several days with Grant in Tel Aviv accompanied by none other than one Frank Arnesen. Now, in early 2007 he was being proposed as a coach to work alongside Mourinho. On that occasion, Jose Mourinho managed to fend off that threat but the tension was ongoing for the next six months while Peter Kenyon did his level best to keep the peace between the factions.

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I got your back.

In July 2007, after much speculation, Grant was confirmed as Chelsea's new Director of Football with a remit to 'be responsible for all the professional matters in Chelsea and [act] a coordinator in all football matters'. Jose put a brave face on it stating at the time that it was:

"not my job to speak about what he [Grant] has to do in the club. He's here to give support to different areas in the club, and for me that's not a problem. If the club wants to bring people to make the club better, and from my point of view, don't interfere with the power I have in relation to my job, then I welcome and try to help them adapt to a club like Chelsea".

But the writing was on the wall and with reports of Grant soon grilling players over the quality of Mourinho's training sessions, in retrospect it was not that much of a shock that Mourinho and the club parted ways in September. Grant, of course, was the inevitable heir apparent.

Still later, after Grant was gone, Frank Arnesen's influence served to undermine Scolari then worked effectively, albeit very temporarily, with Hiddink (though how much did Arnesen's presence lead Hiddink to refuse the permanent Chelsea role?). By summer 2009 Arnesen had managed to navigate his way onto the Football Club Board and into a new role as Sporting Director. Interestingly, after Carlo Ancelotti was appointed as manager Arnesen felt no need to butt heads with the new man.

Instead, the two formed a close bond and become good friends. Perhaps this was because Ancelotti was completely open about being 'a coach' rather than 'a manager' and was very used to working in a situation at AC Milan where players were bought for him rather than by him. Apparently Carlo was perfectly content for Arnesen to continue his empire building while he just got on and coached. By the autumn of 2010 Arnesen's power reached an absolute peak when Peter Kenyon (whom Arnesen had also been having a long-term power battle with) was pushed out as Chief Executive.

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Fragile Allegiance

Inevitably, by that stage even Roman seemed to have become bored with Arnesen's manoeuvrings. The club were allegedly sounding out Txiki Begiristain as a potential replacement and on 27 November 2010 Frank Arnesen announced his intention to leave the club at the end of the season (rumours suggest he was given little choice in the matter). Before then however, by January 2011, he had effectively already been eased out and both Forde and Emenalo began to take on an increasing influence.

So; compare this saga to Jose's situation now. He is not coming into his new management role having been promised wide-ranging powers. He is coming into a club with an established backroom team which has apparently been doing its job fairly effectively for over two years. In addition, he will not, as things stand, be appointed with one job description and then have that job description systematically stripped, adapted and undermined by new appointments with overlapping roles.

More importantly, both Emenalo and Forde - along with other key figures like Marina Granovskaia and Eugene Tenenbaum - appear to be unwavering Abramovich-loyalists as opposed to established football figures with previously forged alliances and a tendency towards empire building and extending their influence. There is no reason to think that Mourinho can't work in this context. In fact he may find it very refreshing that he doesn't have to navigate through the political jungle of power blocs and Dutch and Russian - and Portuguese - factions this time. Instead, he can work with a club that seems more coherent and stable (at least behind the scenes) than at any time since Roman first took over in summer 2003.

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Part 3: The rise of Emenalo and the good things

In July 2011, when he was appointed, Emenalo explained the recruitment process as follows:

'The final decisions about who comes in and who doesn't will be the manager's to make but to arrive at that stage there will be a lot of working together and I would imagine I will be part of that process of working together to make that happen.'

Two important points can be taken from this. One: that the final decision regarding recruitment still lies with the manager (at least the permanent ones).

And Two: that leading up to that decision point, there is a process which involves a number of people, including the Technical Director. This is essential to understand: player recruitment at Chelsea is a collective process, not the remit of an all-powerful individual whether that is an old-style manager like some people would prefer, or alternatively an individual Technical Director. The former approach is a very English, some would say, 'old fashioned' approach to recruitment. Across the continent it is expected that crucial decisions about signing up such high earners should be agreed collectively. Better decisions are arrived at this way - especially for a club like Chelsea with an historically high turnover of managers.

Interestingly, despite the prevailing mythology of Roman buying players over the current manager's head, this collective approach with the manager having the final say has been in place for a very long time. Even going back to Claudio Ranieri's short reign under Roman, Bruce Buck stated:

'The process is that Mr A and Mr Ranieri and the directors and the chief executive of course consult on what is appropriate or what is necessary and what is desirable'.

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Later, when Frank Arnesen first joined the club the Times outlined the limits of Arnesen's role:

'Arnesen, 48, will pinpoint players to sign, but any potential transfers would be pursued only after consultation with Mourinho and the board'.

And even Roman himself explained the process in a rare interview from 2006:

"I cannot say I'm completely not involved in buying players, but my role would be significantly lower than that of the manager's. You cannot compare them. To give an example, this would be an impossible situation when a manager does not want a player to be bought and I try to impose ideas. It would not work." Even Shevchenko? 'Any player, Shevchenko included', Roman confirmed.

In fact, even after Ray Wilkins had been sacked (and perhaps had good reason to be unhappy at the way the club conducted its business) he categorically denied that the manager is excluded from these decisions. He said:

"In the time that I was on the coaching staff, it was always the coach that selected the players. "I know for a fact that Carlo wanted Fernando Torres and David Luiz so Mr Abramovich went out and got them".

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Crucially, it is clear that the club's collective approach to recruitment now involves Mike Forde, whose role albeit low profile to the point of invisibility, is critical. On paper, Forde looks to be Emenalo's boss although this has never quite been confirmed. Even if the two just work alongside each other it is clear that Emenalo's team of scouts interact closely with Forde's 'psychological, medical and performance profiling of new players' including the 'cutting edge use of quantitative data to present the club with positive recruitment choices'. As Forde states:

"As it's become a more data-rich environment, the recruitment process has become less risky because you've got data points to compare apples with apples."

He has also been quoted saying that:

"99% of player recruitment is who you don't buy"

So while it seems clear that no player should ever be purchased solely on the basis of a statistical analysis, that same process can be very effective at filtering out unsuitable players.

Surprisingly, perhaps the best summary of the Director of Football role (which at Chelsea appears to be shared between Forde and Emenalo) that I have seen came from Lee Congerton who used to work under Arnesen at Chelsea and who is now with him at Hamburg. Last year he explained that there is a misconception about the role:

"I think it is frowned upon a lot in Englandbecause the managers don't really understand what the role is. InEnglandit's perceived that the sporting or technical director is signing players that he wants to play in the team. But we don't bring a player here that the coach doesn't want - ultimately he has to play them in the team. What we do is try to minimise the risk, so that we know the player and gather detailed information on them because the coach also has to understand that the sporting director has a responsibility to the organisation."

To illustrate his point Congerton runs through the process behind signing the Latvian striker Artjoms Rudnevs from Lech Poznan this month. Statistics have become more important in recruitment and Rudnevs' numbers, sourced from a database of 10,000 European players, were "exceptionally high".

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Arnesen and Lee Congerton at Hamburg.

The next stage is to view video clips and, if Congerton likes what he sees, as was the case with Rudnevs, a scout will go to watch the player and compile a dossier listing everything from language skills to alcohol consumption. Congerton and Arnesen finally travelled in person to see Rudnevs in action before discussing the merits of signing the player with the manager, Thorsten Fink.

EDITORS NOTE: Frank Arnesen has today been SACKED by Hamburg SV.

At Chelsea, there is strong evidence that this current approach to recruitment is working well despite the widespread whingeing amongst fans about the malign influence of Emenalo (interestingly, Forde's role is rarely mentioned despite him being the nominal head of player recruitment).

For clarity, here are the facts; since Emenalo and Forde both assumed their current roles in July 2011, the club has spent just under £170m on 18 first team players (and first team prospects) and, taking a cursory look, only Marko Marin (£6.5m) and Ulises Davila (£1.8m) are probably worth less now than when Chelsea bought them. All of the other players have appreciated in value - some very significantly (including Courtois, Lukaku, Mata, Cahill, De Bruyne, Thorgan Hazard and Azpilicueta).

This is a remarkable success rate - especially compared with the club's historically patchy record of recruitment - and it is proof that the current approach is working. That said, perhaps the club's strategy on loaning players and balancing the squad still needs further improvement (or perhaps it just needs to be explained better). Maybe it needs the added influence of a strong manager?

So, what does Jose have to fear from working with Emenalo and Forde? Nothing. Or at least nothing substantial.

It is very important that the three quickly establish a constructive working relationship. But, assuming they can, Jose will find himself working with individuals who may not have had a substantial track record before they came to Chelsea but who have absolutely made their mark since then with a superbly performing Academy and, as noted above, a highly effective approach to player recruitment. At the same time, in Michael Emenalo, Jose will be working alongside a Roman loyalist who appears to have no ambitions to extend his power at the club by limiting or encroaching on the power of the manager. At the same time, Emenalo can really help Jose by acting as that crucial buffer between a combustible manager and an easily disillusioned owner. On paper it should work. In reality, no one knows.

Jose could blow-up unexpectedly, Roman could parachute another obscure coach in as an all-powerful Director of Football and push Emenalo and Forde aside, or we could be introduced to an entirely new scenario in the soap-opera.

As we know, Chelsea has unpredictability in its blood. But, at the moment, the signs look good.

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Thanks for posting this.

Its a complicated matter to understand from the outside, but this article helps to see more clear.

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Good article, I like the fact where they say "out of all the signings emenalo has made, only marin and Ulises davila have reduced in market value"

If that's not success, I don't know what is.

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I don't like it right away because at the beginning it says the vast majority of supporters don't even know what he does, yet it's a supporter writing this article and thus the exact same could be applied to him. What an assumption for him to make. But after reading on -

We're not headless chickens who know nothing about football and Emenalo is not a bloody scapegoat. Just because you point out the flaws in an U12 Girls Coach trying to lead transfers at one of the biggest clubs in world football doesn't mean he's a scapegoat. Gourlay gets equal berating from supporters but regarding different issues. But of course Big Ron isn't a scapegoat is he? :clown:

I think what some of us fans say has more substance regarding the issue because we just say what we do know/presume, where-as this guy is writing as if he's on the Chelsea board and knows Emenalo's role inside out :wank2:

Much like Torres, arguably Mikel depending on who you ask, Bosingwa at the time and so-on, just because someone's at the club for a long period of time doesn't mean they're magically void of flaw and the people keeping them at the club are right :clown:

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Decently researched articles and the fact is that 'the board' were getting a ton of shit earlier in the season. For whatever reason, people thought that Emenalo's face just didn't fit at this club and there were people calling for a 'football man' to come in and take over (Hiddink was the popular choice for no reason other than he was Guus Hiddink - there were no reasons connected to his ability to do this particular job, a job that a lot of people don't seem to understand).

Yet if you look at the areas that this bloke oversees then we're actually moving in the right direction. Before this bloke took over, we were spending £6 million and about £80k p/w in wages on Yossi Benayoun. That's a transfer that we actually made.

Now we're a much more streamlined, focused operation focusing on acquiring players with tremendous potential but then actually placing them at clubs where they can properly develop that potential. This season we had more than 20 youngsters out on loan at various times and there's not many you could say were a waste of time.

We've also become tougher in contract negotiations, seeking value at every turn be it the contracts offered to new players like Mata or the ones offered to established legends like Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard.

Did we go overboard in trimming the fat this year? Possibly in regards players like Meireles, which resulted in a lack of squad depth but this was a period of transition that we'll be better for next season and we still managed to jump three places in the league.

My view on him is the same as it was earlier in the season, that it's too early to judge him in this role. But things look to be moving in the right direction and a lot of the kneejerk vitriole that was aimed at him and Gourlay earlier in the season seems to have subsided as those fans are distracted by new, shinier things like the prospect of Jose returning. If we can combine the policy of looking to younger players with a proper league title challenge then this guy has a very promising future at the club.

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Yeah great article.

It has been my view that emanolo has been doing a great job.

His acquisition speaks for themselves.

Such great and skills people should NOT have problems with other skills people like Mourinho.

If indeed Mourinho does have problems with them then Mourinho is a lunatic and not good for our club.

But I don't think this will be the case.

Mourinho will also be a bit more political in his manner of behavior, cause he now knows there is no better place for him then Chelsea.

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I don't like it right away because at the beginning it says the vast majority of supporters don't even know what he does, yet it's a supporter writing this article and thus the exact same could be applied to him. What an assumption for him to make. But after reading on -

We're not headless chickens who know nothing about football and Emenalo is not a bloody scapegoat. Just because you point out the flaws in an U12 Girls Coach trying to lead transfers at one of the biggest clubs in world football doesn't mean he's a scapegoat. Gourlay gets equal berating from supporters but regarding different issues. But of course Big Ron isn't a scapegoat is he? :clown:

I think what some of us fans say has more substance regarding the issue because we just say what we do know/presume, where-as this guy is writing as if he's on the Chelsea board and knows Emenalo's role inside out :wank2:

Much like Torres, arguably Mikel depending on who you ask, Bosingwa at the time and so-on, just because someone's at the club for a long period of time doesn't mean they're magically void of flaw and the people keeping them at the club are right :clown:

Why should him being a supporter diminish the quality or validity of the article? The fact is that most Chelsea fans don't know what Emenalo or his predecessors roles are/were. Of course you could apply the same purported ignorance to the writer, but you'd hard pushed to do so given the fact he's produced a fairly informed article with researched sources to boot.

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I don't like it right away because at the beginning it says the vast majority of supporters don't even know what he does, yet it's a supporter writing this article and thus the exact same could be applied to him. What an assumption for him to make. But after reading on -

We're not headless chickens who know nothing about football and Emenalo is not a bloody scapegoat. Just because you point out the flaws in an U12 Girls Coach trying to lead transfers at one of the biggest clubs in world football doesn't mean he's a scapegoat. Gourlay gets equal berating from supporters but regarding different issues. But of course Big Ron isn't a scapegoat is he? :clown:

I think what some of us fans say has more substance regarding the issue because we just say what we do know/presume, where-as this guy is writing as if he's on the Chelsea board and knows Emenalo's role inside out :wank2:

Much like Torres, arguably Mikel depending on who you ask, Bosingwa at the time and so-on, just because someone's at the club for a long period of time doesn't mean they're magically void of flaw and the people keeping them at the club are right :clown:

What are his flaws then Leif? Kindly point them out to us?

As the article says, most people's criticism on him was that he wasn't an elite footballer or footballing person and that he should be dismissed because the only coaching experience he had was coaching an under 12 girls football team. Which aren't actually flaws - he's worked his way to his position and people were disgruntled about it for no reason.

Again, I reiterate, what are his actual flaws when it comes to being a technical director if you'd like to point them out?

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Good articles. I agree that signings recently have had a more observant eye cast over them, and he's got a degree of credit for that. How much exactly, I don't know. I think that he can co-exist with Jose there. It appears they do too lol

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This sounds like Moneyball ;)

I hope Forde has some data mining skills and isn't using Football Manager like all the other clubs ;)

That would be beastly for our future and maybe we can sign some wonder kids ;)

Lets see what the summer brings ;)

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LMAO the funniest comment against Emenalo I've ever heard is that: Mikel's only here because Emenalo's Nigerian too. :lol2: :lol2: :lol2:

yeah, its false, because emenalo nothing to do when mikel came to this club

but, maybe 5 years deal contract :ph34r:, because i know, benitez will not give that , then who if not emenalo ? and why he think mikel so much worthed to keep for that long :halo:

but i think oscar is prime example, why i appreciate emenalo work

because scout department which he lead, can spot this potential talent, when no team have no big interest

and convince the club to bring oscar here, even with big money

also, our great prospect with de bruyne and courtois, who probably will have a chance to really become part of our first team

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yeah, its false, because emenalo nothing to do when mikel came to this club

but, maybe 5 years deal contract :ph34r:, because i know, benitez will not give that , then who if not emenalo ? and why he think mikel so much worthed to keep for that long :halo:

..all because he's Nigerian, right? LMAO. I love how you think Rafa even had a say! Did Rafa have a say in singing Demba Ba? Of course not! Did Di Matteo have a say in the acquisition of Oscar?!

Urgh, I can't be asked actually..

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