Josh Kroenke and Edu’s new Arsenal roles depicted in missed behind the scenes glimpse – Tom Canton


The Arsenal hierarchy has experienced significant change over the course of the last half-decade in which Arsene Wenger stepped down as manager after 22 years at the helm.

The majority shareholders at the time KSE, headed up by Stan Kroenke, bought out the other Arsenal shareholders and took full control of the club. Ivan Gazidis left, as did Sven Mislintat, Raul Sanhelli, Huss Fahmy and influential recruiter Francis Cagigao.

Arsenal brought in Edu as technical director, Vinai Venkatesham assumed a much more senior executive role and Tim Lewis joined the board to be a more concrete link between the occurrences within the club and the ownership.

Presently, after two back-to-back eighth-place league finishes, the club is looking to arrest their slide and build towards a more successful future both on and off the field.

The Super League fiasco left the club and the ownership in particular in even greater disparity with the fanbase.

A lot has changed since then and the summer transfer window brought with it great encouragement as the six signings that were made have all had a significant impact.

What however was interesting was an image shared during Aaron Ramsdale’s unveiling at the club. The image taken captured not just the traditional image of manager Mikel Arteta and Edu with the player, but Josh Kroenke, Venkatesham and new head of football operations Richard Garlick were also present.



Aaron Ramsdale pictured signing for Arsenal in the presence of Josh Kroenke, Vinai Venkatesham, Mikel Arteta, Edu and Richard Garlick.
Aaron Ramsdale pictured signing for Arsenal in the presence of Josh Kroenke, Vinai Venkatesham, Mikel Arteta, Edu and Richard Garlick.

The image provided a glimpse into the new dynamic at the club and symbolised a feeling of encouragement that the change occurring will be for the benefit of the club.

Josh Kroenke, who has assumed the role of being the face of the Arsenal ownership, was pictured at the centre of the image in front of the gold Arsenal badge which sits behind all contractual signing photos.

Josh recently conducted yet another interview with Sky Sports in which he spoke determinedly about the club’s future and met with the recently created Arsenal Fan Advisory Board. An attempt to get greater fan feedback on the processes of the club from a predominantly off-field standpoint.

Vinai Venkatesham was present at the Fan Forum after the Super League fiasco and has fronted much of the blame for the club’s actions earlier this year alongside Josh.

Arsenal have recently announced commercial partnerships such as their collaboration with Socios.com, which is described as a way to ‘bring fans closer to the club.’

The club has gone out into the community in the wake of the pandemic to support local businesses with promotion involving the players. Venkatesham’s work on the commercial side of things is sure to have been an influence in these decisions.



Richard Garlick joined Arsenal this year and was a key part of the recruitment team in the summer.
Richard Garlick joined Arsenal this year and was a key part of the recruitment team in the summer.

Richard Garlick, pictured to the left of Josh Kroenke in the Ramsdale image, recently conducted an interview where he spoke of his role at the club from transfers in the men’s team to the contractual discussions in the women’s senior group.

He interestingly highlighted how the summer business he was involved in nearly saw a perfect execution of the plan.

“The first-team plan was executed very well, I’d say 90 to 95 per cent of what we wanted to do got done. It was a difficult market, but we had a plan and we stuck to it.



Arsenal were able to sign six players such as Nuno Tavares and renew the contracts of several first-team players like Emile Smith Rowe.
Arsenal were able to sign six players such as Nuno Tavares and renew the contracts of several first-team players like Emile Smith Rowe.

“We have got a lot of good people behind the scenes at the club. They are very diligent, very professional, very hard-working so it all came together well in the end.”

Bookending the image are Arteta and Edu. The pair have seen increased confidence from more supporters throughout the season thanks to a recent ten-game unbeaten run and the aforementioned success of the six signings made in the summer.

They stand on the outside, exposed to the criticism from the fan base as the most regular public figures in the team. It will be them that are ultimately judged based on the season’s outcome and rightly stand up regularly to questioning.



Mikel Arteta and Edu's work on recruitment has changed the club this season and they will hope to achieve similar success in the future.
Mikel Arteta and Edu’s work on recruitment has changed the club this season and they will hope to achieve similar success in the future.

The image is fronted by Aaron Ramsdale. A signing that was doubted so loudly by the fan base that the player restricted comments on his Instagram as hundreds of so-called supporters sent vile abuse in an attempt to convince him not to sign for the club.

His performances have proven them all wrong, vindicating both Arteta and Edu’s work in the window and representing a change in recruitment strategy to add not only more youth to the squad but homegrown talent from rival English clubs.

The club still has much to do to convince the masses that The Arsenal is indeed on the right path, but there are encouraging signs. Now it is on the manager and players to continue the good work and progress towards their goals for the season.

Much can still occur to halt that progression and come the end of the season, the feeling may be very different. The defeat to Liverpool was a grounding experience and how the team reacts to that will determine much about the character of this group and its leaders.

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