The ‘catalyst for change’ talk is hotting up. Wenger is being lured out to battle with provocative leaks to the press and he’s biting, exposing himself as an old tyrant unprepared to change. The latest issue he’s taking upset with is Matt Law’s leak that Arsenal are tapping up Dortmund’s Michael Zorc about the non-existent DoF role at Arsenal.
“I don’t know what director of football means,”
“It is somebody who stands in the road and directs play right and left? I don’t understand and I never did understand what it means.”
“No, no, no. Sorry, no. I’m not prepared to talk about that,” he said. “I’m the manager of Arsenal football club and as long as I’m manager of Arsenal football club I will decide what happens on the technical front. That’s it.”
I LOVE THESE COMMENTS.
What Ivan G and Mark G have achieved here is to expose the manager as a guy who is all talk. Literally, one result against a bland United team more interested in Europa league and he’s puffing his chest out like he just dropped the treble.
His three at the back was a mild effort to convince people he has the chops to be a different kind of manager. The real Arsene Wenger is the guy above.
Just to explain what a DoF does.
Usually, they are the overlord of club on the technical front. They’ll look after the infrastructure that sits outside the manager’s role. The idea being that the DOF works for the CEO, he’ll make sure the club has the best medical team, he’ll make sure the coaching staff are all of the right caliber outside the managers pocket of trust lieutenants that might amount to 2. They’ll often look after buying in player talent, working with the manager to identify what they need, then working with their own network of scouts to make it happen.
Basically, all the weak parts of Wenger’s ailing game could be somewhat bandaged up by a DoF. The benefit of a world class DoF is that the power at the club doesn’t sit solely on the manager, it means you don’t get into a situation where it’s an old boys club (Roy Kean famously hired a shit ton of backroom staff at Ipswich to make it harder to fire him), it means you can keep the staff fresh and it means the manager can focus on doing one job… winning games. Pretty much every major club in the world operates some form of this system. Ancelotti insists on working with one. Juventus, Dortmund, Bayern, Madrid, Chelsea, Barca and PSG all have one. It’s not a fancy weird thing, it’s just how properly run clubs operate.
Ivan should call the bluff of the manager. He should tell him that this season has been poor and he wants to see a presentation of how things are going to change next year. Compare that to a presentation from a Zorc, Ragnick and Overmars… then see how it measures up. Ask questions about recruitment strategy, footballing philosophy, identification of weaknesses in the backroom team, recommendations for advancing the medical set up, ask him how he’d use technology to improve understanding of performance, structural approach… all the question he can’t answer.
Think what you like about me wanting Wenger gone, but be real here, this is a dinosaur of a man who is so stale, he’s starting to disintegrate in the wind. He has no right to land grab, because he has no vision for the club he can articulate.
‘The next level is the next level’
That’s not a vision, that’s an obfuscation. His carry on here is so embarrassing for him, but also for the club. He’s showing very little respect for mess he’s caused this year, and he’s showing zero readiness to change. It just wouldn’t be tolerated at any club of any level, anywhere else in the world.
Going into next season with Wenger will end in him getting the sack, that’s clear as day for me. Martin Keown slagging off Ozil and Sanchez in the press is noble, because he’s right, those two have been a disgrace in the back end of the season… but the bigger picture here is the manager can’t motivate his best players, nor keep them. That’s all on Wenger.
This press chat, along with the Jardim talk, is strategic and it clearly has substance.
The catalyst for change machine is whirring behind the scenes ready to kick up to gear 5 if Stan pulls the trigger and moves Wenger on.
Will it happen? Who knows, but remember, it ain’t over until it’s over.