Strategic leaks luring vulnerable Wenger onto the battle field

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Things are hotting up, if you’re read the narrative I laid out the other day, things are getting interesting.

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.”


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.

Fingers crossed…

204 Responses to “Strategic leaks luring vulnerable Wenger onto the battle field”

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  1. Bamford10

    “Dick Law has said that AW “has strong backing from the board, strong support from the fans”. Shows how out of touch people at the club are.”
    – @BlackScarfAFC

    Hard to know how to read Law’s comments here.

  2. Bamford10

    “Manchester City are believed to be leading the race to sign Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez.” – @BBCSport

  3. Marko

    Exactly Guns. You want 15 million for Xabi Alonso? Done. 40 million for Suarez not enough? How about 50 million? Instead what we had was no we’re not budging on 10 million for Xabi Alonso and we’re going no further than 40 million and one for Suarez.

    Ridiculous reasoning for not wanting a DOF. Again the worst is the players we’ve not even tried for over the years. Things might of (likely more so) been so much different. Instead we’ve got a manager who sits on his hands and knees until August before signing players and never competes

  4. Leedsgunner

    This talk of Director of Football is just a shallow PR exercise from the Board to show that things are changing when they are not.

    Even if I cut the Board some slack hiring a DOF with Wenger still at the helm is just a watery compromise because they lack the strength to fire Wenger.

    Just fire the man. He has shown this season that despite having spent £90m last summer, he is not good enough.

    Firing Wenger and hiring a dynamic forward thinking coach is the best chance we have of keeping our best players like Sanchez.

    If we truly cannot afford to pay Sanchez and Özil what they are worth on the open market, than we cannot afford to give Wenger a new contract.

    To say we cannot afford Sanchez and Özil but in the same breath give Wenger a new contract, is dishonest in the extreme and treating the fans with utter contempt.

    We cannot afford to lose Sanchez and to keep Wenger if this club is to move forward.

  5. Guns of Hackney


    I’ve said it a million times…allegedly Wenger has a doctorate in economics. Has anyone fact checked this? Because his economics suck. Big time.

    Suerez could have won us the league. Even if he didn’t we could have made £30+m on the deal to Barca. So, paying £45m…£50m gets you, potentially a league win = cash or at worse, a cheeky £30m profit. Either way, it highlights how utterly naff his so called economics are.

    Don’t even get me started on the £13m diaby made out of Arsenal for 9 games a season.

    Socialist wage structure!!!! Arggghhhhhh!!!!

  6. Samesong

    “Manchester City are believed to be leading the race to sign Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez.” – @BBCSport

    I said this awhile ago Sanchez will go to Citeh. And people were saying he would never go there.

  7. Marko

    Leeds don’t even have to fire the man just don’t give him a new contract and let’s move forward.

    I still have a feeling he’s gone purely because of everything that’s gone on this season I can’t see how they justify giving him a new deal. I just can’t see it. The criticism, the protests, the lack of ambitions after spending 90 million and most importantly the players clearly aren’t playing for him anymore. That’s all gotta count for something

  8. Marko

    Guns don’t forget the kind of wages we paid the likes of Djourou and Denilson and co for years. And you know that culture of rewarding bang average/injury ravaged players with new contracts that’s existed at the club for years? Shows no signs of stopping. Walcott 140,000 a week, Giroud a 100,000 a week, new contracts for Santi (32?) and Mertesacker and also sure why not give Jack fucking Wilshere a new deal sure he’s got a fractured leg right now but he had that one good game against Barcelona years ago and that’s something.

    Also paid Park Chu Young for nothing andstill 4 years later have Sanogo at the club for some reason.

    What is actually wrong with this club.

  9. Micheal

    The DoF leaks are carefully choreographed bullshit designed to reinforce Gazidis’s position. He is under-performing as much as Wenger. Personally I think they should both go.
    Gazidis has done nothing during his long reign as CEO to suggest he is capable of restoring our club. Making life very difficult for Wenger by imposing a DoF just concretes the position of Gazidis himself.
    Does anyone here seriously believe our football club would operate better under the guidance of Gazidis ? Look at his overall performance for christ’s sake.
    Naturally I am open to persuasion from Pedro and others that Gazidis is totally misunderstood and a messiah waiting for the opportunity to rescue us from the current mess. But I will not be holding my breath.
    Get of Wenger. And get rid of Gazidis, too.

  10. Leedsgunner

    “Don’t even get me started on the £13m diaby made out of Arsenal for 9 games a season.”

    Ahh, Abou Diaby… the most expensive gym goer in human history.

    The player that the club could afford to keep on its books for years and years despite hardly playing….

    ….whilst at the same time the club says we cannot afford Alexis’ new contract.

    Yeah right.

  11. Guns of Hackney


    Honestly, if you looked at some of the deals and wages etc we’ve paid to these types over the years, it would make you sick. I picked out diaby but could have done Wilshere, Denilson, Chamack, Almunia or Bendtner. Hundreds of thousands a week, millions every season.

    If you do the numbers on Diaby for wages v games, he’s up there with how much Messi or Ronaldo gets paid…pro rata.

    We can compete, could compete and will compete if we actually get someone in who understands money. £200m in the bank? Burn it. 0% interest rate means exactly that…it makes nothing in the bank.

  12. Leedsgunner

    G of H

    Jenkinson, Debuchy, Sanogo… and add to that list Perez. Every time Lucas has come on, he has looked bright but he has been sidelined — why? Why buy a player if you are going to ignore him?

  13. Champagne charlie

    “If we come down to the manager, his responsibility is operating every area in football,” he said. “The logistics report to him, first-team coaches, strength and conditioning, medical team and psychology [departments] all report to the manager.

    The area that I manage is called football operations. My job is to help the CEO and manager, in conjunction with the contract team, with squad planning, contract negotiations, negotiations with agents, player transfers, either in or out of the club, and coordination with the Arsenal academy.” – Dick Law speaking at the Somos Futebol event

    There you have it. The talk of a DoF as some alternative bollocks is exactly that, we have a guy charged with all the apparent responsibilities. He’s simply fucking useless.

  14. Marko

    “Don’t even get me started on the £13m diaby made out of Arsenal for 9 games a season.”Ahh, Abou Diaby… the most expensive gym goer in human history.

    Wilshere’s gonna beat him. Mark my words

  15. Champagne charlie

    “Absolutely no problem with a DoF having power over signings, provided:
    – he is a “football man” who is just as intelligent football-wise as the manager
    – he and the manager are on the same page
    – he signs players for footballing reasons, not marketing reasons”

    Such a utopian view. Any time someone other than the manager has say to buy players means there will be conflict. This is exactly what Wenger is rejecting at Arsenal while he’s here and I totally support that. By all means recommendations and dealings can be done, but the final say must always be the manager.

  16. Marko

    Interesting spin there Charlie. But when you have Wenger involved in every aspect of signing and negotiations of players when he dithers and does nothing how can someone like Dick Law sign players? You’re still not making an argument for not needing a DOF or that we already have one in Law you’re still shedding light on the fact everything goes through Wenger and when he does nothing for two months of the summer transfer window and only signs players in August that it speaks volumes of how the club is run. I mean Dick Law has useless as he is still only does what Arsene tells him to do. Can’t you see that?

  17. Marko

    This is exactly what Wenger is rejecting at Arsenal while he’s here and I totally support that.

    So more of the same? A new deal and all that. My question is if every other major elite and well run club in Europe has a DOF and for the most part it works and they compete for trophies and players (how is it possible) why can’t we? Or how can you honestly justify keeping with how things are run now? You’re a damn sycophant.

  18. Champagne charlie


    Uhm no mate I’m simply stating how the current operations are. YOU on the other hand are inventing facts and acting like you have some insider knowledge – because the way you present things is clearly to smear Wenger.

    If he is the one at fault he deserves the blame, just stunning that you’re able to avoid fact and instead leap to that conclusion as if all things wrong with Arsenal can be traced back to Wenger. It’s a pathetic outlook too many share on here.

    Ian wright stated as much that he’s heard Dick Law has been constantly fucking up. Guessing you have closer links to Arsenal though mate yea?

  19. Marko

    A utopian view. City, Chelsea, United, Real, Barcelona, Atletico, Bayern, Dortmund, PSG, Juventus. How do they all do it. And before you start mentioning the fact that say United are shite these days or that City have spent a fuck tonne of money and are 4th it’s worth pointing out these teams compete for league and European titles whereas in our set up we compete for mediocrity. No league challenge in 13 years and counting. Who needs change

  20. Champagne charlie

    “So more of the same? A new deal and all that.”

    Yea that’s what I meant when I said I support that all final decisions should the managers. And you call me out on spin? Lol

    “My question is if every other major elite and well run club in Europe has a DOF and for the most part it works and they compete for trophies and players (how is it possible) why can’t we? Or how can you honestly justify keeping with how things are run now? You’re a damn sycophant.”

    My answer was just to highlight all the jobs you think a DoF should do is under Dick Laws remit. I.e. We have that structure, we just have a shit guy doing it.

  21. Leedsgunner

    Before a DOF is brought in Wenger has to go. Unless it’s David Dein, any other DoF will be ignored and sidelined by Wenger.

  22. Barking Arsene

    Having a DoF (or whatever name you choose to give the position) is essential in this day and age.

    Dick Law is currently our DoF but isn’t fit for purpose, he certainly isn’t strong enough to deal with all the areas required of him.

    He isn’t a football man and therefore cannot challenge Wenger on too many issues.

    Wenger doesn’t want any outside input – this is an outdated viewpoint borne when football clubs were run as such. Many older people hold what we consider “outdated” views and this is one of them. Nobody can change Wenger now so the club have a decision to make.

    Personally I thought initially that Wenger was just taking the piss out of Gazidis a little with the “change” comment but this latest outburst comes across in a much more aggressive manner.

    Either Wenger knows he can go above Gazidis to Stan – or he is now expertly engineering a back story of how the board lack support/forced him out etc for when he “quits”

    It is a true football soap opera.

  23. Marko

    If he is the one at fault he deserves the blame, just stunning that you’re able to avoid fact

    You say he has final say on transfers yeah? And that’s how it should be right? So he decides on who we sign right? Stay with me here… so he is the one who decides to sign Park or Andre Santos or Kallstrom. And also because he’s the one who has final say he can be blamed for say going into the season with just two fit centre backs or only signing a goalkeeper one summer (#cohesion) or like last summer only signing up players in August after the season started with a defeat to Liverpool. I agree the current set up is solid

  24. Guns of Hackney

    I don’t think dein would come back and if he did, I think time has moved on. We need a totally new approach and fresh blood. Someone with no ties to the club so they aren’t hamstrung with the past or history. They can look at the club objectively. Dein is too closely linked to Arsene.

    Dare I say it, Arsenal need to be more European.

    Fresh approach with a fresh board. New manager. New players. New crowd. Oh fuck it, brand new club. Arsenal “The Revenge”

  25. Dream10

    More than a director of football. we need better early talent identification from our scouts. With the exception of Ozil and Sanchez (quality is evident), we have been recruiting Europa League level talent for a while. We need to identify talent earlier before they hit the mainstream and negotiate better.

  26. Champagne charlie


    That’s you in a nutshell mate, and frankly why commenting on here is a bore. Talking about the role of DoF and you’ve twisted it into some debate about Wenger.

    You’re beyond hope. Crack on

  27. Champagne charlie


    I hear you, but for me it’s ALL these things being talked about. People are so hell bent on chalking blame up to one guy at Arsenal it’s completely ignoring the reality that several departments are failing to provide us a “European elite” standard of practice.

    Scouting, technical aspects, and management have all conspired to amount to utter shite on the pitch with little to no idea of what’s to come.

  28. Marko

    Dick Laws not a DOF he’s a chief negotiator. He doesn’t for example compile lists of players for Wenger and goes out and signs players. He literally waits for Wenger to tell him to do something. He does part of a DOF’s job and poorly but some of the work of a DOF is still done by Wenger clearly. I mean how is this even up for discussion. Under the current structure that Wenger likes and refuses to change we absolutely fucking suck at signing and selling and negotiations of players and contracts. It’s not up for debate. What’s also not up for debate is everything goes through him. And with all that in mind why anyone would be against a proper DOF coming in and changing the structure is beyond me. The line about final say being with the manager no one’s denying that but the actual work needs a DOF

  29. Marko

    Dream it’s been said over the years we have identified young talent but take too long to move on the players. I mean we could of moved for Ronaldo back in the day etc etc he just dithers. Had Yaya Toure on trial didn’t sign him. Saw how good he was at Olympiakos and was linked with him for 2 summers and then he goes to Barcelona. Dithering

  30. Leedsgunner

    I agree with Charlie and Guns here. We need a complete overhaul at Arsenal — from top to bottom.

    The jettisoning of Arsene is just the beginning and the catalyst for change not the end. He must be the first domino to fall…

    Remember along with a new manager we have other key roles at the club which are sorely lacking and vacant including:

    Director of the Academy
    Head Scout
    Assistant Manager
    Goalkeeping Coach

  31. Marko

    Talking about the role of DoF and you’ve twisted it into some debate about Wenger.

    Yes because he’s taking on that role as well over the years you absolute melt and that’s what I’m arguing against.

    Question Charlie. Who do you blame for some of the signings (or lack thereof) that we’ve made over the years? Wenger or Law?

  32. Guns of Hackney

    Let’s not forget the other multi billionaire we have sitting there doing nothing. What’s stopping him putting in a cheeky billion bid for total control? Exactly. Everyone at Arsenal is on a gravy train and I doubt any of them want it to end.

    The board makes millions. Job done.
    The manager makes millions and gets to indulge in his fantasy. Job done.
    The players make millions for very little input. Job done.

    Everything Arsenal do is to protect Arsenal. No one wants this party to end.

  33. Marko

    Leeds a new manager always brings in his own staff so new coaches come in with the manager. A DOF could hire a chief scout and director of academy. I’d suggest whoever’s at Southampton or Everton they’ve a good set up

  34. Dream10

    Champagne Charlie

    Football moves quickly. It also doesn’t help that AW is the only football man at the top of the club. It seems like that is the way he likes it. It would be fine, but our point totals in the PL have regressed over the last couple of seasons.

    My main issue is we have a lot of 7/10 players who are getting their contracts renewed. Their presence means that there is a lack of squad space to add new players. Can’t another RB to bench young Hector when you’re paying over 100k to two other RBs in Debuchy,Jenkinson who don’t want to leave & take pay cuts. Arteta, Wilshere, Rosicky all kept on two or three years ago when they were all broken. Provides the illusion of depth. Can you sign two quality CMs when you have three injured CMs make close to a combined 300k a week & take up three squad spots? That’s all on AW.

  35. Marko

    Saying the structure and people in it isn’t working when Wenger has it set up like that and likes it that way is and then arguing that it’s their fault does no one else see how silly that argument is

  36. Leedsgunner

    “Who do you blame for some of the signings (or lack thereof) that we’ve made over the years? Wenger or Law?”

    I know what you are trying to get at Marko, but in a sense isn’t it irrelevant whose fault it is? It’s seems a little pointless.

    The main issue is we’ve missed key targets (who’ve gone on to be be WC players) we are missing key targets now (because of the present chaos at the club) and we will continue to miss key targets (because the whole football world can see we are not serious about winning the biggest trophies anymore.)

  37. Guns of Hackney

    Dream 10

    Thank you!

    It’s always better to have 16 fit, bullet proof players than 25 broken bits of rubbish. Look at Leicester. The smallest squad ever but they pretty much played every game with the same team. Obviously a bit of luck, but it goes to show.

    Messi and Ronaldo are only the best because they hardly ever get injured. For their £400k pw week, you get 60 goals a season, millions of shirt sales, bums on seats and tv going out their way to get you on. That £400k pw is chump change.

  38. SpanishDave

    Wengers showing himself up as the dictator he is.
    He’s got the club by the balls but if they remove the contract he has to go.
    They don’t need to fire him his contract ends in one month.
    He has enjoyed complete power for so long he won’t let go, and the board are useless. The board cannot offer him a role as dof as he has shown his hand in that he doesn’t believe such a person exists!

  39. Guns of Hackney


    I know Stan doesn’t have to or want to…but if I’m usmanov, I’m putting in a tester bid to see how things are going on behind the scenes.

    Things just aren’t right anywhere at The Arsenal. I heard that the tea is a bit rubbish as well. Shambles.

  40. Park Chu-young's left testicle

    I heard that the tea is a bit rubbish as well. Shambles.

    Wenger chooses the tea bags.

    Can we please forget about David Dein. He is yesterdays man and 73 years old.

  41. AFC1974

    I think this is all about values.

    What are our values as a football club (since Stan took over)?

    There cannot be enough of a chasm (yet) between our current status quo and our perceived values because if there was, everybody would be on the same page.

    For me, this is quite revealing. Ergo, Stan is not concerned enough. It’s a gnat bite not a wasp sting. But it’s swelling. Slowly, but surely.

    And when we change, make no mistake we will, our club structure will have to change to incorporate the likes of DOF etc. Accountability will be a buzz word that echoes around the Emirates.

    We have been left behind. It’s like driving down the motorway with your Dad at the wheel and a newer, faster, efficient car goes rushing by and you just wish your Dad would lay to rest all his emotional attachment to the car that used to be the latest thing on the road.

    And to all those that say ‘be careful what you wish for’ are we not there already?

    I certainly didn’t wish for this.

  42. Guns of Hackney


    If Arsenal were a car, it’s wheels have fallen off and it’s sitting in a lay by.

  43. Barking Arsene

    The club needs an overhaul from top to bottom in my opinion, but the first thing that MUST be addressed is Wenger.

    The board don’t even need to sack him – he is out of contract.

    Once that happens we then get to see what the rest of the board/owners are made of.

    We get to find out if they are forward thinking or if they are just content to continue as a sound investment in a sports league with revenue like no other.

    I’m confident we will improve post Wenger regardless, but still feel as though the club will be held back by its owner in the long run.

    I’m not happy with the silence from above, I don’t think Gazidis is strong enough and I doubt Kronke is ambitious enough. I do however feel they need to prove this post Wenger.

    If they sign him up again then we have our answer instantly.

  44. Marko

    but in a sense isn’t it irrelevant whose fault it is? It’s seems a little pointless.

    Not pointless if we offer a new deal to the person responsible for the current set up.

    Also Alexis Aguero swap??? Nah. Honestly. I’d take Sane and some money though

  45. S Asoa

    Your Comment Here
    For one , I’ll never say things such as
    ” YOU on the other hand are inventing facts and acting like you have some insider knowledge – because the way you present things is clearly to smear Wenger.”

    as if have filial blind devotion to Wenger as if am his illegitimate son or stooge .

  46. Ashley

    If Wenger himself says he won’t work with a DOF whilst he is manager , then we can’t be calling dick law a DOF or thinking he has the same clout as one

  47. Tonyd

    I guess we all need to know if it’s all smoke and mirrors from Gazidis and above, especially Law’s comments.

    Our prayers will or won’t be answered by the end of the month.

    Yesterday I felt more positive but today not so sure.

    Just hoping the Ground Hog days are going to be over.

    Strange we have a match tonight and no one is talking about it.