Arsene Wenger ridiculed the idea that Arsenal will not undergo fundamental re-structuring in the summer in his Southampton pre-match conference.
Arsenal have been reported to be on the lookout for a sporting director who could help with running things off the pitch, particularly on the transfer front, and a host of names have come up among which former Arsenal stars and experienced sporting directors such as Michael Zorc and Monchi, who is now at Roma.
Arsenal have failed to keep a number of key players and attract world-class quality to the club since previous sporting director David Dein left the club in 2007. Wenger also seems to have lost his scouting network in France, but despite the success with Dein on the passenger seat, Wenger thinks such role is unnecessary.
He said earlier: “No. I don’t know what director of football means. Is it 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 am not prepared to talk about that. I’m the manager of Arsenal Football Club and as long as I’m the manager of Arsenal football Club, I will decide what happens on the technical front. That’s it.”
It is understood that there is internal strife at Arsenal, with chief executive Ivan Gazidis believed to be pushing for change – creating a new sporting director role being one of the changes – and this might make Wenger feel like a vote of no confidence for him or that he is under threat of losing a chunk of his power at Arsenal.
Gazidis is thought to have become fed up with the lack of success on the pitch following the club’s move to the Emirates in 2006. The divide which started with the departure of David Dein has lasted for over 10 years now. But while the Emirates gave the Gunners hope in the following years to 2006, boiling point will be reached this season should Arsenal fail to get top four or win the FA Cup. The divide seems deeper than ever.