Wenger dismisses Director of Football talk
Written by Simon Austin — May 9, 2017
ARSENE WENGER has completely dismissed the possibility of working with a Director of Football so long as he is at Arsenal.
Wenger’s contract expires at the end of this season and it is unclear whether or not he is staying. But he has made it clear that if he does stay, there will be no restructuring on the football side of the club without his approval.
“No, no, no. Sorry, no,” he said. I’m not prepared to talk about that. 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.”
Chief executive Ivan Gazidis has said this season - in which the Gunners face the realistic prospect of missing out on Champions League football for the first time under Wenger - must act as the “catalyst for change”.
The American is looking at restructuring the football side of the business, which could include the appointment of a Director of Football, or Sporting Director. But Wenger mocked: “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.”
Wenger play away at Southampton on Wednesday. They are six points behind fourth-placed Manchester City and have an inferior goal difference, although they do have a game in hand.
Some of the confusion about the Director of Football role has involved terminology. Dr Dan Parnell, who leads research on the Master of Sport Directorship course at Manchester Metropolitan University, told TGG: "There has been some confusion about the role and I think a big reason is the title.
"This can shift from Director of Football to Technical Director to Performance Director. Many profess to know exactly what a Sporting Director should do, but often the specification is designed and developed ‘on the job’."