January 28, 2022

Arsene Wenger rubbishes talk of Arsenal appointing director of football

May 9, 2017

•'As long as I am the manager I will decide what happens'

Former Arsenal winger Marc Overmars is one of the names tipped to fill that potential role

ARSENE Wenger has ridiculed the role of the director of football and ruled out any chance of such an appointment being made at Arsenal as long as he is the manager.

‘No,’ replied Wenger, when asked if there were any plans to introduce a director of football as part of a restructuring process at the Emirates Stadium.

‘Director of football? I don’t know what it means. Is it someone who stands on the road and directs play right and left? I’ve never understood what it means.’

On the broader issue of restructuring, the Arsenal manager said: ‘Sorry, no. I am not prepared to talk. I am the manager of Arsenal Football Club and as long as I am the manager of Arsenal Football Club I will decide what happens on technical front. That’s it.’

Michael Zorc of Borussia Dortmund and Marc Overmars of Ajax are being tipped as possible candidates for the role of director of football at Arsenal.

Wenger has yet to confirm whether or not he intends to extend his contract which ends next month.

Arsenal beat Manchester United on Sunday but many still want Wenger to go this summer

He is thought to be inclined to stay but amid the uncertainty – and calls for change among a section of the club’s fans – there has emerged the prospect of changes to the club’s executive tier, including the idea that a director of football might be introduced for the first time to oversee the recruitment strategy.

Wenger, who has been in charge at Arsenal for more than 20 years, appears as if he is not about to accept such a drastic change of direction.

His team, who are at Southampton on Wednesday, are in the FA Cup final and the manager has not given up on finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League for the 19th successive year.

It is 25 years since an English manager has won the English title but Wenger predicted the trend will soon change.

The ‘Wenger Out’ campaign has even found publicity during the general election build-up

‘It is down to the attraction of the Premier League,’ said Wenger. ‘Today all the big clubs have foreign managers. Before there were many Scottish people winning championships in England. I take the chance to say hello to [Sir Alex] Ferguson on that.

‘Now you have many young promising English managers coming into the league. I don’t think it will last 25 more years. The FA has done good job educating coaches.

‘We will soon see a change in that. When I arrived I remember articles saying foreign managers can never win an English championship. Did I contribute to that? Certainly. But it will change again.

‘I think we are at a turning point in English football history and I’m convinced young English managers will win the Premier League.



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