Arsène Wenger begins the battle for power at Arsenal
Arsène Wenger has drawn the battle lines for the looming power struggle at Arsenal by making it plain he does not consider the reforms being pushed by the chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, to be the correct way forward.
Gazidis believes that the club’s disappointing season has to serve as the “catalyst for change”, in terms of altering and improving the support systems around the manager. Wenger had his own buzz phrase on Tuesday. “Is it progression or regression?” he said. “Changes can go both ways.”
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Wenger was particularly resistant to the idea of working with a director of football – which is one of the things that Gazidis has looked into. “I don’t know what director of football means,” Wenger said. “Is it somebody who stands in the road and directs play best canada goose coat for women right and left? I don’t understand and I never did understand what it means.
“Sorry, no. 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.”
Whether Wenger will remain as best canada goose jacket for skiing the manager beyond the summer is the question that has dominated the season and it has reached the point where it seems as amazon canada goose parka if it has undermined it. He is out of contract in the summer and has not yet said whether he intends to continue, although best canada goose jacket he has said he has made up his mind.
The club’s board have noted that the decision will be taken “mutually” and after the 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace on 10 April they indicated it would be done at the end of the season.
The expectation is that Wenger will stay on, even if the team finish outside the Premier League’s top four for the first time in his near 21-year tenure. He takes his team to Southampton on Wednesday night, needing a win to keep up the pressure on Liverpool and Manchester City, who sit third and fourth in the table. Arsenal have lost two and drawn the best canada goose jacket womens other three of their past five league visits canada goose coat – hybridge lite to St Mary’s.
Gazidis wants to harness Wenger’s strengths but also help him in areas where he feels the manager and the club are weaker. For example, a director of football or sporting director could be responsible for keeping abreast of developments in analytics and sports science.
There are many employees, at present, who report to Wenger and it is not only the coaches. They include staff buy canada goose jacket cheap members such as the facilities manager and kitmen. Could they not report into a sporting director – in order to lighten the load on Wenger?
Gazidis has also discussed upgrades in scouting and coaching – in particular, the notion of bringing in another former Arsenal player to work alongside Wenger’s assistant, Steve Bould – while the club need a new head of academy to replace Andries Jonker, who left in February to become manager of Wolfsburg.
Wenger dismissed the prospect of a “spectacular change of structure” in early April and he warmed to the theme on Tuesday, with the issue of him giving up any control on the technical side canada goose coat 1000 bulbs promo – possibly to a sporting director – like a red rag to him.
“When it does not work here, I am blamed, so if [it happened] I am blamed for decisions I have not made [as visit well],” Wenger said. “It is tough enough to be blamed for decisions you have made. It is difficult to imagine that somebody signs a player that the manager does not know. That never happened to me.
“Some coaches are only interested in managing the team and they are happy with it. I am not like that and I cannot change myself now. I can change by trying to get better but my personality? I have 40 years of experience at the top, top level and I think, personally, I have a good knowledge of the game. I am who I am. That is it.”
Wenger’s exasperation at the emphasis on change was reflected perhaps when he launched into a light-hearted monologue about the increasing influence of analytics in the game. Gazidis is a staunch advocate of them and he oversaw Arsenal’s purchase in 2012 of StatDNA, the US-based data analytics company that has helped the club in the scouting of players and opponents, and post-match analysis.
“Maybe the time will come where the football manager will not be a football specialist any more – that we will have enough computers around him to analyse the game and, straightaway, he pushes on the button and, after the game, comes out the team for the next game,” Wenger said. “The supporters will have a word to say to make a change at half-time on the internet. They will send it in. It might come –but it will not be from me.”