Wenger responds to Overmars link and discusses Director of Football rumours

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Arsene Wenger has responded to Marc Overmars’ claim that returning to Arsenal might be an option in the future.

According to Football London, Overmars recently discussed reports linking him to a directorial role at Arsenal, with his title either Sporting Director or Director of Football, depending on who you ask. While the Dutchman was fairly coy on the link and termed it “not that exciting” as things stand, he didn’t rule out a return to North London at some point.

Asked about whether he was aware of this in his press conference ahead of Monday night’s away match at Boro, Wenger said: “No, no I am not. I like Marc Overmars! But he is Director of Football at Ajax Amsterdam.”

Though he seemed to laugh off the link at first, Wenger took on a slightly irked tone when pressed on the matter. “I am sure there are plenty of candidates to take care of Arsenal Football Club, I am not worried about that,” he said.

When asked whether or not the club needed a structural change of the sort provided by a Director of Football, he said: “No. You know, it’s always difficult, we spend a lot of time in our society to focus on things which are superficial, and not take care of the essential.

“The essential in football is one thing: good players on the football pitch, and that’s what we have to take care of.” Marc Overmars, take note.

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75 Comments on "Wenger responds to Overmars link and discusses Director of Football rumours"

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fengunner

Looks like nothings gonna change then. We have:

An owner who faces Fraud charges
A CEO who talks big but does nothing
A Chairman who walks out of games early
A Manager who refuses help, even though we are on the slide
Players who appear not to give a shit
Fans who fall out amongst themselves

I suppose it can’t actually get any worse!

Rich

I can tell you from experience that just when you think things can’t get any worse…
They can and do.
Things won’t get any better with Kroenke pulling the strings, he couldn’t care any less.

Ray Parlour\'s ice cream van
Ray Parlour\'s ice cream van

It could – S**** could win the title 😱

AFL

Sorry to say mate but it can get worse and it is going to happen soon.
We are still to face the s*urs and mourinho …

Gooooooooonnnnaaaaaaaa
Gooooooooonnnnaaaaaaaa

The good thing about hitting rock bottom is there’s only one way up. Shit sucks right now but we are financially stable, and are a massive club with a huge history. Lucas Podolski said Arsene Wenger made Arsenal, that’s complete rubbish, we are a big club, always have been and always will be. There’s too much pressure for us to succeed, look at how rumors that we offered Sanchez a 300k contract the moment we were being heavily criticized. We’re just in a really bad moment in our history, things will eventually get better so just hang in there.

Martin

We certainly have problems but to say we have hit rock bottom is a gross exaggeration . We Are 6th in the table and in the semi- final of the cup. There are many other sides who would be happy to be in our position.

spinner

We are the Arsenal, not just any club. No point comparing us to small shit clubs and saying they would happy to be in our position.

Martin

I agree. However I was just pointing out we haven’t hit rock bottom.

goonerged

you are right, i have been a gooner for 46 years and arsenal have been in
worse situations than this and still come out on top.

AGunner

My fear is that it actually can get so much worse.

Since we made the deal with Puma and renewed our emirates sponsorship, we’ve had a lot of our financial constraints lifted. And yet over the last 5 years our average net spend on the squad is around £40m. United and City are well higher, £70m and above. Chelsea is lower than us purely because they had a good existing squad to build upon.

So if we are to get a new manager, and if he is afforded the same terms as wenger by the board, I really don’t think we can build up a new squad quickly. It’ll take at least 3 seasons and so we’re forever going to be playing catch up.

The other worry is who will the board appoint once wenger leaves, be it this year or later. I’d hope we’d get a quality manager like Allegri, but why would the board get anyone that would challenge them, for more money for example. If all Stan cares about is turning a profit, so the boards target might be top 6 and could get any average manager to do it. Then we still won’t be challenging.

It’s a sad state of affairs. Our business model is out dated, doesn’t work in this era. Our owner doesn’t give 2 shits about the footballing side of things. We have a spineless board full of businessmen and we have a great manager that’s being consistently let down by his stubbornness and loyalty to a group of players who simply aren’t good enough.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

Go buy some good hardwood and smash the fear out of your head. And stop jinxing everything.

Bould\'s Eyeliner

And anyhow I think Wenger will not leave without having a say in appointment unless something goes terribly wrong

Faisal Narrage

Spurs are doing well with our business model.
Granted they actually have an owner who cares.

AGunner

Spurs also got a little lucky as Real Madrid paid them over £100m for Bale & Modric so they had quite a lot of money to reinvest. And yeah, as you said, an owner that cares!

Dan Hunter

From what i can remember, most of the players they signed from the Bale money were flops. The players on the pitch now were either from the academy or later signings

AGunner

All fair points but the point i was making is that £108m in 2013 enabled you buy 2/3 of a team! That money gets you 3 decent players now?

Faisal Narrage

Still don’t get what your point is
Yours is that Spurs have built a team whilst spending less, by using our model better than us.

They also have a squad man for man not as good a son ours but are outperforming us. None of that has to do with money.

AGunner

Point was that if we had a similar cash injection back in those days that enabled us to buy 7-8 players, we would’ve progressed much more than we currently have.

Theve outperformed us because the weight of expectation is always much heavier on us and our players simply can’t live upto it.

Gazzagooner

The bloody man needs to go now he is becoming poisen . Don’t get me wrong but he is an arrogant shite that should be sacked now along with this board who appear to be spineless, once he’s gone we can praise him about the good times

goonerged

you forgot the scum finishing above us.

mzithemba

Aah Wenger strikes again, there he goes blowing apart another fantasy before it got out of hand… There will be NO CHANGE at Arsenal as long as this guy is in charge. He’s a control freak and very insecure So terrified to see someone come in and end up taking the credit if things improve, so much that he’s prepared to refuse any help even if that means the clubs suffers Thats a shame from someone who’s done a lot and i respect a lot

Romford Pelé

Yeah sounds like your do really respect him

Con

The last comment from Wenger sounds very much like a threat to the players…

Romford Pelé

Get out with that logically talk, it has no place here

Romford Pelé

*Logical, rage at the autotype 😠

Heavenly Chapecoense

Don’t worry, Ramsey will always play.

TheG

You have to agree with Wenger when he makes the point “The essential in football is one thing: good players on the football pitch[…]”.

There is no way you can argue that point. If you have the better players nobody will give a **** who is the sporting director.

I ask you this: (no you may not change this to what if, but, when or why).
Option 1.) We get better players.
Option 2.) We get a sporting director.
What is your pick and tell me why.

Matt P

How sad to see Wenger turn into such a deluded and arrigant older man.
He has to go

masterofthegoonaverse
masterofthegoonaverse

I think substantially we already have good players. Don’t remember many moans in September/October so the problem is (obviously) getting them back to that level. Contract negotiations and the dithering over Wenger are major reasons for the current mess imo.We really do need to up the off field performance as much as the on field one.

Hi-brid

I believe the players we have are good enough to win the league under a coach who organises and motivates them.

TheG

Monreal
Walcott
Welbeck

Good squad players. Good enough to win the league, no.

Reidar

Monreal has had some damn good matches, and he does make the Spain squad. Not a world star, but certainly better than just a squad player.

TheG

Gibbs has also had a few good matches, a block against west brom a few seasons ago. I don’t think that Monreal is the weakest link, but could easily be upgraded.

Faisal Narrage

Flipping Moses is currently showing us how to be a great attacking fullback.
Sideshow Bob was a joke and one of the most error-prone CBs you could get, yet Conte has him playing to his strengths through a formation that gets the best out of him and the rest of the team (3 CBs at the back, something I think we have the squad to do, but Wenger will never do it).
Kante was cheaper than Xhaka
Cahill I would argue isn’t even as good as our CBs.
Plus they have guys like Kenedy, Batshitcrazy (or whatever, he’s probably same level as Welbeck), Chalobah and an overall lesser squad, yet Conte has them performing greater than their parts.

I could do the same thing with the Spurs squad, yet look at them and look at us.

Dan Hunter

Unless you’re Alex Ferguson

Gooooooooonnnnaaaaaaaa
Gooooooooonnnnaaaaaaaa

If you add a couple of defensive minded players. How can you get a bunch of technical forward thinking players to play compact defensive football, the team has no balance. Xhaka is a brilliant player but you can tell he’s struggling to adapt to the premiere league’s pace, pair him with a pacey defensive player like Kante, Gueye, Matuidi, Vidal etc, and he’s a completely different player.

Regardless the team is set up in a way that regardless to what players we sign, we’ll always be wide open. What that fat walrus said after the Palace game was so blatently obvious to us all. Our full backs push up like wingers and leave our center backs isolated so if you play a target man you’ll always cause danger off the second balls. It’s too fucking easy.

This would probably never happen, but if I were in charge right now Id play three center backs and put the BFG between Mustafi and Koscienly. I’d play Chelsea’s formation and play Ozil on the wing, Sanchez up top and who ever on the right wing. Our full backs and wingers would changed anything because they already defend as if we have a third center backs, and our offensive players can worry less about being open on the counter.

kaius

Thinking about all positional changes we’ve tried, it is weird that we haven’t tried 3 at the back as well.

One of the added benefits of 3 back there with fullbacks covering them is, with less numbers up top there’s more incentive to be vertical and direct in the final third. None of this passing the ball in a wide U shape around two packed lines of opposition defenders.

Another benefit would be giving Bellerin the wing-back/winger role and getting in a guy like Monaco’s Sidibe (who Wenger tried for last summer) to play behind him. You basically need a more physical player who’s good in the air there, because teams are starting to target Hector aerially and both he and our defense need better protection.

Hi-brid

Ah, the wide U shape. Nothing has pissed me off about our football more than that over the last 5 years. Patience, patience, patience, with nobody bar Alexis willing to force the issue.

kaius

What’s also infuriating is *how* our build-up play gets reduced to that U shape.

We repeatedly do this thing where a player in deep midfield or defence plays a good pass through the lines taking out the 2 or 3 opponents that lead the press. Or Alexis or Ox does the same thing with a mazy dribble. The ball lands at the feet of a player in the final third and what happens next? We get a simple pass square or backwards letting the other team back in possession.

Walcott and Welbeck are repeat offenders but the memorable one was Giroud last season receiving a pass with his back to goal in the penalty box with no defenders between him and the keeper – and instead of turning he passed the ball to a player outside the box. The crowd at the Emirates were howling.

Mainly it’s our defenders starting U shapes during build-up play because they simply don’t pass to central midfielders when an opponent is within 5 feet of them (not even all that close!). Xhaka and Ozil have to come deep and managers like Sam Allardicio rub their hands together with glee.

Right now our players don’t have confidence in the technical ability of their teammates. Situational awareness, knowing how to shield the ball from pressing opponents, movement off the ball to create triangles; so many aspects of our play are broken. It’s been so f*cking depressing to watch a talented team become less than the sum of their parts.

TheG

In case you misread that. I was not saying Wenger is the one who should get the better players….

LEFT08

Completely agree with you. Sporting Director is no guarantee of success. World class players almost certainly are. And even then, there can only be 1 champion. We seem to forget that. Man City, Man Utd and probably Barcelona too will not win the league this year. And they’re spending all the time, they have directors of football and top class players.

Faisal Narrage

What’s your point? Madrid, Chelsea, Bayern will be winning it, and they have Sporting Directors.
Regardless, your point is moot. No one is claiming a Sporting Director will win us the league, what they are saying is;
1. There’s clearly something wrong with contract management at our club, as we persistently and continuously get too many players running down their contracts over the last few years. More than any other top club. That shows there’s a systemic issue there.
2. We have been struggling to keep up to pace with modern scouting in recent years. The likes of Dortmund and Atletico are now the European clubs young players join, rather than us. We’ve been recently missing out on a lot of top clubs.
3. A sporting Director provides continuity. Right now Wenger manages all Football Operations. What do you think will happen to us if he decides to leave? Leaves us up shit creek, that’s what.

Also simply having world class players isn’t enough. For one, how to do we get them here if we don’t pay the money? Only other choice is finding them before they break out. That’s what a SD would do.

And lastly, as much as I hate to say it, how many world class players to Spurs have? Or even Liverpool? Why are they ahead of us, even though we probably have more than they do?

Trez

Talk. All Talk. It’s either Wenger agrees to this or he walks. Gazidis will have told Kroenke the club needs to move forward from our old methods.
If Wenger insists on this, then it’s over for him.

Toure motors

I hope I’m wrong but I still think that AW is staying and is waiting for a couple of decent results before it’s announced. Sad to say but no meaningful change can happen on the pitch until he leaves.

GunnerYY

I kinda agree with you, but with our fixtures and recent performance, i think we can’t have a good run anymore, it’s sad because we won’t have CL next season but the positive side maybe it’ll ensure us to partway with Wenger

Lord Bendtner

It sure tells you a lot when serious, heavy questions regarding executive descisions and planning are answered by your team manager rather than anyone on your board

LEFT08

Reporters meet the manager week in week out and put tough questions to him. He has taken all the pressure off executives and owners for many many years. What he gets for it is being told to get out.

Faisal Narrage

He also get an £8mil wage packet.

arsepedant

So what? What does that relate to in either Lord Bendtner’s or LEFT08’s posts?

Matt

Wenger is gonna sign for a couple of seasons at least by the looks of it. A real pity that a manager we’ve all admired will eventually leave on a very low, because things are only going to get worse with him still in charge. He deserved better; he seems to be very scared of either retiring or leaving Arsenal and that fear will be quite damaging for the club. Hope am wrong though!

Dan Hunter

What evidence is there he will or won’t sign? In fact there is no actual evidence a new contract is even on the table

Gooooooooonnnnaaaaaaaa
Gooooooooonnnnaaaaaaaa

“The essential in football is one thing: good players on the football pitch, and that’s what we have to take care of.”

When Wenger said that he had is smirk he usually has when he’s trying to imply something and it was almost as if he was indirectly admitting our players aren’t good enough, which although is obvious to all of us, it’s the first time I’ve seen him admit that.

spinner

Who bought all these players? Who trains them? Who picks them? Who tells them the tactics (lol)? Who motivates them?

Nowhere to hide Arsene, all the fingers are pointing in your direction.

Faisal Narrage

This is such a stretch. You’re just seeing what you want to see.
He’s also the one who wants to extend the contracts of most of the underachievers.

You claim he admitted our players aren’t good enough, but I would bet you any money Theo will still start the next game.

Everyone becomes a body-language expert when they need to.

nimble foot

Is Di Maria supposed to start in Theo’s place? Or maybe Elneny or Coq, or Ramsey play on that right (of course you’d be bringing the pitchforks out), or Ox start and if the midfield lacks any bit of penetration and drive, you’d be cursing Arsene for not playing Ox through the middle. I don’t know, well the only real options for that position in the squad now are Welbz and Sanchez. Welbz looks like he still needs time to get to his best. Alexis could play there and Iwobi plays left, I think you may not really fancy that. Whatever the case, you can’t blame Theo entirely for coming off as uninvolved because the traffic of our game ALWAYS inevitably goes left and everyone knows that. That one time they came through the right against Bayern, Theo beat two players and scored.. I suggest we mix it up

Faisal Narrage

If our midfield lacks drive and penetration whilst Ox is on the wings, then yeah we would curse Wenger but not because of him not playing Ox, but for going into the season and letting both summer and Jan windows go past without getting the required midfielder. The fact that we started this season with; Coq, Santi, Ramsey, Elneny, Xhaka and Ozil and only one of them can carry the ball (an injury-prone 30+ year old no less) was a great oversight on Wenger’s hands, largely because it has been clear he really doesn’t have idea as to what he wanted from our midfield (I suspect Xhaka-Ramsey was his plan, which would’ve had Santi on the bench).

As for who else can play right? Ox you’ve mentioned, Welbeck, Sanchez, LUCAS (currently injured but even when available, was given less chances than Theo), Iwobi (you say left as if he’s incapable of playing right, especially as he’s right-footed anyways).
How about that guy who played well last season on the right but we still sent him off on loan whilst those who underperformed got another chance?

Stuck on repeat...

Actually, i find myself in disagreement with AW. There are actually THREE essentials in football: 1) good players on the football pitch, 2) those players consitently performing to the very best of their ability, & 3) ambition, desire & the consitent willingness to compete flowing throughout the club (top top management all the way down to the players on the pitch)…But hey, what do I know…

LEFT08

“The essential in football is one thing: good players on the football pitch, and that’s what we have to take care of.”

This sounds like he is open to the reported squad overhaul in the summer. Sounds like good news to me.

spinner

When you look at the players we have in your squad, there is no way we should be getting beaten by likes of Crystal Palace, West Brom and Watford. That must mean the manager is at fault for not preparing and motivating them well enough.

LEFT08

That could be one explanation. But it is rarely that simple. In any case, a team that looks bad this year can be champions the next (just like Chelsea). The squad has let the manager down. We need to strengthen in the summer. The Wenger Out campaign has made things worse too.

Faisal Narrage

Ironic you mentioned Chelsea.
Tell us, what did Chelsea do again to ensure they became champions-elect?

LEFT08

They had no Champions league football fixtures and bought a couple more world class players. Unless you think Mourinho became a crap manager overnight.

Faisal Narrage

Who were those couple more world class players? David Luiz?
And are you willfuly ignoring the fact they looked like their old selves up until when we spanked them and Conte set up a new formation and style of play?

Imagine that, a new system of playing. Who would’ve thought of it?

Rob67

He is obviously opposed to any change that dilutes his all powerful roll. Therefore the conclusion is – he has to go. Because he can’t and won’t accommodate.

Bill

What an embarrassing joke this is all turning into.

Beezus Faffoon

So Arsène doesn’t think we need change… more and more I feel like this is only going to get uglier. I don’t even want a miracle at this point, but can’t somebody please give us a reason to be optimistic??

Gran Xakh

This is where I start to lose a little of my sympathy for Wenger. We need help, and he needs help. If he does stay (despite his position seemingly untenable) the very minimum that can happen is that there is change behind the scenes and in the set up. Surely he has to be able to see what is not working on the pitch is in some way down down to the set up off the pitch as well? Just beggars belief really, he’s an intelligent man so he must do. Maybe he’s just remaining tight lipped because nothing is set in stone and he doesn’t want to give the press their story of “Wenger admits director of football needed!” but the lack of clarity coming from Wenger and the club on this whole situation is depressing.

SUSAN IRWIN

I wonder how many posting here remember a time before M. Wenger….Many worse bottoms​ in our past. Has anyone thought that, like Chelsea, a year out of the Champions League might help us win the Premier League next year?
Last year we were above every club above us and were the only team to beat the incredibly flukey winners twice!
Please get a grip.
PS Bould OUT Wenger IN and mentoring Adams or Vieira to be next manager for 2020

Faisal Narrage

You mean those terrible times under George Graham where we won the league a few times and even a European Cup? Maybe you should remember our past.

As for your statement of beating the “flukey” winners? I think that just exposes your own lack of perspective.

Statistically speaking, it’s far more probable our win over Leicester twice was more fluke than them being consistently the best team over an entire season.

But if you want to downplay their achievement as a fluke then more fool you. Let’s rejoice on your double over the champions whilst the champions rejoice over actually being champions.

Araj

“You know …..we spend a lot of time in our society to focus on things which are superficial, and not take care of the essential. The essential in football is one thing: good players on the football pitch, and that’s what we have to take care of”

Isn’t that exactly the role of the Sporting Director? To take care of how good the players on the pitch are? Shouldn’t Wenger be applauding the board for once actually doing something to improve that?

santori

Looks like some people don’t know what they are talking about as per usual.

We have plenty of excellent people who have socuted the likes of Bramall, Holding not to mention helped engineered bringing the likes of Santi, Ozil and Alexis to the club and yes Cech which was a coup considering price and where he came from.

A Director of Football is in charge of scouting and recruiting players not meddling and getting in the way of a manager. that would be an unmitigated disaster.

Grimandi has been at the club for years and understands both the market and the club.

We just recruited the chief scout for Leicester Ben Wigglesworth, yes the bloke who brought them Mahrez and Kante.

Aside from Overmaars and others.

I’m not sure why some people think the way they do.

The last thing you want is for a new manager to bring in his own Director of Football and hold us hostage if relations go sour.

Continuity is this respect is a good thing.

kaius

We’ve been a train crash waiting to happen for the last 3 seasons now. You think Ben Wrigglesworth or Gilles Grimandi have the clout to ask Wenger to modify his methods when they stopped working?

Why waste time imagining hypothetical situations such as a DOF “meddling” or holding us hostage? The reality is Wenger is both manager and DOF and recently I could argue he’s been guilty of both those things.

How is the situation at the club right now different from what you’re warning us might happen in the future (relations going sour)?

And if you’re confused by the way “some people think”, maybe reply to those comments and talk it out instead of creating a straw man.

Faisal Narrage

New Football managers domy being in “their own DoFs”, they’re not coaches. The whole premise of the DoF is to provide continuity IN CASE the manager leaves.

At least know what you’re on about before getting on your high horse.

Trez

Ben Wigglesworth didn’t sign Kante and Mahrez. The guy who did is at Everton. Face it, our scouting team have been surpassed. We need a DOF. All big teams have one.

BMBM

I’m originally from a country where the leaders want to stay in power for ever. As an Arsenal fan, I can relate to what’s happening with AW and I find myself in a vicious cycle

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