Arsene Wenger enjoyed a relatively cordial press conference ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League game with Southampton. He provided a team news update, and batted away questions designed to spark some headlines about him and Jose Mourinho in good humour.
That was until he was asked whether he knew anything about the potential appointment of a Director of Football. At which point he become quite crotchety, pretending not to know what a Director of Football does.
Here’s how that exchange with James Olley of the Evening Standard went down.
Olley: This morning there was another name linked with a potential Director of Football. Is it your understand that the club are going to make that appointment?
Olley: So you don’t think there’ll be a Director of Football here under any circumstances next season?
Wenger: Director of Football – I don’t know what it means. Is it somebody who stands on the road and directs players right and left? I don’t understand. I never could understand what it means, Director of Football.
Olley: Because there’s been talk about a restructuring of the club, and-
Wenger (interrupting): No, no, no, no, no, no. Sorry no.
Olley: There won’t be anything like that?
Wenger: Look I’m not prepared to talk about that. I’m 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.
At which point the club’s communications manager called time on the press conference.
There has been some talk of boardroom division, but whatever the truth of that it’s clear that Wenger is hugely opposed to the idea of working with any kind of football administrator.
Does it give us any clue or insight into what’s going to happen? Probably not, but if the manager stays, it looks like it’ll be more of the same in terms of his set-up and work environment.