Pires believes Wenger will sign, but has to change


Robert Pires believes that Arsene Wenger will sign the new contract on offer to him by the club, but also that the Arsenal manager has to change ‘many things; if he does so.

The will-he, won’t-he saga is adding to the air of uncertainty around the club, and the former Invincible seems confident that the 67 will continue.

Speaking to Cadena SER radio, he said, “In my opinion, he will renew his contract, at least for one season. He is motivated and willing.

“Arsene has an offer on the table. He has to sign it. He has the backing of the owner. The fans want to win the title and Arsenal are not doing that well. They are in the FA Cup semi-finals.

“He has to continue and if he does, he needs to change many things. That is the most important thing for him and for Arsenal.

“We will see what happens.”

Quite what changes he might make are unclear, but the addition of a Sporting/Football Director might well be one of them, and Pires has already expressed his desire to fulfil that role.

Speaking last year, he said, “I want to give back to Arsenal everything it gave me. I have become ambassador at the club. The next step would be to become a sporting director, that what I want and Arsène knows it.”

Of course results will still dictate a lot, and the Gunners need to get back to winning ways again soon, starting with Man City on Sunday.

It wouldn’t be much of a surprise if other names from the past were mentioned as part of a back-room overhaul should Wenger continue, but let’s see what happens on the pitch first.

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43 Comments on "Pires believes Wenger will sign, but has to change"

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Never any disrepect to Pires but maybe we should be going for an experienced Sporting Director

Tom K

If the job of a director of football is to act as an intermediary between the manager and the board – to relieve pressure on the manager – by handling aspects away from day-to-day coaching, thus allowing a manager to focus on on-pitch performance, then there’s no reason why Pires can’t be that guy.


Pressure? What pressure?


The pressure to sign a new contract. Sigh


Director of football is responsible for recruitment.

This is an area Wenger excels in and Pires has little experience.

What Wenger has really needed is a proper assistant who can weigh in on tactics. Somewhat akin to Carlos Queiroz with Fergie. Bould isn’t it clearly, not even a hairdryer.

Nor Pires. He (and many other ex Arsenal greats) simply need to have practical experience running clubs and managing first.

Would be a silly move.

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

“Robert Pires believes that Arsene Wenger will sign the new contract on offer to him by the club”- Arseblog.

If true it means that the club have offered Wenger a contract and wait with baited breath to find out if they will be making our customary annual exit in the UCL Rd of 16 or not.

Sir Henry Norris\'s Brown Envelope
Sir Henry Norris\'s Brown Envelope

I would be very happy for us to just be in the UCL next season. At the moment it looks pretty unlikely


we signed Ben Wigglesworth (silly name I know) last summer. He was the scout responsible for Leicester.

Someone like him could have better potential developing into a Director of football.

BUT this also depends on the incoming successor.

Many times, chemistry being importnat, the new gaffer may have preference to have his own pick.

Which is why as i mentioned, the Board is doing the right thing.

No need to make this decision yet.

firstly we have to see where the cards will lay with Wenger. If he should hold for another season to transition and negotiate a potentially tricky summer, then there is no need to jump the gun on the Director of Football position just yet.

Meanwhile Pires will actually put himself in good stead if he can get some practical management experience or at very least work as a scout.

In fact Giles Grimandi if you ask me may make a better potential Director of Football. He is seasoned in the business and has a good working relationship with both Wenger and the board, has help in plenty of the deals discovering players.

Tom K

I like Bobby. I like him A LOT.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner
Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

One of the biggest mistake Wenger made with his rule to not offer a 2 year contract to anyone over 30! We’re talking about King Pires here…

Gianni the Lapin

Stupid quest maybe – has a former player ever been a successful director of football at his former club? If the response to this question is no or rarely, then we shouldn’t get too excited.

Andy Mack

I think Zidane was the director of football for a while and did OK at RM but I don’t know of any others…


Almost all Bayern sporting directors are former players as well.

Gili Prilasnig

I read that Lahm is going to be Bayerns next sporting director. Sammer was sporting director at Dortmund before he joined Bayer.

Gili Prilasnig



Butraguenao also at Real.


to be fair, I could be the Sporting Director of Real Madrid and Bayern and do a good job…

Pineapple pen

No, you couldn’t. It is a political and PR post for all top clubs. Never as easy as it seems!


Txiki Bergisristain is the most famous example – won a bunch of titles at Barcelona before becoming their sporting director during the golden era a few years ago. There’s a history in American sports (I realize it’s different but still a decent template) of it working – which Kroenke will be familiar with.


Brian Marwood didn’t/hasn’t done a bad job at Man City


PSG had a pretty good one until he threw a punch in the tunnel a few years ago. He’s the one who recruited Thiago Silva, Zlatan, etc. when they started up their project.

David Hillier\'s luggage
David Hillier\'s luggage

Overmars at Ajax, Edu at Corinthians, Leonardo at PSG. I’m not saying Bobby would be good or bad at the job, but it’s certainly a position a lot of ex-players in their late 30s/early 40s are doing.

My name is Jeff

Change? What is this “change” you speak of?


If he signs a 2 year deal, I get the feeling that no matter what he will extend again in 2019, then probably retire. As much as he has been a legend for Arsenal, his methods are dated and his tactics are being out-manoeuvered. We are a bigger club because of him, but we’re not reliant on him. Of course he should be highly regarded, but not to the point of being untouchable at the club. He is always one defeat away from criticism, but that is going to happen because he has been at Arsenal so long that he becomes the easy target. Not blaming his players can be considered noble, but it may be the thing that is actually holding back their ambition. Alexis is clearly ambitious, but sees a complete lack of it in his teammates. I think this is why he is reluctant to have strong characters from the past on his staff. Adams, Keown, Petit, Vieira, Bergkamp, Henry(properly, not under 18 coach). They will challenge his control, by demanding more from underperforming players. My mind is made up anyway. He should leave at the end of this season and be held in the highest esteem.


Absolutely spot on!


I think he will sign more likely a one plus one deal.

Chiefly it will be to transition the club to a takeover 2018.

That is of course proviso this season is not an unmitigated disaster (Out of top 4)


agreed. accountability is important. nobody at arsenal seems to have that at this moment. everybody talks the talk but nothing changes on the field . i dont even think wenger will change next year too. i have never seen this club change in a decade unless someone bought our best player. people like pochettino and conte changes formations multiple times every game and wenger hasnt changed the formation in years . he never criticizes the players or bench poor players . what change are we then talking about. has never changed tactics and no longer able to motivate players . for what he has done for the club he deserves a statue but its time to leave


I don’t think any of the ex players you mention (bar maybe Keown) will have a crucial impact.

Bergkamp maybe for tactics but still none of them have had much success as managers.

Its easy to pontificate and snipe from the sidelines like we do but managing a football club is way more organic.

As Gary Neville found out, it isn’t as easy (Kudos to him at least in putting his money where his mouth was)

I think its a massive and myopic mistake to feel that an ex- great player for the club is essential for the team be it as manager or tactically.

We’ve seen Bould have little effect.

I don’t think we should base our appointment of the future manager base on this myopic criteria.

Rather we need someone with a bit of experience who can share the same sort of ethos Wenger has tried to inculcate in the club.

We believe in a dual track of getting good value in market (these days even at premium prices) and development from within.

In that there are plenty of candidates now.

Simeone of course is one who has weathered the test in La Liga with less resource to the two big boys. He also has advantage of being able to instill more tactical discipline (which we have often shown lack of). Athletico are no slouches when it comes to buying (particularly strikers) so there is much to recommend the Argentine.

But Also Laurent Blanc (I believe his unattached) has had plenty of experience and success (with humble Bordeaux) both at club and international level.

Ditto Deschamp who may step down from his France post 2018 who has also enjoyed success developing at Marseille.

These are the sort of weathered big character managers IMO we should be targeting who have shown ability to stretch resource in market and produce good results but also have had critical man managing experience for a good period.

The last thing we want is a media recommended football genius like AVB.

Touted as better than Wenger tactically because of a couple of good seasons in a less competitive league. That would truly be panicky.

Whilst we do need to change sooner than later, we should also have the capacity to bide a bit of time if need be over a year to ensure the best possible candidate comes in.


Why are your posts so long,bear in mind my username

Lazarus Rises Once Again
Lazarus Rises Once Again

If people think there are going to be big changes at Arsenal if Wenger stays then they are as deluded as he is.
He is 67 years old and has surrounded himself with sycophantic yes men for years. Nothing will change.
This is not about seeing Arsenal progress or develop or giving the fans something to cheer about and celebrate. Its about satisfying the ego of someone who has ruled the club as a dictatorship. This uncertainty has unsettled the players and wound up the fans and was instigated by Wenger himself to ensure that he was once again at the centre of things.
If he was bothered he would have signed or left by now…


He won’t change terribly.

He’s an idealist.

However there are reasons to suggest retaining him for one season more to put things in order for a better hand over.

There is no reason to feel anymore that we have an upside in changing gaffers as we also can potentially face a downside (See Liverpool and United in recent vintage)

What we need to be is pragmatic.

The board is doing the right thing in assessing the issues closer to end of season because we still have plenty of games to prosecute and we are still playing for the FA cup and top 4 (which will be helpful regardless of Wenger or new manager, in terms of attracting new players in the summer)

Most fans are reactive and can only see what’s right in front of them.

Whilst I can emphatise with the frustration and understand change is necessary sooner than later, I think we need to be wary of being panicky, getting sold by the media narrative that we are a ‘disaster’ club, and take things into perspective.

IF we should finish still in top4, we have flattered to deceive because in truth we should be gunning higher at this point. BUT it is still a very HIGH and consistent finish for a manager uninterrupted over 22years!

AND if there is an FA cup trophy, it will represent modest success.

BUT the main concern will be more to right the ship in a tricky summer and ensure that Wenger can handover to his annointed one, a club in as good working order as possible.

The last thing you one is a manager unfamiliar to club and league to also come in and have to rectify the squad and work through a difficult summer. We may in that case set ourselves back even further several years.

The nature of the club is such that it demands careful planning and long term view because Wenger has been around for so long.

You may argue that perhaps the club should have seen this coming and embarked on some of these measures earlier but we are here now so the work starts now.

Things take time to go into effect so a transitional period may be useful.

In any case I think Wenger at 67yrs will not continue much longer anyway.

Likely a good gig for him would be to take over as National team manager for France post 2018.


Yawn! Changes behind the scenes, war chest to spend

The same tired old shit

Nothing will change as he thinks he’s doing a great job


The respect I have for Robert Pires has actually increased.

Unlike former players like Podolski with the “Wenger is Arsenal” claptrap, Robert Pires has stated the obvious. Big, big changes are needed.

He respects Wenger too much to go the whole hog, but the subtext is clear. We’ve been waiting for him to snap out of top-four mode and enter title challenge mode since the FA Cups wins. Wenger has already tried everything in his locker. As time has shown, we expected too much of him.

With this statement, Robert Pires lays down more of a challenge to Wenger than Gazidis or the Board have managed.


Arsene won’t change. That’s obvious. Sure there might be a lot of talk, but when it comes down to brass tacks, it will be the same manager making the same decisions and the same mistakes that we’ve witnessed year after year after year. We’re kidding ourselves if we think things will be different. While you may regard this stability as good, several of the key arguments made by those who wish to keep Wenger, such as his record of attaining Top 4, look to be going this season too. Should we lose the FA Cup semi final, as I expect we will on current form, I think there is absolutely no justification that Wenger or the board can make for keeping him on.

Lazarus Rises Once Again
Lazarus Rises Once Again

Why does Wenger have to continue?
I would like someone to provide a sensible reason why they think he deserves another contract.
His success was twelve years ago and how many managers have come and gone elsewhere who have delivered more success than he has.
Pires is right – there needs to be change but he does not need to be Wenger delivering it because we know he wont…


He does not have to continue.

I think the proof in the pudding is this coming match up with City for both league and FA cup.

The team is in dire form at the moment.

IF Wenger feels he cannot turn it around over next 2 matches, he may throw in the towel.

BUT I think it also depends how we end the season. IF we make the MINIMUM (4th spot and CL again for 22 years) AND perhaps the FA cup, there may be reason to recommend he continues proviso :

1)we do not find the right successor this summer

2)we feel there may be a better range of candidates a summer down following 2018 Wcup managerial reshuffle.

In which case it makes sense to retain him for one more ‘close out’ year.

a) It allows us time to identify the correct manager to take on onwards without resorting to the United approach following Fergie. For the matter Liverpool have had many managers and have not won a title for a Quarter of a century now.

b) It affords us time to put in place elements needed to support this new manager. Be it sporting director (I would think we need someone with experience…remember we also brought in the Leicester scout Wiggelsworth recently)

c) It will give Wenger a bit of due respect to step down given he has not been an ordinary manager for this club. It would be the class thing to do.

BUT that would be as mention provided he can even achieve MINIMUM high standards he has set for himself over the years. Lets just remember Ospina may be in goal and we have been erratic so nothing is a given. If it proves a disaster, his situation may be untenable this summer.


The other thing of course is we face a potentially tricky summer again thanks to our poor showing this season.

If we have to face two key departures (Ozil and Alexis), it may be beneficial to have the experience and know how of Wenger in market to at least put things right and build for the next incumbent.

Like him or not tactically, Wenger is one of the best in the market buying players.

So if he stays to at least reconstruct the team over the summer and has a tenure (with low expectations) into 2018, it may be useful considering how much more difficult it will be for a new bloke to come in and have to sort out the mess, whilst getting familiar with his surroundings.


Because Arsenal is neither M. City nor Chelsea to spend 300m per summer to sort out their squads.

Because his input at this club is so overwhelming that if he leaves now it could all collapse as he fulfills 4-5 different roles

Because you may think he is past it but the actual professionals of the industry (minus haters obviously) regard him highly

Because he is a club Legend and no matter how much it hurts to lose in pathetic manner against watford, as a human being, i can not bring myself to abuse him and drive him out like some classless freak. He has not stolen my food nor slept with my wife….

Because realistically speaking, in the absence of an owner in the berlusconi/perez/abramovic mould your best bet to navigate the industry of football are managers / system builders…and he is undoubtedly one of them.

Because financially speaking, Arsenal’s target was top4 and eveything else a bonus for good decade and that is not his decision, rather the board’s and they have been awfully silent and awfully lacking in protecting him and the players.

Because his success was unprecedented for this football club and took the club to new heights previously not imagined. In a way he has earned the right to leave when he wants and as a true fan you bite the bullet and accept it because he is the legend you speak think breathe arsenal 24/7/365…

Because he has carried Arsenal for 20 years with excellence and our duty as fans is to carry him and the squad when they need us and not protest against them.

thats just my opinion…you dont need to froth in the mouth or call me plastic but i consider football secondary in life’s priorities and the fact that my club is under the healthy stewardship of Wenger is enough for me. i know that titles and success are cyclical and i know they sacrificed a decade to build their new home. i can wait. and no i dont want to become like chelsea and city…i value what we have and will support it through thick and thin. victoria concordia crescit. may we beat city and initiate proper response. together as a team! all of us!

canon 10000

With you 100%

Another 2 years(it hurts)
Another 2 years(it hurts)

Who’s gonna tell him he should change? The boards? Our boards are crap, i dont know what they are doing. Owner? He doesn’t give a fuck. Fans? Maybe, How? Socmed looks not effective, by protest, some of our fans think it’s disrespect. Former players? Our last hope, but they kinda goody two shoes.


For all of Wenger’s loyalty to shield his players and the Board, he should extend for another year to ensure there is a proper transition to the next manager.

I feel that for Arsene’s contribution to Arsenal and to English football, he would have been knighted (by now) for his services had he been British. Yet the media are taking potshots at him, because he is an ‘easy’ target. Truly hope we’ll get something out of the FA Cup or our season will really be done.


Wenger out Sam Allardyce In!


Surely Brian Marwood has the credentials to work with Wenger to modernise the structure?