Wenger clarifies how he sees the Director of Football role


A couple of weeks ago at his pre-game press conference, Arsene Wenger took umbrage at the idea that the club might appoint a director of football.

He was categorical that as long as he were manager, he would not work under that system.

At the time we speculated on the main blog that his opposition to this was based on the idea that the person in this role would have authority over the manager when it comes to buying players, day to day running of the team etc, rather than viewing it as someone who might help and support him in his work.

The Frenchman was asked about it at today’s press conference, and more or less confirmed that theory.

When it was put to him that he’d already worked with David Dein, who carried out many of the duties a Director of Football might do, he clarified his position.

“Director of Football, when I say that it’s a guy who makes the decisions that normally down to the manager,” he said.

“That means selection of players, buying, all the matters that concern the functioning of the team on a daily basis.

“Of course you can need help to become better, yes of course, and I am always open to that.

“I am always open to things that improve the quality and future of the club.

“After that you have to see if it’s really efficient, because the titles do not always make you better.”

It’s something that I discussed with Amy Lawrence on today’s Arsecast, along with the rest of our season: check it out below.


If you are a regular listener via iTunes, if you would be so kind as to leave a review/rating that would be greatly appreciated.

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28 Comments on "Wenger clarifies how he sees the Director of Football role"

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Well Arsene being total control has not exactly worked in the last 10 years.

Viva la prof

Apart from being a fucking cool club with a fucking cool stadium and formally fucking cool fans?

Fotballing Genious

I need to be a downer here, but Emirates Stadium is hideous.

First of all, round statiums always looks shit, secondly the stands aren´t steep enough to create an intimidating atmosphere for the away team.

Emirates is basically a theatre..zzzz..

If you want a “cool” stadium, look no further 🙂

Up the arse!

Me So Hornsey

The stadium is fine. Stunning even. The aural passion of the home crowd can be questionable, admittedly. However, that’s what you get when your tickets price out a more boisterous, less self-conscious section of society.


Must admit, I’m pissed Spurs will have a Dortmund style terrace. When your team is playing well it can help, but with shit fans and performances, a terrace like that will not count for anything. If anything it might motivate the opposing team.


Emirates is a soulless bowl.


What would also be good for the club is a decision on the managers future wither way..
Show the fans some respect and at least make out you care about how they feel. Announce the decision before the season ticket renewal date and let the paying fans then decide if they wish to back the decision or not and let them decide how to spend thier hard earned money. At the moment the fans are being treated with total contempt


Decide if you support Arsenal or not. If you don’t, allow a true fan on the waiting list to buy your seat!


That actually might make just make it as a marketing tag line. ESPECIALLY for this club.


A true Fan ? One that follows blindly and is not allowed to criticise? The stadium is full of fans that pay their money and deserve to be treated with respect as without them the club would not exist. Arsene never built this club despite what he would like you to believe, Fans from all eras helped get this club where it is today and without them Arsene wouldn’t be able to take his 8 million plus salary.

Otto von B.

Open to new things? Is he open to leaving the club?
I can understand that nobody wants to openly say they have been poor considering what they’re paid, but if this man had professional pride he’d leave. His experiments have largely failed,for all of their noble intentions.
The board of directors hold all of the cards but are paralysed by fear of the unknown.
Stan is happy if he gets his divvy, For me we are a zombie club, good enough to stay up but not good enough to challenge for the epl or ecl. Next season mid table then flirting with relegation then relegated, if we keep the current set up and non playing personnel.


I totally agree with you, both Kroenke and Wenger should leave the club they have not added anything to the club in the past 10years, they are a total failure. And should leave , the club needs to go a different direction.

Ol\' Granny Xhaka

That felt like a bit of a climb down

Lord Bendtner

Titles prove that you played better than everyone else in the long run in that league/tournament
We could do with some more titles/trophies…


I think he means titles like “Director of Football”, i.e. just hiring someone and giving them a fancy title doesn’t necessarily mean they will have a positive impact on the success of the club.

Lord Bendtner

Thanx, makes way more sense now! 🙂


Whilst a director of football/sporting director role is now well established in
many European football circles, it’s still a relatively new role in English football.

As such, there is no universal agreement within English football about what the role entails or should entail. In other words, the job description & person specification for such a role is not set in stone, and can be tailored to meet the individual needs & wants of clubs as they see fit.

We know that managers of English football clubs have traditionally enjoyed authority & control over what might be called the “technical” side of the game,
and that it is not just Arsene Wenger who would be highly reluctant to give up
the “power & influence” that is currently exercised.

However, if the Arsenal are genuinely & seriously thinking about incorporating such a role within their structure, then they have plenty of scope to both retain
the services of Arsene as manager, & to hire someone to work in a newly created role to compliment the work that he already does, without undermining the authority & control that he already exercises.

It all depends on what the parties concerned want, and what they can live with/settle for.

Faisal Narrage

““After that you have to see if it’s really efficient, because the titles do not always make you better”

I’ll tell you what definitely doesn’t get you better, repeating the same things.

He can talk about efficiency all he likes, but I suspect having someone who makes the decision and works full time on football operations should certainly ensure contracts can be dealt with anytime rather than having a manager who doesn’t have the time to do so, so usually saves any difficult negotiations till “the end of the season” after almost a whole year on their contract has gone by (in most cases, it’s the agents that deal with these things anyways).

Because we’ve gone into the “final year of contract” way too many times in the last 7 years for it to be a coincidence, compared to our rivals.


My thoughts exactly when listening to today’s podcast. The manager is busy with his own team and fixtures for the whole season. Contract renewals, managing(sort of) players on loan, having a big personality(imagine bergkamp) that can travel and meet potential signings’ agents while the season isn’t still over. Arsene can then step in and seal the deal in June.

All we ask if this club is to be proactive with decision-making.
Proactive with scouting and signing players (read “signing players in may/june”).
Proactive with contract renewals.

A major change in tactics came about for the first time in over a decade because of immense fan pressure and a poor run of games.

Ozil was signed at the very of of a transfer season because of increasing fan frustration and the loss vs Aston Villa.

Mustafi was signed after we lose 3 points vs Liverpool, who incidentally are looking like they’ll beat us to the top 4. They’ve made astute signings in Sadio mane for not a lot of money. Joel. Matip was signed mid-last season itself on a free.


have to agree with you here . i cant see arsenal being as efficient as liverpool are right now in transfer market unless there is a change behind the scenes , and they dont even have alot of money like arsenal . they had a plan , and executed it perfectly .

when arsenal tends to go into transfer market theres always that something thats missing , its a head scratcher to be honest. this season was the best for arsenal in terms of effectiveness in transfer market but still mustafi was two games late . last season we did not buy a central midfielder like we did this season , the season before that we were short on centre backs and we still havent bought a striker despite knowing that we have in need for one for years . at the end of the day it all costs important points in the title run (or the top four run) . we lost against liverpool on the opening day this seaosn , which on hindsight could have been the game that got us into top four ahead of liverpool . last season we lost our way once santi was injured and the title was lost . adding that to wengers constant reminder of the players we lost to other teams , theres something really wrong with how we appraoch the transfer market .


I honestly stopped reading after you said imagine bergkamp and traveling in the same sentence… Sorry


“Mustafi was signed after we lose 3 points vs Liverpool, who incidentally are looking like they’ll beat us to the top 4.”

It took long because of Valencia. We might have paid extra in the end just to close the deal. And they aren’t going to beat us because of that ONE match. We screwed up in many games across the season.


I would like for any future director of football to represent together with the manager/footballing side in board meetings and work with the manager and scouting network in talent acquisition NOT to sign players at their behest. I see a DOF role as working parallel to the manager. A lot of Arsenal fans calling for a DOF IMHO have not considered how a bad DOF could ruin the club. There is a lot to think about. Yes it could go right, but we could end up with a shit decision maker and egotistical arsehole.


You aleady have a shit decision maker and an egotistical arsehole managing the club.


Mou manages Man Utd


Why do we want Wenger to have a Director of football?

Did David Dein buy Rob Holding? Or Monreal? Or Koscielny?

Did Wenger spend 47m on Stones?

How much did Wenger pay for Cech or Santi. Do you think other top teams would not want these players?

His marquee buys Ozil and Alexis have both increased in value.

Why do we need “director of Football”?

Unless you want to paint the picture that we are “poorly managed” for some reason, we do not need a Director of Football.

Did Liverpool spend well when they appointed their Director of Football and got that pony tailed English player for 35M?



Are you rose tinted spectacles really that strong? You took the blue pill didn’t you?


Viagra is blue, too… just saying.