As we all know, Arsenal, under the watchful eye of Ivan Gazidis, have been revamping their front office over the last several months. They’ve hired Raul Sanllehi and installed him as Director of Football Relations, and most importantly they hired Sven Mislintat as Head of Recruitment, aka chief scout and player sourcing guy.
It is widely anticipated that these two will play a very prominent role in the evolution of Arsenal as they evolve into a post-Wenger world, but in the current world, le boss is seemingly none too happy with the way things are being set up.
When asked about how things were going with the new regime, Arsene had this to say:
“It is important to find a new balance,” said Wenger, when asked about working alongside the new additions to the technical set up. For them it is more difficult than me because they have to adapt to a new environment, a different structure.”
Ouch. But guess what, Arsene? It just may be the case that it is you, and not they, who have to adapt to a new environment. The world is evolving, and you won’t be at Arsenal forever. It’s important that you realize that.
But it gets better: when asked what Mislintat brings to the table, Arsene, in his inimitable Arsene way, cut without actually cutting:
“We know the players,” said the Arsenal boss. “We knew every single player in Europe before Sven arrived. Sometimes in a little club in Germany he might know somebody that we might ignore.”
What is French for “oh snap”?
This is what gets me about Arsene Wenger circa 2018. He claims, as he always has claimed, that he loves this club and has given his life to the club. And he has, there’s no doubt about that. But if he loves the club so much, and is so worried about making sure it succeeds, why is he continually getting in the way of its success these days?
I’m past the point of hoping he’ll leave voluntarily before his contract is up. He won’t. My most fervent hope now is that he will get to a point where he accepts that the changes Gazidis is putting in place are not for him, but are for the long term future of the club, and that they’re actually for the better. Gazidis is trying to make sure that Arsenal get back to where we all want it to be, and is trying to do it in a more modern way than Arsene might want to do.
I think that’s a good thing, and I think a lot of people also feel like the club’s structure is moving in the right direction. Seemingly the only person who doesn’t is currently the one person who needs to accept it more than anyone else.
Or, to put it more succinctly: suck it up, buttercup.