Wenger downplays the idea of ‘spectacular change of structure’


Over the weekend, after Ivan Gazidis met with the Fan’s Forum and insisted this season would be a ‘catalyst for change‘, stories began to emerge about how structural changes were planned at the club ahead of next season.

There was talk of a ‘major review’ involving areas like scouting, coaching, and recruitment, with journalists on the Arsenal beat talking about lengthy searches for a Director of Football.

However, speaking to the press yesterday, Arsene Wenger seemed to be at odds with those stories, and rejected the idea that a massive overhaul was needed.

“I would like you to visit one day the club now, what it is, compared to what it was when I arrived, and you would say that there is a structural change,” he said.

“After, you can say that, yes, we do not win enough games.

“Yes, OK, you can always demand more. But as well I think we have managed to combine big investments and structural change without anybody putting one penny in, all only based on the quality of my work and being consistent.

“If somebody in the next 20 years does much better, believe me I’m very happy. But at least he has fantastic conditions, a strong financial situation and good players.

“The target of the club is always to do better, but the structure is there, as it is today. We have fantastic conditions to do better. So a spectacular change of structure now will be very difficult.”

There is a widespread acceptance that because Wenger has been manager for so long, the club is not set-up properly for a new, modern-day head coach who requires staff in place to do many of the things that the Frenchman currently takes responsibility for.

And the 67 year old also cast doubts on suggestions that he is ready to ‘reinvent’ himself in order to keep his job.

“That is evolution, it is not change,” he said. “Change is at the heart of who you are. I think that’s difficult.”

Does this suggest some kind of schism between Wenger and Gazidis? It’s hard to know, because the Chief Executive has not spoken on the record about the manager since October last year, and his last statement at all came in the wake of the departure of Andries Jonker to Wolfsburg.

At the very least, you can’t escape the fact that whatever is going on, it’s not healthy for the football club right now.

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When he leaves, he’s going to leave a club without even the foundations of a modern football club (in terms of management) – No director of football and not being at the same level as the rest of to clubs when it comes to coaching. Not that he’s the one we can count on when looking for change – The sad truth is that he is a persistent old man, and well, persistent old man don’t tend to change. The sad thing is that there’s a catch none of us will like – You can’t only bring a world class… Read more »

Dan Hunter

It is these kinds of interviews which really infuriate me. I really respect Arsene Wenger but these kind of interviews really help me reinforce my stance that it is beyond the end of the line. Wenger, you got to go.


I think in some ways if the board has the strength to totally cut the cord with Wenger at some point (he can be attached in some symbolic role but not in any meaningful decision making capacity) sporting director or head coach (manager) would actually be one of the most attractive jobs in Europe. The expectations are pretty moderate. A lot of times people point to Man U but the difference is Ferguson kept reinventing himself and winning – he didn’t go more than 2 years without a title. Wenger hasn’t meaningfully competed in over a decade for CL or… Read more »


Atom, spot on mate.
Sadly a lot of us feel this way for the lst five years or so.

Stan Kroenke\'s blood sucker

Stan don’t care bout club management, Stan care about a host to attach to, so we sucks the money and life out for our own greedy sustenance. Look at KSE’s other clubs. We don’t survive on hope and trophy, we lives on GREEEEED


Although I agree with some points, I think that’s a bit harsh. You can’t really argue with what he has said. I just want to remind people that Wenger isn’t just being given the microphone and he talks out of his ass, he’s fulfilling media duties (which are mandatory since TV companies now own football) and answering questions. 2005-2014 we were fincancially constraint while still playing the most attractive football in the league. The team played with cohesion with them all being on the same wavelength. That isn’t down to the players you sign, that’s down to the quality of… Read more »

Ex-Priest Tobin

More dissembling bullshit. We do need structural change. And the first change should be the specialist in failure getting kicked out the door.

The Loon Ranger

He says “without anyone putting a penny in” I think you’re forgetting all of us who bought tickets at outrageous prices. Time to wave your magic wand arsene because I’m afraid for the future of the club I love.


He might think his £ 8.5 millions a year salary comes from football gods for his extraordinary achievments year in year out.


We haven’t even got to the point of a public decision yet but you can see him already bridling at the prospect of doing things differently.

He won’t ! He really won’t ! So do we want two more years of the same ?Does anyone outside the personality ‘Cult’ welcome that ? Because that’s what it is going to be if we don’t get rid of him.


This is the problem. He places as much or more value on Arsenal’s financial record than on it’s sporting record (and takes 100% of the credit for both). The pursuit of sporting glory has clearly taken a back seat to financial stability over the past 10 years. Not that this is all his fault, the board and ownership are certainly complicit. But it is time for Arsenal to bring in a new manager who is only focused on winning matches/titles. Let the board and ownership worry about the business side of the club.


Catalyst for evolving then


Yep. Lets evolve.


There’s no question in my mind that all of these extra curricular activates he has to do has definitely made him lose focus on the footballing side of things. I just think that even with added support i.e. a Director of Football, new coaching staff.. etc… I still think it is too late for Arsene to steer this ship around. The split in the fan base is too great now for it ever to be truly repaired. We could win every single game between now and Christmas next year, and when the inevitable loss eventually occurs the reaction would still… Read more »


agreed. the fans have become too divided and the situation has worsened , now even if wenger somehow manages to reinvent himself it will be too late.


The thing is Clins, I don’t think Arsene is capable of doing that. He has had practically a whole decade and then some to do that and he hasn’t done it. I just think the game is passing him by, which is completely understandable, he is nearly 70. The younger managers coming through now seem to be able to get so much more out of a gang of fairly useless players. Like I don’t think Spurs are better then us, nor Chelsea for that matter, but they just have a coach in charge who is getting the maximum out of… Read more »

Fed up Gooner

This is a fantastic post. My sentiments exactly.


@ IamaGoober

“We could win every single game between now and Christmas next year, and when the inevitable loss eventually occurs the reaction would still be as if we had lost every single game between now and then”

Christmas Next year? Hmmm… Meaning next season (August to May) we will every game.. yeah I’ll take that


@BringSeamanBack That’s my point. To win every game between now and Christmas next season would be a ridiculous achievement. However because the relationship with Arsene and the fans is so bad, when we did then eventually lose a game, people would still treat it as if we had lost every single game over the same time frame when in reality we hadn’t (hypothetically) Might point was simply – there is now a ridiculous knee jerk reaction to every single loss, due to repetitive nature of the teams failings over the last 13 years. So it wouldn’t matter what Arsene does,… Read more »


Surprised there is no analysis by Arseblog on the downsides of hiring a Director of Football. What structure is best?

Glen Helders Left Foot

He never talks about what’s happening on the pitch anymore,just lectures us of how he’s transformed a nothing London club into a European giant. Thanks Arsene but you are a football manager and your team has been going nowhere for years, it makes me sad to think of what an amazing man he was and what he has become


Yes, it’s always those general, vague and platitudes. It’s really become tiring for some time.

Bloody Hair Ljungberg

He never said that. Arsenal was alrrady a big club. Biggest in London with no doubt. His previous, Graham had won us just as many big titles and a EC. We were attracting Englands bests as well as the continets in likes of Wright and Bergkamp. We were always a top 10 club since 1920s.

gooner of Oz

He did say so many times now in different ways. I agree with the rest though.

donald\'s trump

He literally says it in the quote above.

‘All down to the quality of my work’

It’s like he’s the dictator of some Banana Republic


yes. if you compare what he found to what we are today you can easily say he brought us to the first world.


Also what he overlooks is most club’s are recognisable to 20 years ago. Stadiums, training grounds, finances they have all changed hugely for almost every top flight club in one way or another.
Even Look at teams like derby, Bolton Leicester Wigan borough Sunderland etc etc all have modern stadiums compared to 20 years.it means nothing.


He doesn’t get afforded the opportunity to talk football anymore, all it is is this tripe about his future. Everyone should realise by now that the man is not going to step down before the end of the season (if at all), so we either get behind the club or watch it miss out on European footy next year… which in my eyes would see us challenge, if not win the league because this group of players do not seem to have the mental capacity to fight on numerous fronts.


Is this Ty?

David Hillier\'s luggage

I think a lot of that comes down to the fact he’s mostly asked about off the field issues in press conferences, not what’s happening on the pitch.


he always answers like that. It’s just that we have adopted a hostile attitude towards him and feel like everything that comes out of his mouth is bull

Yorkshire Gunner

To be fair to him, if he didn’t speak about off the field matters who else would? We’d be reliant on Sir Chips’ platitudes.


he is correct though

if the maximum level is 9-10 as per barca bayern etc then arsenal, when wenger arrived was at 5. He has brought us to 7-8.

donald\'s trump


No, in the 7 years before Wenger came we had won 2 league titles and The cup winner’s cup.

Wenger has won 3 titles in his first 7 years which is great. But then he has not won any since. So how are we now an ‘8’ if we were a ‘5’.

We are not any bigger in terms of standing.

Bloody Hair Ljungberg

A change would be the stupidest thing. In 2 decades of purple patch we are in our first run of bad form ever. Barcelona or Real Madrid have had at least 10 in the same time. I trust the most exprienced manager in football to bring us back to our best. Couple of wins and we are back in top 4. Wenger have done it a million times. Even when we needed to win almost all our 13 games to secure 4th. Youre a fool if you dont believe he’ll do it again.


If he gets us back to our “best”, then it is still not good enough. Our “best” under Wenger has always fallen short of expectations, not just the fans, but those set by Wenger and Gazidis.

Eric Blair

A man whose best led the team unbeaten through an entire season and a first Champions League final, as well as 2 Doubles, is not good enough for Arsenal?


Apparently not, judging by the results and the play. And it’s not like this year is this unique shitstorm. We have roughly the same number of points as last year. The defense has been godawful for a decade and it’s shown no signs of “evolution”. The teams have been “weak mentally” for a decade. We have starters who aren’t fit to tie Vieira’s shoelaces. Virtually everyone is underperforming this season. Henry said after the City game that back in his days, some people in the locker room would “have a go” at some of our players. The current team doesn’t… Read more »


While you think this: “Youre a fool if you dont believe he’ll do it again.”, your comment suggests you’re sleeping. So wake up.


I guess you are the fool because you have lost reality.


But those changes were made in 6 years.. what about the the other 15 ?


Fuck me, he really seems clueless. I mean, I get it in that he’s trying to defend what he has built, but come the fuck on. At least show some awareness.

gooner of Oz

You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain

Me So Hornsey

I wonder if George Graham raises an eyebrow or two every time he hears Wenger referencing how shit things were before he came.

Those 2 league titles, the first ever cup double, the league cup AND a European trophy he won us seems to be an aberration as far as Arsene’s concerned.

gooner of Oz

And he did all that in third the time Wenger have had. Wenger havent won a title without a Graham player in his squad.

Eric Blair

There is some seriously delusional ramblings on here at the moment, post-truth nonsense up there with some of the Brexit and Trump bullshit. In the unbeaten season only Keown and Parlour had been around in the Graham era, and they rarely played. Keown only had one season with Graham as when he was at the club the first time Graham sold him off to Everton! It is possible to criticize Wenger without resorting to playground taunts and trying to rewrite history to fit your agenda as if he hasn’t done anything for the club. Jesus. I have to agree though… Read more »


relax pal..not like you were real madrid before wenger. i repeat if the maximum level in terms of world class prestige football club is a 9-10 (barca real baeyrn etc) then arsenal was at best a 5 before wenger. he has brought us to 7-8. to reach the level of 9-10 though you need heavy heavy spending…that ball is in owners court..not wenger’s. i dont think you people understand…noone outside london or england actually gave a shit about graham’s drunks… it was all a bit meh… sure you fanatics will think differently but objectively speaking arsenal was not considered some… Read more »

gooner of Oz

Thank you blogs. He definitly has no idea what he’s talking about as he’s simply never seen it.

Romford Pelé

Way off the mark trying to make his point. I can only assume he means because English football worldwide was pretty low in the pecking order of Europe back then,Arsenal outside of England wasn’t a big deal. The price you pay for being global is unfortunately opinions that lack any knowledge of pre premier league football. Still made me giggle but not because that statement was anywhere near the truth, more because it was cringingly so unattached to reality

Faisal Narrage

What a tool.
I’ll make sure to remember your name and keep a look out for your awful nonsense next time.


Sounds like he’s not even an Arsenal fan (“not like you were real madrid before wenger.”) so I don’t even know what he’s doing on this site, possibly just a troll.

Alan Sunderland

He’s not going to change at all


for the love of everything he is not going to change at all . he hasnt reinvented himself in a decade . he didint even reinvented himself this last match and is not going to do that if he somehow stays another season

Beezus Faffoon

What the fuck is going on? We’re crying out for some clarity and it seems that nobody at the club can give it to us! WHY NOT?!


Because they’re afraid it’s not a good time to annouce Wenger’s decision to stay. Maybe after we’ve won some we’ll hear the inevitable.


He is starting to talk like Liverpool fans.

Fed up Gooner

At the start of the season I was sad about Wenger retiring. Now I can’t wait for him to go. He will not leave unless dragged kicking and screaming. Arsene you added to the Arsenal story, you didn’t create it!


This is all stemming from the top. Gazidis, the board. Especially Get this fucking Kroenke bloke the fuck out of our club. Go fucking play with your le cross franchise and continue to look like the poacher from jumanji.


Sorry but all of this says to me that Wenger continues to think that he is doing the right thing, overall and that the big picture is OK in his mind.

I don’t doubt that he recognises the need and space for improvement for on-field results but he is not being honest about what is needed in place by the time his final day arrives.

I would almost accuse him of being too objective.

Chelsea have had a dozen managers and a dozen trophies. Maybe stability can be overrated when it comes to peak sports performance.

Monkey Nuts

It’s all about him and how great he thinks he is. We can’t carry on with an ego maniac in charge.

John Hall

If Gazidis told me today was Wednesday, I’d go check the calendar.


Dictators never want change. His arrogance and blind disregard of the problems we have (publically at least) is staggering.

We desperately need him to go. We can’t move forward as a club with his paralysing hold on the club in effect.

We need a new manager, new coaches, a director of football, and a new approach to doing things to bring us into the modern era and we need it now.


ok we took the vision to procede with off field developments and now we have the infulstructure in place but when you look at chelski, totteringham, liverpool, man city and man utd they got the onfield structures in place before they went for the stadium builds etc and now look at the league it dont tell lies, we are at the same crossroads now as last season difference is apart from man u they have moved onwards and upwards we are treading water, we have Kronke who is only passionate for the money side, you look at all the other… Read more »

Faisal Narrage

Agreed. Statistically speaking, we’re just as good as we were last season, the difference is everyone else has improved significantly. I hate to use them as an example, but you go see the changes Levy has recently made to Spurs. They have arguably the best and latest training facility in the league, they’ve had more youth get into their first team recently, they arguably have a style of play much mor modern than us, they have structures in place similar to Dortmund and Atlético and have thus ensured regardless of if Poch leaves, they’ll always keep running, they’re making some… Read more »

California Gooner

If anyone still thinks this deluded old fool should remain in charge they need their head examined! #wengeroutNOW

donald\'s trump

Me, me, me – look at me, I’m so great.

What an arrogant prick. Seriously can’t stand him anymore.

We were a big club before you came and will be long after you’ve gone.


getting frustrated at how this is all unfolding. Wenger looks like will not be able to change enough to take the club frwrd and club is happy to ignore all this.As a fan for past 13 years I feel sad and confused as to what I can do to change all this. Arsene must understand that he has to leave one day and now is probably 2 year late bt still leaving now will be ok for him and for the club. Its difficult for him to accept life beyond Arsenal bt it has to happen one day


some of you really disgust me. our club was a bit of a joke before arsene. an actual circus. he transformed the club for the better in every department imaginable. arsenal was never no.1 in england or no.1 in europe. why shoudl t be now? because of a stadium and you paying ‘expensive’ tickets ? lol…. how naive are you all? bayern has been top club since 70’s ..barca had cruyff working there 40 years till it all clicked… real madrid winning european big ones since 50’s, milan mesmerised the world in late 80/early 90s…. who the fuck is arsenal… Read more »


Act big? Quite obvious you haven’t watched the same Arsenal as the rest of us.

Faisal Narrage

Oh shut up you delusional twat.
It’s quite clear you your knowledge of Arsenal begins with Wenger. And it seems it will probably end with Wenger too.

Faisal Narrage

“Arsenal has never been number 1 in England”.
How did you think Graham won those 2 titles? By being in the Top 4?

As for Europe? Go to our trophy cabinet and look at the European titles we’ve won. See who’s name won it. Hint: It wasn’t Arsene.


It’s too bad Arsene was so short sighted about his skills and stayed in football. With the amount of nonsense he spews he would be the perfect politician and would be running the U.N. right about now. As a Canadian, the only difference between our current prime Minister and Wenger is that Trudeau is younger. Both just stand on their soap box and preach about themselves. Pathetic.


This is increasingly fucked up. You have Ivan saying Catalyst of Change or whatever he was chuntering on about. Now Wenger is on about no change needed, the foundation to do better is already there. Who’s in charge here? It’s like an episode of The Office except this time David Brent runs Arsenal FC.


He’s just trolling now.

If he honestly believes that there are no or minimal changes needed, then he truly needs to go this summer.

Stuck on repeat...

So, if “The target of the club is always to do better…the structure is there…” & “We have fantastic conditions to do better”…then exactly why aren’t we doing better?

The answer for me has always been that there is no actual desire ir wish to better, & that starts with the owner & board. Which in turn begs the questions again of do we actually really have the right structure, targets & conditions?

Change will only truely happen when it starts at the top & then filters down.

uncle D

Reading too much into the statement. He is stating the obvious. Blogs you are not making things better. This post is negative quite negative.

Bendtner\'s Ego

He’s just clueless right now. Any club would be radically different from 20+ years ago. Arsenal should look to benchmark themselves versus other top clubs and then they would see where the deficiencies are.

I’ll settle for a spectacular change of manager.


The jury might be out on whether Arsene still has what it takes as a football tactician, but there’s no doubt about it, right now his PR skills are non existent.

Tdot Gooner

“I would like you to visit one day the club now, what it is, compared to what it was when I arrived, and you would say that there is a structural change,” he said. Is it just me or AW and IG never really seem to be on the same page, let alone say the same things..this is the fundamental issue at the club…no structure!!! This to me is the main problem with our club, perhaps AW has got his hands on too too many things at the club. Personally i do not believe that the club demands this from… Read more »


This is the core of the problem with Wenger right there, bright daylight, his own words. He lives on the past achievements and memories of his glory days (like old men do). He turns a blind eye to the fact there’s a situation he or the club needs to addresses today. He thinks of Arsenal Football Club as a business – a company, which doesn’t necessarily have to be first in its ranks, but if the business plan is achieved, that’s our trophy. He lost his focus, that’s right. Football is just one thing his job description covers – so… Read more »


I’m not even angry or upset any longer. I just feel numb, totally uninterested. The worse the team plays, the more confused and disorganised the (non)performance, the more determined Wenger gets not to leave now, but to stay forever and defend his legacy, his reputation. (It’s the only ‘defending’ he’s interested in). Extraordinary narcissism and arrogance – it’s all about himself. No-one will step in to ask him to leave either – Kroenke? I bet he couldn’t name one Arsenal player. Gazidis is routinely humiliated by Wenger, so must be hanging around for the money. I’ve had enough. Never thought… Read more »


There’s no schism. Gazidis and the Board will not introduce any change unless Wenger steps down. The system at present is tailored for the gaffer who is unique to us. When a new manager will takeover, he will likely want to have his own system in place. Now at that point, we need to have some things in place to ensure that should this new manager be short term and pulls out, he does not leave us with a vacuum in certain departments. This in particular in the player recruitment department where a measure of continuity could be beneficial. But… Read more »


I love how every time someone from the club announces things that involve change or something, wenger always comes out and says ‘that’s not exactly true.. this will continue to suck’