So rather than twisting, Arsenal have decided to stick with Wenger, the board, the coaches and the staff.
Apparently they’re planning on recycling the used tea-bags from last year as well.
Following Mr Gazidis’ comments on last season being a catalyst for change…
Where else could change arise?
It seems the board are happy to allow Wenger’s backroom team to continue unopposed. Of course, if Gazidis is happy for Wenger to continue in his current capacity then why shouldn’t his backroom staff be granted the same courtesy?
The tolerance of the board over Wenger choosing to keep on his backroom staff should come as no revelation. Wenger is loyal to a fault. If a new manager came in, he would be permitted to choose his own staff, so it shouldn’t shock anyone that the board have granted Wenger the same consideration.
Yet this was a chance to shake things up.
A chance the club has spurned.
There is a suspicion that Wenger’s backroom staff is in dire need of a reshuffle.
Despite the players singing their praises after the club’s FA Cup triumph, it should not go unnoticed these were the same individuals charged with readying the team for fixtures against: West Brom, Crystal Palace, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Tottenham, Watford, Everton and Southampton.
These were the individuals who sat silently shifting in their seats as Wenger described Granit Xhaka as an attacking-midfielder.
These are the individuals who will bite their lip when Wenger describes Wilshere as a new signing in a month’s time and hail the signing of 15-year-old Bosnian youth Slaviska Slowinka as a shrewd piece of business.
Of course, there are a few individuals who deserve to keep their position with the club.
Gerry Peyton is a seasoned veteran. He has played over 600 competitive matches for clubs such as: Bolton, Southend United and Brentford, he was capped 33 times by footballing powerhouse Ireland and he has coached around the world – most notably in the Japanese and Swedish first division. He even gives Petr Cech and Emi Martinez a handful of Werthers Originals if they fetch his slippers for him.
Outrage aside, the board have only a number of alternative routes to demonstrate that this season will be different. The first and most significant could be the introduction of a Director of Football, who will be given the title of Director of Operations. Wait, that might still upset Wenger. Director of Non-Footballing Operations. No, still has the word football in it. Director of Things Wenger Doesn’t Care About? Hmmm, still too close for comfort. Assistant of Tea and Biscuit Operations? Yep, that’s the one!
The Director of Tea and Biscuit Operations, when not picking up the Tetley and custard creams, will hopefully be tasked with renewing contracts, identifying playing targets and coordinating with Wenger on a possible succession plan in 2043.
It seems absurd that, until this point, Wenger has been entrenched in negotiations with players. The result of a manager trying to hardball a player into signing a contract must be counterproductive to motivating them to play.
By offering them less than they feel they deserve, the player must naturally feel undervalued. Perhaps Gazidis’ plan for change is to have some Deal or No Deal styled contract negotiations with Arsene Wenger positioned as banker in a remote room with a direct telephone line.
At least, it would make a welcome change from the club begrudgingly selling to a close rival.
Gazidis has promised change.
I would greatly love to believe this to be true – but this is the man who once claimed that Arsenal would soon be competing with clubs like Bayern Munich before later reneging on such assertions.
Change is not forthcoming.
No amount of booing, protests, hired airplanes or YouTube videos is going to alter that.