Manager Arsene Wenger was in adamant mood when asked about the possibility of a director of football coming to the club. Wenger insisted that no director of football would be coming while he was manager and he refused to even acknowledge what role a director of football actually has.
With chief executive Ivan Gazidis claiming it would be the correct way forward to bring in a director of football and Wenger adamant that one won’t be coming, you feel a power struggle at the club is looming. Suddenly Wenger not signing a new contract or revealing his decision seems to make much more sense.
This could fast become a boardroom battle amid further changes at the club.
Wenger also stated that a top-four finish will not be key for players who are yet to sign a new contract in the summer. Alexis Sanchez has already said he will make his decision in the summer while Mesut Ozil has so far stalled after being offered a new contract.
Ins and out
Arsene Wenger did add that he felt sorry for Spanish striker Lucas Perez and his lack of game time and admitted that Perez deserved to play more matches, but Wenger has been unable to give him game time. The manager did admit he would like to keep Perez, although a move away now does look more likely for the talented striker.
Some reports are circulating on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who may force a move to rivals Liverpool unless he is guaranteed a chance to play in his more favoured role of central midfield. With contract talks set to begin in the summer, Oxlade-Chamberlain will be looking for more assurances this time.
Team news update
Arsene Wenger has said Laurent Koscielny is a doubt for Wednesday’s game with Southampton as he struggles to recover from a calf problem and will face a late fitness test.
Granit Xhaka should now be fit to play and should start. Lucas Perez is fit to play and may make the bench.
Hugs and kisses
Ok, it was just hugs and handshakes, but Arsene Wenger did admit he was surprised by the hugging and joking in the tunnel before the game against Manchester United and did admit it would never have happened with Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane. One or two pundits felt the need to be up in arms about the whole affair. Wenger stated that he was not surprised that some pundits were shocked as it was not something you saw 10-15 years ago but felt that it happens more regularly in the modern game.
Personally, as long as we win, I don’t really care.