Search

Upson: Wenger could not work with director of football at Arsenal

PUBLISHED: 16:30 13 May 2017

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (pic Nick Potts/PA)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (pic Nick Potts/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Former Gunners defender not surprised by Frenchman’s comments

Former Arsenal defender Matt Upson was not surprised to hear Arsene Wenger play down talk of a new director of football being employed by the club this week.

Wenger, whose future has been the subject of much debate throughout the season, appeared to scoff at suggestions of a new post being created at the Emirates during a press conference in midweek.

And Upson, who won a Premier League winner’s medal at Highbury in 2002, can understand why the Frenchman reacted in the way he did.

“With everything that Arsene Wenger has succeeded with in his career, in the set-up that he has been used to, I’m not sure if he’d be able to work with a director of football, which he himself appears to have ruled out with his recent comments,” said Upson.

“It’s understandably difficult to change and adapt to that. The person that they would have to bring in has to have the same level of power and experience as Arsene Wenger, so who are you going to choose to fill that role? Very few can match his experience or power in the game.

“A manager and a director of football may have moments where they have differences of opinion and Arsene has, for many years, enjoyed control without having anyone in that position.

“If you add the role now, Arsene Wenger may feel distracted by it and that could be bad from the get-go. If you’re going to have a director of football in place, I think perhaps it may be better to implement one, if and when the club appoint a new manager.

“David Dein had a fantastic relationship with Arsene Wenger and it is well documented that he dealt with all the transfer dealings between clubs – they both supported and respected each other because David was already a massive figure at the club and one who personally brought Arsene in. I wonder if Arsene Wenger feels if he can replicate that relationship with anyone else.”

Arsenal travel to Stoke City looking to maintain their outside hopes of claiming a Champions League spot, following their 2-0 win at Southampton on Wednesday.

Disappointing away defeats at West Brom and Crystal Palace have contributed to them finding themselves outside the top four as the season draws to a close and Upson feels some changes need to be made to restore them to former glories, adding: “From the manager to the board, to the coaches, the players and the medical practices, the structure of Arsenal has had small changes in the past 20 years.

“Looking at it, there maybe are some changes that could be considered to help the team and it’d be great to see them find a solution that would see their players being fit and medically available to play more regularly, but ultimately you have to respect the job Arsene has done over such a long period.

“The players currently in the set-up tick a lot of boxes – technically gifted, strong, quick – but you could argue what they lack, and have done for a while, is that drive and determination to win the game no matter what.

“Performances such as the recent ones away at West Brom and Crystal Palace arguably demonstrated that.”

https://sports.bwin.com/en/news/football-betting/matthew-upson-interview,126925.html

Latest Hackney Stories

Yesterday, 18:00

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Norwegian announced today a partnership that sees the award-winning airline named presenting partner of the NBA London Game 2019.

Yesterday, 16:30

Ridley Road Shopping Village is being closed down by police over drug dealing and anti-social behaviour – kicking out long-standing traders with just two weeks’ notice.

Yesterday, 18:37

Five teenagers who killed father-of-three Daniel Frederick yards from his home in Stoke Newington have today been jailed for 64 years.

Two men have conquered their fear of swimming to take the plunge and raise £42,000 for their friend who was paralysed on holiday this summer.

Yesterday, 15:00

The experienced midfielder wasn’t part of the matchday squad on Saturday and boss Justin Edinburgh explained why post-match

Yesterday, 12:30

A look at how some of Tottenham Hotspur’s players fared while on international duty over the weekend

Yesterday, 12:24

Islington Council has withdrawn its representation ahead of today’s Wireless Festival licensing hearing, saying promoters have agreed to their demands.

Yesterday, 10:30

Leyton Orient and Hartlepool United played out an entertaining goalless draw on Saturday



Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Show Job Lists