It is well documented that Arsenal are after a technical director.
Since Raul Sanllehi took over from Ivan Gazidis, the Spainard has believed that adding a technical director to off field management team is important.
In recent the last 2 weeks two high profile reported Arsenal targets have decided their future lies elsewhere.
Firstly we have Marc Overmars, who currently holds a similar position at Ajax.
The ex-Arsenal winger Marc Overmars has signed a new contract that keeps him as Ajax’s director of football until 2024.
Some outlets have written the fabricated story that by deciding to remain at Ajax, he has “rejected Arsenal”.
This is simply an unfounded claim.
It was the media who linked Overmars to Arsenal; with the tenuous link that Overmars used to play for Arsenal and is currently a technical director. It was a care of putting 2 and 2 together and getting 5 for the sake of a story.
Arsenal might have spoken to Overmars about the position, just like in my job I speak to competitors employees to discuss if they would be interested in a move. But this discussion would have been done quietly, and certainly not something that would have been leaked to the media.
So the media fabricated a story that Overmars was one of Arsenal’s primary targets; and then the media fabricated a second story that he had rejected us.
The Monchi links were certainly stronger than the Overmars one, and it is interesting to see that he is set to retain to Sevilla 2 years after leaving the Spanish club for Roma.
“I thank Arsenal for their interest,” said Monchi, who worked with Arsenal boss Unai Emery during their time together at Sevilla.
“It has been the club that has shown the most interest in me but, in the end, I evaluated all of the offers I had on the table and I chose the one that convinced me most.
“I had other options, and very important ones that were flashier, but I’ve chosen Sevilla because its sporting project convinced me.”
My feeling over Monchi rejecting us is the role of technical director at Arsenal is not as senior as what he would have wanted.
Whoever comes in will report into Raul Sanllehi, who is Director of Football.
The technical director will not be fully in charge of running the entire playing side of the club, unlike Sanllehi when he joined whilst Ivan Gazidis was CEO.
He will work underneath Sanllehi. The Spaniard will remain ultimately responsible for running the football side of the club and implementing the vision.
The issue is someone like Monchi ,with his experience and track record, would have wanted the ultimately responsibility of running the football side of the club.
Monchi would have worked well under Gazidis, in a similar role that Sanllehi was originally employed to do. However now that we have Sanllehi, we do not need someone as senior.
The technical director at Arsenal will undertake delegated tasks that Sanllehi does not have time to do himself. He will be responsible for implementing Sanllehi’s vision, rather than implementing his own.
The technical director will not be part of Arsenal’s senior management team – Sanhllehi, Vinai Venkatesham and Unai Emery. It will be a position below them. The position will not even require board sign off. Sanllehi can appoint whoever he wants.
It is perhaps a role that Monchi saw as being beneath him. To junior a role.
Yes, Monchi was on the short list, but it is the equivalent of trying to recruit an operations manager for a branch managers role.
The headlines that Arsenal have been “snubbed twice” in their search for a new technical director are simply created for hits.
They show a lack of knowledge and lack of understanding on the role. What or who Arsenal want.
The fact that the role of technical director at Arsenal makes headline news simply highlights how newsworthy we are, and how media outlets rely on using our name for advertising revenue.