Why have Arsenal rowed back from having a DOF?

Crashoutcassius

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I always found the DOF arguments on this forum interesting as 95% of fans seem in total agreement and that is rare.

Why have a club in a similar situation to ourselves rowed back from the model by upgrading Arteta to 'manager' after getting DOFs that are highly thought of in the past few years?

I think to date the best example we had of it not really working well has been Spurs and to some extent the 'transfer committee' for so many years at pre klopp liverpool, but this case should be of interest to us too.

Can any Arsenal fans on the forum give a perspective?
 

Theafonis

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They still have Edu as the technical director. I imagine Arteta and Edu will work closely together alongside the backroom staff. Seems similar to Chelsea’s current setup with Cech as technical advisor.
 

Rozay

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I always found the DOF arguments on this forum interesting as 95% of fans seem in total agreement and that is rare.

Why have a club in a similar situation to ourselves rowed back from the model by upgrading Arteta to 'manager' after getting DOFs that are highly thought of in the past few years?

I think to date the best example we had of it not really working well has been Spurs and to some extent the 'transfer committee' for so many years at pre klopp liverpool, but this case should be of interest to us too.

Can any Arsenal fans on the forum give a perspective?
Most fans are making it up on the subject and are nowhere near qualified to even have an opinion on the ideal structure of a football club. Not beyond ‘that team won and that team didn’t, so do what they did’ anyway.
 

Cassidy

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They still have Edu as the technical director. I imagine Arteta and Edu will work closely together alongside the backroom staff. Seems similar to Chelsea’s current setup with Cech as technical advisor.
This
 

M Bison

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It is a very interesting topic, and it seems to be the modern and trendy thing to do to have a DoF and for certain clubs has worked very well.

I still can’t get my head around it though and don’t fully understand what function the role performs fully.

Whenever anyone answers that question (what does the role do), it always feels very fluffy and lacking in substance.
 

bosnian_red

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I never understood why some fans are obsessed with it. Separating the guy in charge of coaching the club to have little say in the building of the club just seems like a bad idea. Sometimes it works. Other times it doesn't. Sometimes clubs go through bad runs of signings for a variety of reasons, i don't think a director of football or sporting director would really change that unless you happen across one that really suits everything you're striving for. But at the same time the manager can just do that. So now you're looking at 2 high positions and finding 2 different people who both work together well and suit the ideology that you want to represent. Harder than just having the traditional method.
 

Melbourne Red

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I know far more about what a DoF does than I do about the people I meet in life who tell me they're a "consultant".

That said, I know very little about what a DoF does.
 

mu4c_20le

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I seriously doubt it's anywhere near 95% unless it was at our lowest period before bruno arrival, when our fans were most desperate. I'm still not convinced because, just like replacing the manager, it's a roll of the dice and there's no guarantee it could work out or even improve us.
 

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I've always seen a DoF as someone who keeps the manager's footballing ideas consistent with the long term future of the club. There's less need for one if your manager puts great emphasis on a long term approach with his planning. I think they're going for this approach with Arteta.
 

snowkarl

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Well previously they had Raul as the DOF and Edu as the Technical director with the Indian dude as the CEO. From what I read in the athletic they felt they had too many cooks and wanted to streamline the chain of command and clear up who was doing what - so kept Edu as the dof/technical director. I can't see any difference in what he does and what a DOF is supposed to do. And the Indian guy is the CEO in charge of the business/administrative side.
 

awop

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Well previously they had Raul as the DOF and Edu as the Technical director with the Indian dude as the CEO. From what I read in the athletic they felt they had too many cooks and wanted to streamline the chain of command and clear up who was doing what - so kept Edu as the dof/technical director. I can't see any difference in what he does and what a DOF is supposed to do. And the Indian guy is the CEO in charge of the business/administrative side.
Let's try to call him by his name: Vinai.
 

Zen86

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That's the joke.
Most fans are making it up on the subject and are nowhere near qualified to even have an opinion on the ideal structure of a football club. Not beyond ‘that team won and that team didn’t, so do what they did’ anyway.
“I know nothing of our club’s inner workings, I know nothing of any other club’s inner workings, but I’m going to call everyone inept and act like I know best nonetheless.”
 

JazzG

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Can any Arsenal fans on the forum give a perspective?
Edu is our Director of Football. What we had before was Raul who sat above him and I think their roles overlapped and created confusion. We have a clearer structure now where Arteta is the manager, Edu sits above him. Edu will be the link with Arteta, the scouting staff and Mertesacker on the youth system.

Vinai will deal more with the commercial & money side of things and Edu will report to him but handle more of the football side.
 

Crashoutcassius

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Edu is our Director of Football. What we had before was Raul who sat above him and I think their roles overlapped and created confusion. We have a clearer structure now where Arteta is the manager, Edu sits above him. Edu will be the link with Arteta, the scouting staff and Mertesacker on the youth system.

Vinai will deal more with the commercial & money side of things and Edu will report to him but handle more of the football side.
Thank you pal. Do you think the retitling of arteta has any significance ? I guess .. why bother doing it ? So fans stop asking about 'director of football '?
 

JazzG

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Thank you pal. Do you think the retitling of arteta has any significance ? I guess .. why bother doing it ? So fans stop asking about 'director of football '?
I think it does, Emery came in and all he did was the coaching side of things. Arteta seems a lot more involved and hands on with the club. He was like that as a player as well, as soon as he came he became a leader on and off the pitch for us. He wants to work much more like a conventional manager and with him working closely with Edu & having more contacts with the board and higher powers he has a much more direct say in the direction of the club. This is kind of like the approach we had with Wenger/Dein, when Dein left we never found the right balance again.

The Director of Football approach could work but as always comes down to having competent and people who know the game in charge. I look at a club like Chelsea where it feels like mangers will change more quickly and there a Director of Football system could work better. Otherwise there will be too many problems every time you change the head coach. Whereas I see someone like Arteta probably wanting to spend 5+ years here and wanted a real say on how things happen.
 
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The fans want a DoF because we don’t have one, and have been poor since Fergie left.

It’s not some sort of golden bullet. Not saying we shouldn’t have one, however it won’t suddenly mean we will be challenging for the league - whose to say we won’t just start going through DoF like we have done with managers?
 

LucasXXII

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Appointing a DoF (and other technical directors) is to make sure that the philosophy and ideas of the club is consistent when a new head coach has to be appointed, and that the head coach can be more focused on his actual on-the-field job.
 

He'sRaldo

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Most fans are making it up on the subject and are nowhere near qualified to even have an opinion on the ideal structure of a football club. Not beyond ‘that team won and that team didn’t, so do what they did’ anyway.
Shall we shut down the forums then?
 

Gopher Brown

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It is a very interesting topic, and it seems to be the modern and trendy thing to do to have a DoF and for certain clubs has worked very well.

I still can’t get my head around it though and don’t fully understand what function the role performs fully.

Whenever anyone answers that question (what does the role do), it always feels very fluffy and lacking in substance.
Blah blah blah continuity between managers...blah blah blah sets transfer targets...blah blah blah Woodward you cnut.
 

Rozay

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Shall we shut down the forums then?
Nah, we talk about football. We do get to watch that. Talking about the structuring of a club from top to bottom is a different thing entirely. There’s barely even a starting point, even from a layman’s perspective to be attacking so vigorously what you have never seen. Probably the same people who watch the smallest of snapshots behind the scenes at Spurs and say ‘wow, so fascinating to see how a club really works’. Yet they are saying this club and that club isn’t doing it right, and apparently knows what the club needs in the scouting, sports science, internal communications, business negotiations structure.

A different thing entirely to critiquing a left-back.
 

He'sRaldo

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Nah, we talk about football. We do get to watch that. Talking about the structuring of a club from top to bottom is a different thing entirely. There’s barely even a starting point, even from a layman’s perspective to be attacking so vigorously what you have never seen. Probably the same people who watch the smallest of snapshots behind the scenes at Spurs and say ‘wow, so fascinating to see how a club really works’. Yet they are saying this club and that club isn’t doing it right, and apparently knows what the club needs in the scouting, sports science, internal communications, business negotiations structure.

A different thing entirely to critiquing a left-back.
That's fair. I'd say though that the people who pay attention to other continental clubs will be more informed about those issues, as in my experience those clubs tend not to hide their structure and we see those roles clearly in action.

Which is why when we see that there's something working for others that we lack, we'd naturally want to try it out and see if it would work for us, especially since it seems to be an area of weakness for us in recent times.

Of course we won't know everything though; for instance, I learned recently that one of the Glazers back in the U.S has to approve every transfer, which is something I never thought would be part of our backroom business. So you're right that we can never really know the ins and outs of backroom staff.
 

zing

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Nah, we talk about football. We do get to watch that. Talking about the structuring of a club from top to bottom is a different thing entirely. There’s barely even a starting point, even from a layman’s perspective to be attacking so vigorously what you have never seen. Probably the same people who watch the smallest of snapshots behind the scenes at Spurs and say ‘wow, so fascinating to see how a club really works’. Yet they are saying this club and that club isn’t doing it right, and apparently knows what the club needs in the scouting, sports science, internal communications, business negotiations structure.

A different thing entirely to critiquing a left-back.
Agree 100%.
 

ChaddyP

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I'm in the 5 percent that think it's not needed at our club because of the structure we now have in place. We have a board that decides the direction the club goes. We have been doing well in the last 18 months in terms of direction the club is going, with recruitment for first team and academy, transition of players into the first team from the academy, profile of player coming into the club and this list goes on.

The term "director of football" has no real definition. But if it ever had one that person currently would be Solskjaer. We have a clear vision of the future and the type of football and type of players we want to sign.

Our scouting network is probably at the best we have ever had it. I don't see what a DOF Is going to actually do.

Woodward has been excellent in keeping the club financially viable in my opinion and that's where his job rests. He's not out there trying to do deals again. If you think Matt Judge has done a bad job in getting transfers over the line and negotiating sales and player contracts then fair fecks. Hire a better negotiator. That's not a DOF though, maybe that's where people get confused.
 

ChaddyP

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Nah, we talk about football. We do get to watch that. Talking about the structuring of a club from top to bottom is a different thing entirely. There’s barely even a starting point, even from a layman’s perspective to be attacking so vigorously what you have never seen. Probably the same people who watch the smallest of snapshots behind the scenes at Spurs and say ‘wow, so fascinating to see how a club really works’. Yet they are saying this club and that club isn’t doing it right, and apparently knows what the club needs in the scouting, sports science, internal communications, business negotiations structure.

A different thing entirely to critiquing a left-back.
We also don't get to watch training And tactical analysis sessions. We have no idea what actual instructions certain players are given, we have no idea if they are doing exactly what certain managers want and are looking for. 12 months ago most would say martial is a left winger and why is Ole playing him at CF (very few questioned it). Now most see him as almost untouchable at CF.

My point is even with something as basic as a player position we will never have all the information to critique. Doesn't mean we can't give our ideas even if it's something as complex as a club structure.

None of us are actually qualified to critique a player. None of us are qualified to critique a clubs structure. But so what we go with what little we know and give it a try anyway
 

Rozay

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We also don't get to watch training And tactical analysis sessions. We have no idea what actual instructions certain players are given, we have no idea if they are doing exactly what certain managers want and are looking for. 12 months ago most would say martial is a left winger and why is Ole playing him at CF (very few questioned it). Now most see him as almost untouchable at CF.

My point is even with something as basic as a player position we will never have all the information to critique. Doesn't mean we can't give our ideas even if it's something as complex as a club structure.

None of us are actually qualified to critique a player. None of us are qualified to critique a clubs structure. But so what we go with what little we know and give it a try anyway
It’s still not the same. Whatever a player is told in training, we get to see their performances on the pitch, which enables us to critique. The structure and hierarchy of the club is operated almost entirely behind the scenes. People have criticisms on how transfers are conducted, but don’t know the first thing about how they are conducted I’d imagine.

My position is that so long as United feel they have the structure that they are comfortable with, that is fine by me. So far as all of the functions of a football club has somebody to do them, then I don’t see why we MUST have a director. Every club needs scouting, for example. It isn’t as if scouting is neglected by us. If one club decides to do their scouting this way, and we choose to do ours another way, then it is what it is. If one club scouts and we do not, then that’s a different conversation. If we’re comfortable with Nicky Butt doing what some other supposed specialist does elsewhere, then fine. If it works for us it works for us.
 

ChaddyP

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It’s still not the same. Whatever a player is told in training, we get to see their performances on the pitch, which enables us to critique. The structure and hierarchy of the club is operated almost entirely behind the scenes. People have criticisms on how transfers are conducted, but don’t know the first thing about how they are conducted I’d imagine.

My position is that so long as United feel they have the structure that they are comfortable with, that is fine by me. So far as all of the functions of a football club has somebody to do them, then I don’t see why we MUST have a director. Every club needs scouting, for example. It isn’t as if scouting is neglected by us. If one club decides to do their scouting this way, and we choose to do ours another way, then it is what it is. If one club scouts and we do not, then that’s a different conversation. If we’re comfortable with Nicky Butt doing what some other supposed specialist does elsewhere, then fine. If it works for us it works for us.
Dont get me wrong , i agree entirely with most of your second paragraph i just dont agree that because posters on the forum arent privy to certain things means they cant critique and discuss on the forum the way we do with players.
 

GBBQ

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Whatever structure we have, we’re only as good as the people in those positions. As has been said it’s no guarantee of success and it’s only really adding another dissenting voice into the mix if we went with the wrong person.

A DOF did feel necessary in past seasons because we were buying with seemingly little to no long term vision resulting in constant need to move on deadwood on extraordinary contracts. However Solskjaer is bringing in the type of players we want to see at Old Trafford so getting in someone else to handle DOF would seem like a risk in case they decided to start putting their own spin on things and move on players that Ole sees as pivotal.