Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been strongly criticised for not answering a football-related question during the club’s annual meeting on Thursday.
The departure of captain Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona meant that Arsenal needed to sign a replacement. Although versatile England international Calum Chambers was recruited from Southampton for a reported transfer fee of £16 million, many wanted to Wenger to bring in a more experienced, proven and established centre-back.
Which Wenger did not, but Sir Chips did not answer the question, passing it onto the French manager, who reportedly declined to address the issue.
Payne, who posed the question, has now slammed both Sir Chips and Wenger, and is quoted as saying by The Daily Star: ‘This is the first time I have heard a chairman say Wenger is the only one at the club who has any say, transfer-wise.
‘If you are managing director of a company and identify weakness, and do nothing about it, you are sacked. Every single Arsenal fan knew we needed a defender and defensive midfielder and he did nothing about it.
‘I cannot believe the chairman and manager refused to answer a football-related question. Wenger promised he was going to replace Vermaelen after he was sold to Barcelona, but this has not happened and all I wanted to know was why’.
One can see where Payne is coming from. Being the chairman of Arsenal, Sir Chips should get more involved in the squad; after all, it is the players who eventually bring clubs glory and success.
However, it has long been established that it is Wenger who is the ‘boss’ at Arsenal when it comes to the playing personnel. And one can understand why. It is the Frenchman who works with the players week in and week out.