Arsenal club scout (and former player) Gilles Grimandi has hit out at former players for their views on Arsene Wenger.
Wenger has been widely criticised for a poor season at the Emirates Stadium, with Arsenal sixth in the Premier League, out of the FA Cup, beaten in the Carabao Cup final and facing the daunting task of overcoming AC Milan in the Europa League.
Thierry Henry and Martin Keown have been chief among those questioning their former manager, but club scout and ex-player Grimandi has issued a defence of his compatriot.
“It saddens me, because guys like Thierry or Martin, I like them, I have good relations with them, but some go in the direction of the controversy and I deplore it,” he told L’Equipe, as translated by Sport Witness.
“To all those former consultants, I want to say three things. First, you must not have a short memory: they owe a lot to Arsene. And they sometimes went out of their way to return to the club after the end of their playing career.
“Then, they should respect the investment of Arsene in the club, the fact that he works like crazy every day. Arsene makes strategic decisions every day for Arsenal.
“Finally, I want to say to them: Get your hands dirty. Today, you are only in a role of judgment, but invest in a club and you will see that it is not simple.
“What is true is that possession guaranteed you results in the Premier League and that this is not the case today. We must adapt. But a coach judges himself over time.
“It has long been said that Arsene was an avant-garde tactician, because he knew how to develop a strong game identity at Arsenal, and now he would be on the street in this area? It doesn’t make sense.”
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