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Wenger says quality at risk if managers axed ‘for ridiculous reasons’

Arsene Wenger.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images) Arsene Wenger. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Friday, December 20, 2013
2:31 PM

Arsene Wenger is worried for the quality of football if managers “are sacked every three weeks for ridiculous reasons.”

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This week counterparts Andre Villas-Boas and Steve Clarke have been forced out of Tottenham and West Brom respectively, while Cardiff’s Malky Mackay job is appearing increasingly precarious with Bluebirds owner Vincent Tan due to fly into Britain this evening.

The controversial Malaysian businessman sent Mackay a letter by email on Monday, outlining his grievances with the former Watford boss at great length. He was highly critical of Mackay’s signings, style of play, results and performance as a manager. The letter also included the ultimatum that the Scot quit or be given the boot.

Asked about the bizarre turn of events at the Welsh club, Wenger said: “It looks strange to me but I don’t know what’s going on there, I have only superficially followed that.

“From outside I think the manager is doing a very good job there.”

Should Mackay be relieved of his duties then Wenger, who has been in charge of Arsenal since 1996, will have been in his current job longer than all the other Premier League bosses combined.

“There is no real secret than maybe I was given more time than many other managers,” the Frenchman said on his longevity.

“On my side I just try to be completely dedicated to my job, but I think that every other manager would do that as well.

“Honestly, apart from my case, technical stability is important for football and for the quality of the managers. To be given time is important first of all.

“When you are a young manager you need to learn the job. Nobody goes in the job at 33 or 34 years of age and knows the job.

“If he’s not given the time, somebody else comes in and is given the job.

“There are some countries where the instability of managers is chronic.

“After that you have no quality anymore because people with quality do not go into jobs where they are sacked every three weeks for ridiculous reasons.

“It is very important for the quality of the game that there is a certain stability.

“We all know it’s part of our job when things don’t work, but you have to be careful that it’s not just based on emotional reactions.”

But Wenger admitted that he has sympathy with any boss that is axed.

“You need to be a manager to know how much we suffer, how many sleepless nights are behind every manager and how much everybody wants to win,” he said.

“Of course you feel sympathy with people who lose their jobs.

“In an ideal world you want everybody to be happy and a manager who is sacked is an unhappy person who feels somewhere that he failed and thinks, ‘what have I done wrong to deserve that?’”

The sacking of north London rival Villas-Boas came after Spurs lost 5-0 at home to Liverpool last weekend but Wenger admitted it was still a decision that surprised him.

“He has the highest percentage rate of wins at the club, historically,” Wenger said of the Portuguese.

“Is it an internal problem with his relationship with his chairman or the board? I don’t know.

“Is it an emotional reaction to a big defeat at home? I hope not because that would not be a big sign. But I was surprised.

“You need time. When I said to you [media] at the beginning of the season that if you sign more than three players you always take a technical risk, you were all laughing at me.

“It is a reality.”

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