With the sacking season in full swing Arsene Wenger joined the approving chorus of support for Cardiff’s embattled Malky Mackay. The Arsenal coach will have served longer than all the other Premier League managers combined should Cardiff chairman Vincent Tan carry out his threat to remove Mackay from his post.
“It looks strange to me but honestly I don't know well what's going on there. I have only superficially followed that. But from outside I think the manager is doing a very good job there,” Wenger said.
Wenger’s words were delivered with a knowing look. Following the summary removal of Steve Clarke at West Brom and Andre Villas-Boas at Tottenham, Wenger spoke of the dangers of snap dismissals and the damage inflicted on the coaching industry
“To be given time is important first of all when you're a young manager you need to learn the job. Nobody goes in a job at 33, 34 years of age and knows the job. If he's not given the time somebody else comes in and he has the same problem. There are some countries where the instability of managers is chronic.
“After that happens you have no
quality anymore because people with quality do not go into jobs where they are
sacked every three weeks for ridiculous reasons, so it's very important for the
quality of the game that there is a certain stability. We all know that it's
part of our job as well when things don't work. But you have as well to be
careful that it's just not based on emotional reactions.”
Wenger, who faces Chelsea on Monday in a match that could see Arsenal surrender top spot, said he was shocked to see Villas-Boas depart. “He has the highest percentage of wins at the club. Is it an internal problem his chairman or with 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 good sign.”
Despite past hostilities and his failure to beat a Chelsea side managed by Jose Mourinho, Wenger claimed Monday’s fixture is not personal. “We had some big games in the past, but what is important for me is that I am completely focused on Arsenal. Whether we play against Chelsea or anybody else, for me it's exactly the same, because what is at stake is to get back to winning habits, whether it’s Chelsea or anyone else.”