December 11 2013 Latest news:
By James Cunliffe
Friday, October 25, 2013
Arsene Wenger admitted his disappointment at seeing Ian Holloway leave his post as Crystal Palace manager but believes football has not seen the last of the Bristolian.
On Wednesday, Holloway stepped down from his post in charge of the Eagles, taking the unusual step of holding a press conference.
In the final briefing he insisted that he was tired and had made mistakes, including in his summer transfer business, after guiding the south London club to the Premier League through last term’s play-offs.
Despite his candour and request for a rest, Wenger believes he’ll be back.
“He’s a football man,” the Frenchman said, adding: “He has something that belongs to him, that is special, but you feel there is a strength in there that can take people on board with him.”
He added: “I feel that it’s very harsh on Ian Holloway because he has done exceptionally well with Crystal Palace to get them up to the Premier League.
“It’s very difficult to do that and I find it very quick and very early to separate with Ian Holloway because he has exceptional talent to manage a football team.”
Holloway’s resignation brought to an end one year in the Palace hotseat. Wenger, in contrast, is now English football’s longest serving manager, with 17 years at Arsenal under his belt and 13 years in age over Holloway, but he has sympathy with the former Palace boss.
“Defeat after defeat, when you want absolutely to win, drains you down and that can happen to anybody,” Wenger said.
“When you’re a bit older you can maybe deal with it a little bit better, but what is the killer in our job is to lose a succession of games.
“When you lose five, six, seven on the trot then it’s very difficult to swallow.”
Wenger will lead his table-topping Arsenal side to Selhurst Park tomorrow hoping to avoid a second defeat in succession after their midweek Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund.
Palace on the other hand, with Keith Millen in temporary charge, will hope to arrest a start to the league campaign which has seen them win just once, leading to bookmakers tipping them for the drop already.
A change of management can often see an upturn in the fortunes of struggling sides but Wenger is not concerned an extra boost for the Eagles.
“You focus on your performance and you don’t speculate too much with how they will respond,” he said.
“What is important is that you focus to be at your best and that we respond in a strong way to our disappointment on Tuesday night.”
Former Stoke City boss Tony Pulis was installed as a favourite to succeed Holloway at Palace.
Wenger said: “What I did understand is that they [Palace] wanted to go for a manager with experience. Tony Pulis is one of them.
“Of course, if he gets there he will certainly play his way and demand huge commitment.
“He has done well at Stoke in the way he wants to play the game. He has been very efficient.”
Wenger admitted he was never a fan of Stoke’s direct approach under Pulis but added: “I respect every style of play.
“I believe you can only be a good manager if you play with your gut feeling.
“That can be different but you can only be good if you are completely in accordance with the way you see the game.
“He had done a fantastic job at Stoke.”