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Moyes hails ‘dedicated, proper football man’ Wenger

PUBLISHED: 17:26 20 April 2018

West Ham United manager David Moyes gestures on the touchline as Arsenal's Arsene Wenger looks on during the Premier League match at London Stadium (pic John Walton/PA)

West Ham United manager David Moyes gestures on the touchline as Arsenal's Arsene Wenger looks on during the Premier League match at London Stadium (pic John Walton/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

David Moyes knows a thing or two about replacing a great manager so he does not envy whoever takes over from Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.

On Friday morning, Wenger announced he is leaving the Gunners at the end of the season after almost 22 years in charge.

The search is now on for a successor to the 68-year-old Frenchman, who won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups with the north Londoners.

Moyes was the man picked to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson after 26 trophy-laden years at Manchester United in 2013 but lasted just 10 months before he was axed.

And the Scot, whose West Ham side on Sunday will be the first to face Arsenal since the announcement, said: “It’s never easy when you follow great managers at great clubs. It’ll be tough for whoever takes the job.

“It’s been an incredible achievement for him to be the job that long – as it was for Sir Alex Ferguson. I thought I did well with 11 years at Everton.

“Real football people appreciate what he’s done. He is a proper football man, he lives and breathes it, he’s dedicated to his job and his sport.

“I’d probably wish it hadn’t been announced before this weekend but most people appreciate Arsene and what he has done in football.

“I respect him for what a good football man he is.”

Wenger is hoping to sign off with Europa League success and Arsenal face a semi-final first leg against Atletico Madrid just four days after the Hammers clash.

Moyes, whose side could do with another point or two to banish any lingering relegation fears, feels Wenger could rest some of his key men.

“I think we have seen a few teams change around, even because of the FA Cup, a lot of the Premier League teams alter,” added Moyes.

“In the race to be in the top four I don’t know anyone who wants to lose at all, but maybe Arsene sees the Europa League as the priority.”

Moyes admits he has a decision to make after goalkeeper Joe Hart’s latest blunder gifted Stoke their goal in Monday’s 1-1 draw.

Manuel Lanzini could be back in the starting line-up after a knee injury.

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