Football: Rival managers sympathise with sacked Moyes

LONDON (AFP) - A host of Premier League managers have criticised Manchester United's decision to sack David Moyes this week, just 10 months after he replaced Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford.

Arsenal's Arsene Wenger, now the longest-serving manager in the Premier League following Ferguson's retirement, said the high casualty rate among managers could have profound consequences for the English game.

And Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini could not understand the timing of United's decision to ditch Moyes.

However, several former United stars now in charge of top-flight English clubs, including Steve Bruce, Mark Hughes and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer all backed their former United team-mate Ryan Giggs to make a success of his new role as interim player-manager.

Wenger, who took charge of Arsenal in September 1996, said: "If you want quality people in any job, you need to give them time to develop and to become good, or people with the quality will not come into our job any more.

"The average (job life) expectancy of an English professional club at the moment is 11 months, and that is quite unstable. Every guy who is married, has a family, will have a big hesitancy before he goes into that game.

"That means the quality of the coaching and the quality of the managing is under threat."

Pellegrini said: "It is a pity for David Moyes because I think he is a very good manager, that is why Manchester United chose him to continue the work that Sir Alex Ferguson did for so many years.

"But I don't know the reasons they have. It is always not good for the club to sack a manager who has a contract who is just starting his work - and very difficult work after Alex Ferguson - and a contract for six years."

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho dismissed speculation he might take over at United by saying there was no way he would leave the Blues, while Tottenham Hotspur coach Tim Sherwood was left lamenting that British managers "don't get a fair crack of the whip".

Stoke boss Hughes, a former United striker, voiced his concern over the manner of Moyes's exit but said his former club had then done the best thing in the circumstances by putting Giggs in caretaker charge.

"It's probably the right appointment, the only appointment given the week that Manchester United have had," Hughes explained. "It makes total sense. The knowledge and understanding of the place that he has is invaluable for them at this moment in time."

Bruce, once Giggs's captain at United but now the manager at FA Cup finalists Hull, said his old team-mate would have no problems coping with his new responsibilities.

"The one thing it won't do is faze Ryan, he's been at Man Utd all his life," said the Hull manager. "If they win the next three or four games 4-0 there'll be a clamour for Ryan I'm sure and you wish him the best of luck."

Cardiff manager Solskjaer said he hoped Giggs could do the Welsh strugglers a favour by taking points off their relegation rivals Norwich and Sunderland in United's next two matches.

"Giggsy has got all the attributes to become a top, top manager one day, definitely," Solskjaer said. "When he was a player - he still is a player - he chooses his words very carefully. He is not one of those that always speaks every single day, but when he speaks you listen. It has always been that way. He commands respect."

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