The Barcelona manager, Luis Enrique, has expressed his admiration for Arsène Wenger’s 20-year managerial career at Arsenal, insisting “that would be impossible here” and admitting that he would be in favour of coaches getting only six-month contracts at their club.
Pressure is building on Wenger from some supporters to finally walk away with his side facing the prospect of a trophyless season, but his longevity provokes fascination in Spain and, asked about his opposite number, Luis Enrique said: “Madre Mia. It’s impossible. No one has ever done it here. What he has done at the club is admirable.
“To be at the same club for so long shows his quality as a manager and also his desire to keep going in the job.
“I cannot talk about his current situation but if he has been there for that long it says something about his capability. The thing is there are ever more coaches around and only the same number of clubs as ever, so there’s so much competition.”
Luis Enrique did not suggest that Spanish clubs necessarily should follow suit and keep managers for years, though. In fact, he suggested quite the opposite – in his case, at least. And his response was an interesting one given the costs implicit in replacing Wenger at the Emirates Stadium.
Asked what his ideal contract length would be, Luis Enrique said: “I have quite a drastic view of this. I would only give out six-month contracts. If you’re not absolutely happy, you go. And it would be cheaper for clubs, too.”
The manager said his side would be far from complacent against Arsenal despite leading 2-0 from the first leg in London.
On course for a second successive treble of major trophies, the Spanish league leaders are on a 37-match unbeaten run in all competitions going into the match on Wednesday.
“It’s obvious that the result we got there influences this second game, but we won’t change anything about the way we train nor the way we are preparing it. The tie is not sealed and Arsenal are a dangerous team,” Luis Enrique said.
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