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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 13, 2009

Wenger: Adams needed time at Pompey

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Portsmouth moved too early to sack his former captain Tony Adams as boss at Fratton Park - and has also revealed the dismissal of Luiz Felipe Scolari by Chelsea came as a ''massive surprise''.

The Frenchman is the second longest-serving manager in the top flight, having taken over in September 1996 before going on oversee the most successful period in the north-London club's history.

However, time is a luxury most coaches no longer enjoy - with Adams axed by Pompey only 16 Premier League games into his job after taking over from Harry Redknapp.

Reputations, meanwhile, also seem to count for little in the modern game, with Scolari, who guided Brazil to World Cup glory and also enjoyed relative success in charge of Portugal, removed from a position he only took up in the summer.

Wenger, though, has backed Adams - who won the league title with the Gunners four times, twice under Wenger - to return stronger from the experience.

''I believe that Tony will be a very good manager and I don't believe he was given the needed time,'' Wenger told the club's website.

''It is a big surprise that so quickly they made a big decision because when they made the decision to give him the job they knew he has worked there for a year-and-a half and they knew him.

''When you give a young manager that much responsibility you have to give him time.''

Wenger believes the appointment of Guus Hiddink to succeed Scolari, albeit only until the end of the season, will see another strong personality in charge of the Stamford Bridge dressing room.

The Arsenal boss said: ''Scolari is a well-known manager and was only given six months.

''It is difficult to know what is the atmosphere inside the club when you don't live there every day, but it is still a massive surprise.

''However you know when one super manager is sacked at Chelsea, another super manager will come in.

''I rate Hiddink highly. He has been tremendously successful everywhere. He has had a long career and he's a strong personality.''

Chelsea have dropped down to fourth in the table following a poor run of form in the final games of Scolari's reign, and are now only five points ahead of Arsenal.

Wenger, though, feels his men must concentrate on improving their own performances rather than worry about what might happen elsewhere.

The Arsenal manager said: ''I believe [we should] focus on our way to be successful and not too much on the others.

''We need outstanding performances until the end of the season and the only way to achieve that is by focusing on our performances.

''If Chelsea gain points Aston Villa will drop, it is all linked together - but if we are consistent we will be there.''

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