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Arsene Wenger would have been sacked in Spain, says Pepe Mel

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: May 03, 2014

  • West Bromwich Albion manager Pepe Mel during a recent Barclays Premier League match at The Hawthorns

  • Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

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West Brom’s Spanish boss Pepe Mel believes Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger would have been sacked had he experienced a similar trophy drought in La Liga.

Wenger’s barren spell with the Gunners stretches back nine years, yet the north London club have kept faith with their French manager.

Mel has the utmost respect for his opposite number ahead of their Barclays Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, but the former Real Betis boss admits such a poor recent record would not be acceptable at a top Spanish side.

“I don’t think Arsene would have survived in Spain,” he said. “Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid is a good example. Three months ago he was under real pressure and now they are in the Champions League final.

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“In Spain, England and Germany it is always the same, the head coach lives for the results.

“But I’m not surprised Arsene is still in a job as I agree with Arsenal. He has a good philosophy.”

Mel believes his side need one more point to effectively secure their top flight safety.

The Spaniard endured a difficult start to life at The Hawthorns after replacing Steve Clarke in January, with victories hard to come by and off-field problems - such as the sale of Shane Long to Hull and the Nicolas Anelka ‘Quenelle’ saga - exacerbating the situation.

However, victory against West Ham put them on the verge of survival and Mel admits his job is more enjoyable at the moment.

“I enjoy my job and being at West Brom, and the fans,” he said. “But January and February were very, very difficult for me, with Long leaving and the Anelka situation and more.

“The most important thing is at the end, though.

“If West Brom stay in the Premier League it is good work. But I want more than safety.

“I’m ambitious and want more. It’s not enough. The next season in 17th is not enough. I want more. We want next season to be even better.”

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