Walter Mazzarri has revealed his admiration for the way Arsene Wenger has managed Arsenal for almost 20 years.
The Frenchman’s 20th anniversary at the club comes in October, and will serve as a reminder of what a rarity such a reign is in modern football and how the demanding industry’s culture has changed.
Wenger has survived periods of significant pressure, largely because of Arsenal’s faith in his abilities, while numerous managerial colleagues have been sacked after routine but poor short-term results.
English clubs’ pursuit of instant success has become similar to the Italian culture with which Mazzarri is more familiar. The Watford manager, however, still believes it retains some of its patience and stressed that should not be lost.
“Life for coaches is changing in England but a manager needs time to work and prove himself,” said Mazzarri, whose Watford team on Saturday host Arsenal in the Premier League.
“I do like the English culture of keeping them for longer and giving them that chance.
“For example we had a bad result on Tuesday [losing 2-1 to Gillingham in the EFL Cup] but it gave me a chance to see who should be playing less and who should be playing more.
“It also gives me the chance to improve the team.”
Asked if he envies the way Wenger has spent such a lengthy period at one club, he responded: “Yes, with the right team. The longest I have coached was four years at Napoli.
“I started with a team that was very low in Serie A and I had time to improve things. To have time as a manager is really good because you have that time to improve.”
Watford’s new signings Daryl Janmaat, Younes Kaboul and Roberto Pereyra are in contention to feature on Saturday at Vicarage Road, but Mazzarri is expected to recall much of the team that last weekend lost 2-1 to Chelsea.
“You need to be very young [to do 20 years like Wenger],” continued the Italian, who again has Isaac Success available. “I’m 55 now and in 20 years I’ll be 75, so maybe 20 years is very long…
“As far as this club is concerned, [they] gave me a three-year contract. Instead of one year or two years as often happened, they wanted to start a new cycle with me and give me three years.”