By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger has labelled the changes at Chelsea this week as a “massive surprise”.

The Stamford Bridge side sacked Luiz Felipe Scolari on Monday and brought in Guus Hiddink to take temporary charge until the end of the season.

The issue has dominated the back pages all week and, speaking to Arsenal TV Online on Thursday, Wenger appeared surprised by the latest turn of events.

“Scolari is a well-known manager and was only given six months,” said the Arsenal boss. “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.”

Scolari’s sacking was prompted by a run of results which had seen Chelsea drop to fourth place, just above Arsenal. But Wenger would not be drawn as to whether this latest move would be a good or bad thing for his side’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League

“I don’t really know,” said the Frenchman. “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.”

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
13 Feb 2009