McLeish has sympathy for Di Matteo

BY foxsports • February 10, 2011

McLeish has questioned whether Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger would have been given the time to build their dynasties at Manchester United and Arsenal in the current climate. The Blues boss was disappointed to see Roberto Di Matteo become the latest top-flight manager to be axed at West Brom on Sunday. McLeish admitted recently that he was not immune himself from facing a similar scenario despite his success during three years at Blues. And the former Scotland coach wonders whether Ferguson and Wenger would be allowed to develop teams if they were starting out now as managers. When asked about Di Matteo's dismissal, McLeish said: "Nothing surprises you in the game these games. "We live in that knee-jerk culture where results are huge. The stakes are immense and it is difficult for managers these days. "If Sir Alex and Arsene were now starting out to build a team, would they get that time? "Their longevity is astonishing." McLeish added: "I am disappointed for Roberto because it looks as if he was doing a decent job. "It is a hard league and I don't think the quality has ever been better in terms of the lower half of the table." McLeish is also predicting encouraging times ahead for Scotland after their 3-0 win over Northern Ireland in the Carling Nations Cup on Wednesday night. He said: "I see bright times ahead for Scotland. I see a lot of good players at Craig Levein's disposal. "The quality that was on show last night was great. "Don't forget there are also guys like James McFadden to come back into it as well when recovered from injury. "I think it is promising times for the national team because we do have a lot of good quality players." Birmingham goalkeeper Ben Foster has recovered from the thumb injury that forced him out of England's friendly in Denmark in time to face Stoke at St. Andrew's on Saturday. McLeish said: "Ben is fine. He is okay. England were very accommodating and I thank Fabio Capello and his staff for that."

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