Jan 18 2013 By Yann Tear
Chelsea v Arsenal - Sunday 1.30pm
RAFA BENITEZ has revealed his great admiration for Arsenal's approach under Arsene Wenger – but says he prefers the pressure of winning trophies to stability.
Chelsea and Arsenal – who meet on Sunday at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, weather permitting - represent two opposite ends of the footballing business model.
While Wenger's failure to win silverware for eight years has not forced him out of office, the Blues have had a continuous turnover of managers, who have not been spared the axe even after landing trophies.
Yet Chelsea's interim boss says he does not crave the sort of environment Wenger enjoys.
“I want to win trophies and I like to be under pressure if I can win a trophy,” Benitez said.
“To be in the middle of the table every year is not what I want.
“Coming from Real Madrid, finishing second is not acceptable. Sometimes you can’t win every time, but you have to try your best.
“I think that football has changed since the arrival of people with big money. To manage a club with common sense was fine. Having a good manager like Arsene Wenger was fine. It was a different world.
“But he’s a great manager and he’s doing a great job. I can’t say anything about having the large financial backing. He will do well for years, hopefully not well this weekend.”
Benitez' appreciation of his opposite number is clearly not tempered by Arsenal's struggle to rediscover the trophy-winning habit.
“In Spanish, to feel sorry is not the way to express something,” he said.
“Football has changed. He has to keep doing things his way and it’s more difficult. I don’t feel sorry for him as he’s really good.
“I have a good relationship with him. I think he is one of the best managers in England in the last eight years. They do things in a very good way.
“I think he has won a lot and that is the reason why. They have confidence in him. Each manager is different and each situation is different.
“People are talking about them not winning trophies, but he’s a great manager with great experience. He deserves a lot of credit.
“I think that the style of football that they have was going well and good for them. But, they are good tactically when he prepares the game against top sides.
"He can do the right thing. It will not be a very open game. He’s quite clever and he can manage his team in a good way.”