Arsenal boss Wenger admits sympathy for Chelsea counterpart Benitez

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that he feels sorry for interim Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez because of the difficult atmosphere in which the Spaniard has to work, the Daily Mirror has reported.

Wenger added that he will put those feelings aside when the teams meet on Sunday – as he does for every manager he encounters – but admitted that his understanding of the “fragile” nature of any managerial position and the reaction of part of the Chelsea crowd to Benitez means the former Liverpool manager has Wenger’s sympathies.

We are all in the same position. We know we are in a fragile job and that the confidence is very important,” Wenger said, adding: “It’s a job where you have to take care of your own team. But the confidence of the crowd in the team plays a big part.

Benitez has regularly been the target of the Chelsea support’s discontent, having replaced the popular former midfielder Roberto Di Matteo as manager in November. Di Matteo was appointed in place of Andre Villas-Boas in March last year and took Chelsea to victory in the FA Cup and Champions League, but was dispensed with by owner Roman Abramovich after a shaky run of form.

Chelsea go into the match at Stamford Bridge in third place, eight points clear of Arsenal, who are sixth, but have a game in hand on all of the teams above. In their last home outing, against Southampton in midweek, Chelsea gave up a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with the Premier League strugglers.

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