It was a love fest from Napoli coach Rafael Benitez on his return to London today as he called Arsene Wenger the “best manager” in the Premier League.
Rafa, who has done Napoli side are undefeated this season, said he is expecting a tough game from the Premier League leaders:
“I am expecting a strong team because I think Arsene Wenger is the best coach in the Premier League,” said Benitez. “They have signed good players, at this point everything going well for them. Wenger is a great manager, a great person, someone who knows the league here in England.
“He has experience in Europe, Arsenal is always top four and he is doing great job. Hopefully he can win (the Champions League), but another year, not this one. “
Benitez has been an interested observer on the opening few weeks of the new English season, which has seen both Manchester United and Manchester City suffer an inconsistent start, while Southampton are in the top four.
“Arsenal have great manager and a good team, Liverpool they continue growing, so the second year with a new manager, every body is expecting them to be in the top four and are doing well,” he said.
“The other top sides are not at the level at the moment, they have new managers too, but I think it will only be a matter of time before you see five or six teams at the top, who will be more or less the same (as before).”
Benitez seems to have settled in well in his second go-around in Serie A, and that he enjoys living on the passionate Italian south-west coast.
“It is a nice place, nice fans with lot of passion and commitment, very similar to Liverpool in terms of the passion for the team who enjoy football,” he said.
“You see it everywhere, in the city and the workers when they go to the stadium love the team. That is why it has been easy for me. The players work very hard, so there is a lot of positives now.
“After 26 years of coaching around the world, you have to adapt and you have to enjoy it when you have an opportunity to manage at a team like Napoli in the Champions League and challenging for the Serie A title. It is a great experience and hopefully it will be good until the end.”
Benitez, who won the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool in 2005, indicated he could one day return to England.
“My future is to do well with Napoli and to try to win things. After? You never know,” he said. “I am still a young manager so hopefully I can be at Napoli a long time and then manage in different countries in the future.”