Rafael Benitez says increasing short-termism in English football 'is a pity'

The Chelsea manager was brought in to Stamford Bridge on an interim basis

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The Independent Football

Rafael Benitez regrets the short-termism that has infiltrated English football.

No club epitomises that more than his current employers Chelsea, who will instal their eighth manager in seven years this summer once Benitez has completed his short stint.

It is all a far cry from Benitez's arrival at Liverpool in 2004, the start of a reign that lasted six years.

And, ahead of tonight's Europa League final with Benfica in Amsterdam, the 53-year-old admitted it is not a change for the better.

"England has changed a little bit and that is a pity," Benitez said.

"Society is going fast. Football is going fast. Everybody wants to win on the first day.

"When I decided to come to England, I had a five-year project and I time to do things, to work and promote young players.

"Now you cannot. Everybody is under pressure."

The by-product is an inability to spend any time nurturing Chelsea's younger players, who were good enough to reach the FA Youth Cup final this season, ultimately losing out to Norwich on Monday.

Benitez has had the additional problem of achieving short-term success against the backdrop of supporter discontent.

Chelsea's supporters have not forgiven Benitez for the negative comments he made about their club during his time at Anfield.

The former Valencia coach stopped attempting to talk his critics round a long time ago.

But he knows, from the unpromising circumstances he walked into last November, if the Europa League makes this the seventh trophy-winning campaign out of nine for the Stamford Bridge outfit, he will have nothing to reproach himself for.

"You can always make mistakes but it was not an easy situation at the beginning," he said.

"We have managed it quite well.

"Every day, after every training session, I go home and think we are doing our best.

"For me it is always important to win trophies. If we win it will be easier and people will realise that to be here, at this stage of the competition, means we have done a lot of things well."

Chelsea's task has been made harder by the absence of Eden Hazard, who has failed to recover from the hamstring injury he sustained at Aston Villa on Saturday.

Benitez has promised to give skipper John Terry every chance to get over the ankle problem that forced him to be carried off at Villa Park.

However, Terry only managed a job round the pitch before being withdrawn from the main training session this evening. In any case, it is highly unlikely the 32-year-old would have started anyway as Chelsea look to complete the unique achievement of winning the Europa League in the season after the Champions League.


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