Liverpool vs Arsenal: 'Arsene Wenger puts the long-term welfare of his club ahead of short-term pressures,' says Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool manager also described opposite number as 'iconic'

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The Independent Football

Brendan Rodgers today praises the longevity of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal saying he admires the Frenchman’s ability to look to the long-term “ahead of short term pressures and hysteria” – with a hint at the Liverpool manager’s own situation.

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Rodgers’ Liverpool face Arsenal at Anfield this afternoon with both managers in need of a victory at the start of the Christmas period, but the former under the greater pressure. Rodgers today starts with Mamadou Sakho in defence in place of the injured Dejan Lovren, the only change from the team that beat Bournemouth in the Capital One Cup quarter-final on Wednesday

Writing in his programme notes, Rodgers says: “Arsene is one of the game’s iconic managers and someone that all of us privileged to do this job look up to and admire. I believe one of the key characteristics that defines him as a leader is that he puts the long-term welfare of his club ahead of short-term pressures and at times hysteria.

“In his spell there he has made big decisions and tough decisions but always with the motive of making his club better. Those are values that should be praised and I for one admire his courage and principles.”

The parallels with Rodgers’ current situation are hard to ignore with the Liverpool manager frustrated at the recent problems but still convinced that he is the right man to take the club forward.

The Liverpool team is: Brad Jones, Kolo Toure, Martin Skrtel, Sakho, Lucas Leiva, Jordan Henderson, Lazar Markovic, Philippe Coutinho, Steven Gerrard, Adam Lallana, Raheem Sterling

The Arsenal team is: Wojciech Szczesny, Mathieu Debuchy, Per Mertesacker, Calum Chambers, Kieran Gibbs, Mathieu Flamini, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santi Cazorla, Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck.