By Chris Harris

Changing a team's footballing philosophy is one of the hardest jobs for a manager, according to Arsène Wenger.

The Arsenal boss spent some of his pre-match press conference on Friday fielding questions on the travails of his Premier League rival at Chelsea - Andre Villas-Boas.

The Portuguese arrived at Stamford Bridge with a big reputation after enjoying huge success with Porto but he is reportedly under pressure after suffering five defeats in his last nine games.

Villas-Boas is one of football's most highly-rated young managers and has been trying to impose his methods on an experienced Chelsea squad. Wenger knows how difficult that can be.

"It is hard to do," he said. "But I believe as well that a manager when he has strong players in the squad and they share what he thinks it makes him stronger. If they go against you, it is difficult.

"It is not easy but in our job you can only survive if you do how you feel. After you can get it through or not. That is what I did. So for me it was not too difficult. I was just convinced of what I wanted and I was fortunate to face intelligent players.

"I had Steve Bould, Tony Adams, Nigel Winterburn, Lee Dixon, Martin Keown - they are all intelligent people. And they thought that maybe this guy is completely mad but we will try and it can work - you never know."

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
2 Dec 2011