Champions League disappointments a wake-up call for English football – Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes English clubs have fallen behind in the race for European glory. The French boss of Emirates claims English clubs can no longer be considered as the fiercest competitors in the Champions League.
Arsenal were the last English side to crash out of the Champions League this season. The Gunners snatched a 2-0 victory over Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena in a last ditch effort to save themselves from disqualification. However, their efforts were undone by the 3-1 victory Bayern Munich acquired at Emirates a couple of weeks earlier.
The away goals scored by Bayern Munich ensured it were the Bundesliga leaders who entered the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has been left with the task of raising Arsenal’s hopes of acquiring Champions League action.
Arsenal are under threat of losing their Champions League spot for the first time in 16 years. The Gunners are five points away from fourth placed Chelsea and seven points away from Tottenham Hotspur. With just 10 games remaining in the season, Arsene Wenger knows he will have to bring forth all of his guns to win this battle.
“It's a massive disappointment for English football,” Arsene Wenger said. “For a number of years we've not had that. I think it's a massive wake-up call for us. It means the rest of Europe has caught up on us. We have to take that into consideration when we think about the future of the Premier League.”
Bayern Munich’s soon-to-be-replaced manager Jupp Heynckes believes Arsene Wenger is right to suggest English clubs have lost their power. Jupp Heynckes claims European competition is more than just the glorious showdowns of the Premier League.
“The gap between the Bundesliga and the (English) Premier League is not as big as it has been made out,” Jupp Heynckes said. “The English teams had an unlucky draw, with Manchester United against Real Madrid and Arsenal with us. Arsenal will be back again.”
In spite of being kicked out of the Champions League, Arsene Wenger hailed his men for showing faith and resilience till the final whistle at Allianz Arena.
“Of course I'm very proud of the performance of the team,” Arsene Wenger said. “I think there was room to score (a third goal) and when you look at the game. Tonight you have many regrets about our first game.
“I believe that it was very feasible to knock Bayern out. We got the belief of that when we watched the (first) game again, we had a plan that we respected tonight, it went a bit fast on some occasions, but overall I felt that we had the quality to be there.”