Mesut Ozil has explained why he thinks Arsenal are struggling to make any progress in the Champions League and what they must do to improve.
The Gunners have been knocked out in the round of 16 for the last seven years in a row, with this season’s 10-2 defeat to Bayern Munich particularly painful.
Ozil was heavily criticised for his role in the mauling by Carlo Ancelotti’s side and has urged Arsenal to strengthen if they are to make any impression in Europe’s top competition.
“I think the club know they need to strengthen. But what’s most important is the manager’s opinion. He and the club will make the decision,” he told the Daily Mail.
“When you look at our squad, it’s not as broad as Bayern’s or Real Madrid’s. In the Champions League, that’s not enough, especially against big teams, because they have more breadth in their squad.”
Ozil also accepted he was far from his best against Bayern and admits the defeat hit him hard as he is desperate to win the Champions League with Arsenal.
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“Of course my performance wasn’t top, neither was the team’s,” he says. “In the first game, our first half was good. But then in the second half we collapsed.”
“For offensive players it’s hard when you don’t have much possession and can’t make your contributions.
“After the first game, I didn’t have as much faith that we could turn it around. The defeat was bitter for me and the whole team.
“When every year you see the chance, think it’s really possible against big teams and then have a big defeat, it affects me because I’ve always wanted to achieve big goals and always will. I wanted to win the Champions League.”
Arsenal are not certain to qualify for next season’s Champions League and will need a strong finish to the season if they are to continue Wenger’s superb record of qualifying in each of his 20 years at the club.