Arsene Wenger has insisted that the Champions League isn’t as good as it used to be as Arsenal prepare for their second Europa League match on Thursday (via The Telegraph).
Arsene Wenger has described the Champions League as “routine” for many teams, particularly in the group stage ahead of this week’s European games.
Arsenal will not play in the Champions League this season for the first time under Wenger but that hasn’t stopped the Frenchman from hitting out at the competition, claiming that it can be uninteresting at times.
“I think that in the group stage, there are not many interesting games,” Wenger said. “You choose [to watch] only one or two games.
“It’s a routine now, the Champions League, in the group stage. Look at the audiences. It has lost some attraction power.”
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Wenger was later asked if he did indeed miss playing in the competition and he confirmed that he does.
“Honestly, yes. But I must say, I have had nearly 200 games in the Champions League, so I can feel privileged.”
Wenger’s comments aren’t completely off the mark. The Champions League has become somewhat routine, particularly in the early stages. Clubs like Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich are so far ahead of the rest of Europe that the knockout rounds feel the same too. Wenger’s words are a little bitter but there’s some truth in what he’s saying.