From a fan’s perspective, the idea of Chelsea, Man City and Man United not qualifying for the knock-out stages is, let’s face it, pretty hilarious.
Especially in the case of Man City given the money they’ve spent and how they’ve gone about spending it. However, it’s worth remembering that short-term hilarity (coupled with some laughing and pointing and topped off with a bout of jeering and a side of delicious taunting) might have some not very nice long term consequences.
Arsene Wenger was asked at his pre-game press conference yesterday if he wanted the other English teams to qualify and while I’m sure there was part of him which wanted to say ‘Well, yeah. Except Man City because of the way they’ve spent their money. And Chelsea, because they’re a pack of despicable twatfarmers. And United, well, just because”, he was more circumspect and sensible.
“Having only one team left in the Champions League would be a catastrophic scenario for England”, he said. “It would harm our places in Europe for the future. But hopefully that will not happen.”
So, on the one hand while it hopefully will happen, when Arsenal are looking for qualification through (perhaps) a fourth place finish in the Premier League, it might be better for all concerned if they don’t get knocked out until a bit later on.
Meanwhile, tonight’s game against Olympiacos is Wenger’s 200th European game in charge of Arsenal, a record of which the manager is rightly proud.
“It’s a privilege to play 200 games in Europe. Of these 200 games in Europe, there must be about 160 in the Champions League. That is at the highest level and it’s been a fantastic experience.
“We’ve had many highlights because over the years we have won everywhere. Maybe the only place we didn’t win is Barcelona. We have won in Madrid, Milan, Rome, Germany, France.
“We have won everywhere. That means Arsenal is remembered well all over Europe as a strong club.”
Let’s hope the lads can provide Arsene with a well deserved win to celebrate such a landmark.