Arsène Wenger has admitted that Arsenal’s trophy drought will almost certainly extend into a ninth year and he is now targeting a top-four Premier League finish as the best hope of salvaging something from another depressing season.
Tuesday’s 3-1 home defeat against Bayern Munich has left Arsenal virtually resigned to exiting the Champions League at the last 16 stage for a third straight year, with Wenger describing the challenge in the return leg next month as “like climbing Mount Everest”.
“But you can only climb it if you try,” he said. “We have to try to make the impossible possible. We’ll have two battles now this season but maybe the easier battle will be to be back in the Champions League.
“But we have to give everything to try and change things in the second leg. Let’s not hide the truth: it will be extremely difficult against a team of that quality.
“They didn’t play two finals in the last three years without that quality. We have to give our best and hope we have built our confidence up a bit more, because that belief will be needed.” Wenger pointed to his team’s mental fragility for another nightmare start that saw Bayern take a 2-0 lead within just 21 minutes.
“The nerves played a big part,” he said. “The results bring confidence. It’s a bit of a vicious circle. The players gave absolutely everything. We played against a side who have no doubt at all. They have a history in the last six months where everything is positive, every player is confident to play with full power. That’s not the same for us at the moment. But things can change quickly. In three weeks, we can do it.”
From – telegraph >>