Arsenal news

Wenger calls for English improvement

April 12, 2013
By Kevin Palmer

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger fears the Premier League is in danger of losing its claims to be the strongest championship in Europe after all of their teams suffered early exits from European competitions this season.

Champions League
AssociatedArsene Wenger says English sides must improve their performance in European competition

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Chelsea are the last domestic team standing in Europe, as they have reached the Europa League semi-finals after the defence of their Champions League crown ended in the group stages last December.

Now Wenger has warned that another season of failure for Premier League clubs in Europe has the potential to severely damage their long-term future, with the fourth Champions League spot, currently up for grabs in England's top flight, under threat.

"It is better that English clubs stay in the competitions and that is one of the things we have to analyse," Wenger stated. "All of the English clubs have basically gone out of the European competitions. Chelsea were out, they have been put into the Europa League, so I don't consider them to be in the Europa League from the start.

"All the other English clubs have gone out. That is the fact we have to analyse. How can we say we are the best in the world and all our clubs go out of Europe. If we have a second year like that, we will pay for it (with the UEFA coefficient) rankings, of course."

Meanwhile, Wenger has insisted Tottenham's latest end of season collapse is not at the forefront of his mind as he targets yet another Champions League finish.

Defeat in last month's north London derby against Spurs appeared to have put Andre Villas-Boas' Spurs firmly in the driving seat to finish ahead of their local rivals, but they have surrendered that advantage after defeats against Liverpool and Fulham.

Arsenal have now been handed a chance to establish a seven-point lead over Spurs before they return to action against Manchester City next weekend, but Wenger is eager to keep his focus on his own team rather than worrying about his top four opponents.

"We just focus on our next game and try to win it, whether Spurs are playing or not," Wenger stressed. "We have to consider that Spurs can win their games and the only way to deal with that is to win our games.

"We just focus on how we want to play and win our games. Continue to play the way we play with the same spirit and go from strength to strength with every game. There is no room for dropping points still.

"The results are depending more on the global energy of the team and the confidence level. We have built that up over recent weeks. We have a way to play and when we do that well, everyone in the squad can contribute."

Wenger had confirmed that Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott are fit to return in Saturday's game against Norwich at the Emirates Stadium, but Tomas Rosicky is rated at just 50-50 to start after he picked up an injury in last weekend's match winning display against West Bromwich Albion.