Champions League news

Hoddle: Arsenal and Chelsea weak

December 16, 2011
By Harry Harris, Football Correspondent

Glenn Hoddle doesn't hold out much hope for Chelsea and Arsenal after both London clubs were handed tough Champions League draws, against Napoli and AC Milan respectively.

Andre Villas-Boas training crouch
GettyImagesAndre Villas-Boas led his Chelsea team to a notable scalp against Manchester City last time out

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Hoddle feels Chelsea and Arsenal are no longer the forces in Europe they have been in the past. The former England and Chelsea manager said: "Both clubs are going to find it tough. Both sides are not as strong that they have been over the past two or three years, and even then they couldn't manage to do it.

"Chelsea are reverting to the style of play which was synonymous with much of their success. They are being more defensive and tight, and have been getting better results as a consequence. But Napoli have one of the best offensive teams in the competition, their front three are as good as anything in the entire tournament.

"Arsenal are going to find it just as tough against Milan. Arsenal have been conceding too many goals lately and I don't see how they can stop conceding against the top sides like Milan. For many years now Arsenal have been one of the best passing teams, as good as anyone in Europe at retaining possession apart from Barcelona. But now they have deficiencies in defence that could cost them dear."

Of course Hoddle has no doubt who are the clear favourites for the Champions League: "It is not rocket science to go for Barcelona. Most people would say they will win it, and I am no different," Hoddle said.

"I always considered the 1970 Brazil team as the best on the planet, but now I would say that Barcelona are the best of all time."

Glenn Hoddle was launching the In Studio Match Experience at the Courthouse Hilton hotel in central London with the first cinema screenings being both Arsenal and Chelsea away in the Champions League