By Chris Harris
The theory that it's an advantage to be out of the Champions League does not sit comfortably with Arsène Wenger because he insists that the best want to challenge for the biggest prizes.
The Arsenal manager is planning a trip to AC Milan following Friday morning's draw but some feel the Gunners' involvement in Europe's premier club competition will hamper their hopes of domestic success.
The Manchester clubs have dropped into the Europa League while Tottenham are out of Europe altogether but Wenger is not sure if that gives them an advantage in the Premier League.
"We don't know," he said. "Basically if you ask them 'would you like to be in there?' they would say yes. You cannot say it is specifically an advantage.
"On a psychological level it is a disadvantage, on a physical level on the longer term it could be an advantage.
"I believe when you are a top-level sportsman you want to play in the top competitions. So I am always reluctant to say it is an advantage not to be in the top competitions. It is always something that is experienced by the players as a frustration."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 16 Dec 2011