By Rob Kelly

Arsène Wenger insists England has the strongest league in Europe - despite the travails of Manchester City and Chelsea.

Roberto Mancini’s side have been eliminated from the Champions League at the group stage for the second year running, while holders Chelsea face a major task to progress.

But Wenger does not believe it is a case of the Premier League declining, more that the rest of Europe is starting to catch up.

“Maybe we have less room, less margin [for error] than we had before when it was just a question of when we would qualify,” the Arsenal manager said.

“Now German football has come up, Spanish football is there every year and some French clubs have come back like Paris Saint-Germain. It looks less obvious for us.

“I don't think we are getting worse. Man City has gone out but you can objectively say they were in a difficult group and they are still a good side as they are top of the Premier League.

“I'd still say England is the strongest [league in Europe], because in England if they want a player they get him still. As long as that happens you will be the most powerful in Europe.

“England is best, because there's something more here. It's not only linked with what you see on the pitch but how you experience football.

“That's what I believe deeply. And when I speak to the players they say exactly the same.”

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22 Nov 2012