By Richard Clarke
It is possible that half of this season's Champions League Quarter-Finalists will come from England. Arsène Wenger believes that demonstrates the strength of the game in this country right now. However, at the same time, the Arsenal manager has warned the Premier League about the dangers of self-satisfaction.
Wenger's men booked their place in the last eight of Europe's top competition with a stunning 2-0 win in Milan on Tuesday. Manchester United and Chelsea are also through while Liverpool are likely to follow them as they hold a 2-0 lead from their first leg with Inter.
The Arsenal manager feels that a period of English dominance is on the way.
"I am convinced of that," he said at Thursday's press conference. "It is down to the fact that the Premier League is so hard. Many good players now play in England but the pace of the game has stayed the same. So the physical demands are very hard and that's why we will find another English club in the Final this year.
"Of course I cannot be certain of that but I believe it. You have maybe four clubs out of the eight. Unless the four play against each other you have a big chance to have another English club in the Final."
However, before anyone starts patting themselves on the back, Wenger sent out this warning.
"It can change quickly if some other countries develop quicker," he said. "And the quality of your decisions can change quickly too. Fifteen years ago France was dominant a little bit, Italy was super-dominant, then France, then Spain, now England. It changes quickly.
"Somebody from Spain called me and said Real Madrid have not reached the Quarter-Finals for four consecutives years now. And they invested 575m Euros in that time. So it's never guaranteed and it's not only down to money, it is down to good decisions."Copyright 2015 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 7 Mar 2008