By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger refuses to place extra emphasis on Europe despite the problems his side are facing in the Premier League.
Arsenal slipped to the fifth defeat of their domestic campaign at Manchester City on Saturday. It leaves them 10 points adrift of leaders Chelsea and, although it is only November, many are doubting their ability to bridge the gap. Even Wenger has admitted the odds are against his side now.
Therefore Tuesday’s Champions League tie comes as a welcome diversion. Arsenal are top of Group G and will guarantee a place in the Knockout Stages with a win over Dynamo Kyiv.
However Wenger started the season with both competitions in his sights and he is not about to change focus yet.
“I wouldn’t prioritise the Champions League because we are not in December yet and that is only half way through,” he said speaking before the weekend game. “It is still a very long way to go but we know that we have to beat the big teams to stay in the race no matter what happens.
“At the moment you could say yes [Champions League suits us more] but I refuse to believe that overall. I think a good team is a team that has an answer for everything they face.
“We are very young in midfield and upfront but we can learn very quickly. And there is not much time to learn, that is for sure.
“However I must say in the Premier League we face different opposition. When you play a team in the Champions League they are often dominating their championship so they are used to playing. When we face some of the opponents in England their first thought is ‘how can we defend against Arsenal?’ Then, if they have an opportunity, they will hit us hard.
“In the Champions League they are used to attacking other teams. In their Leagues they face the problems we face too. They have to take the game to the opponents too.”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 24 Nov 2008