By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger admits he will feel like a failure if Arsenal don’t win the Champions League – because that’s how he feels after every defeat.
The Frenchman has yet to add a European trophy to his impressive CV, going closest three years ago when Barcelona pipped 10-man Arsenal in Paris. But Wenger is still Mr Consistency on the continent having led the Gunners into the Champions League group stage for 11 consecutive seasons.
That is a record to be proud of but, of course, it is not enough for Wenger. He was 13 minutes away from lifting the ‘cup with the big ears’ in 2006 and wants to make amends this season. A win against Roma on Tuesday night would keep the Frenchman on course – but a defeat would usher in the ‘F’ word.
“I feel every time I don't win something it is a failure,” said Wenger at his pre-match press conference. “I am here to win and give my best every time.
"You have to accept the competition. In Europe you have 20 massive clubs. At the end of the season 19 will be disappointed, so let’s hope it is the other 19 who are disappointed this time.
“What drives me is to be as good as I can. Sometimes to take the best out of the team you sit down at the end of the season and think ‘did I do it or not?’ and I try to be as objective as I can. That is why I wanted the complete season unbeaten [in 2003/04] because there’s not much room for improvement.
“But the Champions League is a cup competition and anybody can hope to win a cup because it is done over two games.”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 23 Feb 2009