By Chris Harris

Gifts will be exchanged all over the globe this Christmas but Arsène Wenger would rather wait until May to deliver his own present to Arsenal's fans - the Champions League.

The Frenchman has enjoyed plenty of domestic success during his 12 years at the helm but he has never won Europe's premier club competition. Wenger went close, of course, leading Arsenal to the 2006 Final where they lost 2-1 to Barcelona despite leading for much of the game with 10 men.

The next obstacle in Arsenal's path to Champions League glory is a last-16 tie with Roma following Friday's draw in Nyon. Wenger would dearly love to see off the Italians and go one better than he did two and a half years ago.

"I want to give that [the Champions League] to my club because not only have I not won it, but the Club have not won it," said the Arsenal manager.

"We were very close in 2006 and lost one game in the whole season in the Champions League which was the Final. We were down to 10 men after 10 minutes [in that game], so we know we can do it.

"It is frustrating but you don’t just turn up and win it because if you see the names who are in the competition, they are all of the top level. They have top investment and it will always be difficult.

"But I believe we have achieved something – a remarkable consistency. In the last six years only four teams in Europe have been in the final 16 and we are one of the four. We have been remarkably consistent."

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
19 Dec 2008