Arsene Wenger claims that this season’s Champions League is a “wake-up call” to the Premier League. It’s the first time in 17 years that no English clubs have reached the Quarter finals of the competition. Post-match, Wenger said that “the rest of European football has caught us”. But based on recent history, Wenger has no right to speak on behalf of the league as a whole. Less than 12 months ago, Chelsea lifted the trophy. In fact, this season will only be the second time since 2004 that an English team hasn’t reached the final, the other being 2009-10, with the 2008 final being an all English affair.
Arsenal have failed to reach the quarter finals on the past 4 occasions, and look doubtful to even qualify for next year’s competition. So if anyone is being caught up by the rest of Europe, it is Arsenal. Both Chelsea and Manchester City fell at the first hurdle, but it was hardly surprising with Chelsea in turmoil and City being headed by a man who has failed in Europe at every club he’s managed. Then Manchester United lost their heads in the next round after a controversial refereeing decision. That left Arsenal to fall just a week later after an embarrassing first leg defeat at home, and an unconvincing victory over a Bayern team who assumed that they were already through. Captain Philipp Lahm even went as far as saying “I hope we face Borussia Dortmund in the final” on the Monday before their game with Arsenal, showing the confidence of the Bayern team that their place in the Quarter finals was booked.
Wenger claiming that the Premier League is weakened compared to the rest of Europe is completely nonsensical. Is he seriously saying that the Turkish League is stronger that the Premier League as Galatasary are in the draw. It is just a one-off season and I would be surprised if there isn’t at least one English side that reaches the semi-finals next season.