Arsenal have been moving steady in the UEFA Champions League played so far this term.
Sources at the Emirates say after the 3-1 loss to Bayern Munich in 2013, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger confined himself to a room for minutes to think or mourn. Bayern Munich were having a sensational moment in Europe, so it wasn’t a surprise that Arsenal were caught in-between but Wenger took it so much to heart as it represented another year of failure in Europe.
Arsenal have failed to move past the Round of 16 for years. Many say Wenger is obsessed with winning the Champions League – a title that has eluded him all his career, despite his numerous successes in England. The defeat by Barcelona in the Champions League final is his “biggest regret,” said Wenger. In his 20 year reign in Arsenal, the eluding of the title is the most glaring gap.
Aside the 2006 loss, Wenger crashed put in the quarter finals stage in 2003/04. The campaign remains Wenger’s best in the league, yet Chelsea defeated them. Chelsea hadn’t defeated them in six years, but a late goal from Wayne Bridge at Highbury ended Wenger’s dreams that year.
In the year before – 02/03 – Arsenal entered the campaign with a double, Arsenal lost the second group stage of the competition despite their impressive 3-1 win over Roma at the beginning. They played four draws and lost one game. In 1998/1999, Arsenal qualified for the Champions League for the first time after winning the Premier League in 1997/98.
Arsenal had high hopes, but they were knocked out in the first round. They chose to play their home games at Wembley, but their only victory there was against Panathinaikos. Lens and Dynamo Kyiv were group members, but Arsenal couldn’t get past them. This season Wenger is having another go at the title but there are already great odds in lifting the title.