Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger has maintained that he has ‘immense’ drive to win the Champions League with Arsenal FC, something that the club have failed to do so far in their long and illustrious history.
The Gunners travel to Zagreb to begin their 18th successive season in the Champions League under manager Arsene Wenger against Dinamo Zagreb.
Arsenal FC came close to winning the Champions League in 2006, when Arsene Wenger’s team lost out to a Ronaldinho inspired FC Barcelona in the finals of the competition.
The drive to win the Champions League is immense
However, the Frenchman understands that winning the most elite competition in club football is no cake walk and feels his squad is ready to put in the hard yards to win the elusive trophy.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, as quoted by the club’s official website, Wenger said:
a This drive [to win the competition] is immense. It has never been done at Arsenal and we were very, very, very, close.
a On the other hand, I have been long enough in the job to know you have to be realistic and know that you have to put hard work in.a
The 65-year-old believes that his players have learnt from last season’s debacle against AS Monaco, when they lost 3-1 in the first leg at home and were unable to overturn the deficit. He also highlighted the game to be the regret of last season and insists the squad have learned from their failings in the competitions knockout stages.
Arsenal FC have failed to make it past the round of 16 in their last five years, but the manager seems determined to get it right this time around.
a If we missed one game last year, then it was our home game with Monaco.
a We were not patient enough and we wanted to make the difference in the first game.”
It is quite easy to change two or three players – Wenger on squad rotation
Arsene Wenger seems content with the squad depth at his disposal and revealed that he would be looking to rotate his squad, now that he has quality players to cover all the positions. This has not been the the case till a couple of years ago as the Gunners didn’t have significant squad strength.
a It is quite easy to change two or three players, [more] than it was in years before because they are all at a very good level.
a I know the same team cannot play every single game over the next three weeks. I try to keep the balance right and give a little breather to players who need it.a