Wenger convinced Premier League decline will be halted
England's Premier League is in danger of losing one of their four place in the Champions League, but Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes their slide in fortunes will be halted in time to avert that disaster.
Italy's Serie A is edging closer to snatching England's prized fourth spot in Europe's elite competition, after Premier League clubs failed to perform at their best in the Champions League and Europa League over the last few years.
Arsenal are among the clubs that have come up short against the best of European talent, but Wenger is certain they will get back to winning ways this season.
Ahead of his side's game against Olympiacos on Tuesday night, Wenger was asked whether the decline in fortunes for Premier League clubs was a point of concern and he responded:
“We have to wait a little bit longer. A second year without [English clubs] being successful and you could come to a conclusion of, ‘Yes, there’s something we have to analyse deeply’, but I don’t believe so at the moment," he told reporters.
“You cannot say English club are are at that top level because in the last two years Barcelona and Real Madrid have won the Champions League.
"We have to say they were the better teams. Are we far away? I don’t think so but we have to show that with our performance.”
Wenger went on to suggest English clubs are being hampered by the demanding Premier League, with the rise in standards of the lesser teams in the division straining the resources of their top four.
"When you go to Leicester and see who sits on the bench, that has changed in England,” added Wenger. “It makes every game very difficult and demands a lot of mental concentration to get it right as well.
“We want to do well in the Champions League and when you’re a big club you have to face that and deal with it.
“I don’t know if other teams look at [English clubs] with more or less fear. I believe that the Premier League is very, very tough. Is that an influence or not? I don’t know but it’s a bit early to come to any conclusions."