Arsenal head to Paris to face up against PSG today in the club’s opening Champions League fixture of the campaign. The Gunners are in for tough test in their first away game and many are wondering how Arsenal will match up against the French champions.
According to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, he believes this year may be Arsenal’s best opportunity to win the Champions League, but not necessarily his last chance to win the competition.
Wenger said: “I was used to playing with my younger squads when you build a stadium because you don’t have the resources. Now I have a team with more experienced players. The squad is between 24 and 30, basically. That’s where you have a good combination of physical strength and experience. But we want to keep giving chances to young players and get the mixture right.
“I would say it’s the most mature squad I’ve had for a long time, because they are men. Certainly I haven’t had a squad of players [like this] for a long time, who have enough experience to compete.”
This may be Arsenal’s strongest squad since the last time Arsenal came close to winning the competition, which was back in 2006, but whether it’s strong enough to compete amongst the best, let alone win the competition, I’m not so sure. Arsenal faced Bayern Munich last year, a team that is well known for being big competitors for the trophy, however the Gunners still lost 5-1 away in Germany and let’s be honest the squad hasn’t changed that much since last year.
The additions of Xhaka, Perez and Mustafi are hardly going to put us amongst the best candidates for the trophy, although of course they do go to some extent of strengthening our side.
In rather subtle fashion, Arsene Wenger also put a stir in the mix about his future at the club. Just to keep everyone guessing after a week of speculation that has seen Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe being strongly linked with a move to Arsenal at the end of the season, Wenger has announced that he doesn’t think this year will be his last chance of winning the Champions League. Wenger continued to say: “I don’t think like that [could be the final chance]. I think I played over 170 games in the Champions League and it’s every time the same: you want to do well in the next one. My personal case is not at stake in that at all”
Wenger either clearly has plans to perhaps stay on with the Gunners a little bit longer, unless we miraculously win the champions league this year, or maybe he won’t be retiring from management after his time at Arsenal comes to an end. There are two big questions to come out of these quotes, first of which, is this Arsenal team capable of winning the Champions League? And secondly, is there still life for Arsene Wenger at Arsenal after this season?