With Christmas almost upon us Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is hoping he can deliver his own gift to the Gunners, with the Frenchman hoping he can deliver the Champions League to the Premiership club, come next May.
Wenger has won 3 Premier League titles and 4 FA Cups during his 12-years at Arsenal, but Europe’s biggest prize has eluded both the North London club and Wenger throughout their respective histories. The closest either has been to getting their hands on the trophy was in 2006, when Arsenal lost 2-1 to La Liga giants Barcelona in the final, with the Blaugrana coming from behind to beat the 10-man Gunners.
Now Arsenal must negotiate a passage through the last 16, where they meet Serie A side Roma, after the draw was made in Nyon, Switzerland on Friday. Wenger however, is determined to go one step further than 2006 and deliver Arsenal the perfect albeit late Christmas gift next May.
“I want to give that [the Champions League] to my club because not only have I not won it, but the Club have not won it,” said Wenger.
“We were very close in 2006 and lost one game in the whole season in the Champions League which was the Final. We were down to 10 men after 10 minutes [in that game], so we know we can do it.
“It is frustrating but you don’t just turn up and win it because if you see the names who are in the competition, they are all of the top level. They have top investment and it will always be difficult.
“But I believe we have achieved something – a remarkable consistency. In the last six years only four teams in Europe have been in the final 16 and we are one of the four. We have been remarkably consistent.”