Last season Arsenal were dumped out of the Champions League by the eventual winners Bayern Munich, but for the second year running put up a fight in the second leg. They beat Bayern 2-0 in the Allianz Arena, going out of the competition courtesy of Bayern’s three away goals in North London.
A year previous, and they romped to a second leg victory v AC Milan, but the damage had already been done in the San Siro.
But Arsenal fans will tell you that on their day, they can beat anyone.
They have already highlighted that this season - as they top the Premier League table and have already put Marseille and Napoli to the sword in the Champions League - Borussia Dortmund, last year’s runner-ups wait in the crosshairs.
So optimism at the club should be high, and it appeared it at the AGM on Thursday - where Arsene Wenger said the next meeting in May 2014 would be a ‘happy’ one.
But it does not seem he lists the Champions League as a potential piece of silverware in his closet at the end of the campaign.
At least according to quotes given to UEFA.com this morning.
Wenger spoke to the site about the Champions League, and how far he felt his impressive looking Gunners side could get in the competition this year.
And interestingly, he stopped short of saying winners:
"We have experience, and I also feel that in any place where we play, we do not complex, and that may help us. We've had some bad luck with the draws in the last five or six years, because we played two or three times with Barcelona, Bayern or Milan, and each time were equalled. But I hope this season to go further, to the quarters or semis. Why not? "
Perhaps he is being pragmatic or realistic about his team’s chances. The likes of Real Madrid, Bayern, Barcelona, Dortmund, Juventus, PSG and so on and so on, the usual suspects, will all have strong hopes of glory while outside bets such as Atletico Madrid or Porto will also be dangerous.
But it is hard not to think of him as slightly pessimistic. Arsenal are looking great at the moment, and surely the aim of any competition is to win it?
Arsenal fans? Pessimist or realist? What do you make of Wenger’s comments?
image: © wonker