Wenger said Chelsea rewarded for failure, and Spurs are mocked, so has he lost it over Europa League?

Arsenal boss' comments on the Europa League conflict with his own attitude towards Chelsea, and fans mocking of Tottenham.

Has Arsene Wenger shown signs of cracking after Arsenal's latest Champions League last 16 exit?

After missing out on reaching the quarter-finals for the fifth consecutive season, Wenger made a bizarre comment about how getting knocked out in he group stages may be preferable.

He is quoted by The Mail: "Sometimes we have been beaten by opponents who were in the final.

"Perhaps it would be better not to go out like this and make the Europa League, we would be more likely to win."

It's a factually correct comment that Arsenal would have a better chance of winning it, but they would also have a better chance of winning the Johnstone's Paint Trophy too, but it does not mean they should aspire to drop down to that level.

Wenger's words conflict with everything he and the club's supporters have aimed for, to succeed in Europe's elite competition.

During his 18 years as boss he has always qualified for the Champions League, yet never won it, and his comments are an astonishing admission perhaps in the heat of the moment out of pure frustration at failing to beat Monaco, that he is ready to wave the white flag.

When Chelsea dropped out of the competition in late 2012, and went onto win the Europa League, Arsene Wenger sought to diminish their achievement.

He was quoted by The Mirror: "Is it right to reward teams basically for failure? Their target at the start of the ­season was the Champions League, not to win the ­Europa League.

"It’s a trophy. But it would be easiest if no clubs from the Champions League dropped down. Then you can say that the teams who start the Europa League fight in it together."

And then there are rivals Tottenham, who struggle to qualify in the first place and have to make do with the drawn out experience of the Europa League. They are yet to win it, and Spurs fans are taunted by their Arsenal rivals about playing on a Thursday night, seen as not good enough to dine at Europe's top table.

Of all of Wenger's recent comments, suddenly changing tact and aspiring to settle for second best is indicative of the decline which has seen them fail to mount a consistent title challenge in near a decade, and treat Champions League qualification as a victory.

It's perhaps a sign he knows his time at Arsenal is coming to a close, and with not one European trophy to his name, just because he may want to settle for a Europa League, does not mean the club should.

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