Champions League losing interest – Arsene Wenger

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger thinks the UEFA Champions League has ‘lost some attraction power’ due to repetitive group stage matches.

The Gunners find themselves in the UEFA Europa League after a fifth-place finish in the Premier League last season, breaking the Frenchman’s 19-year stretch of top-tier European football.

arsene wenger
Arsene Wenger guided Arsenal to UEFA Champions League football for 19 straight seasons between 1998 and 2017. They made it out of the Group Stage on 17 occassions, going as far as the Final in 2006 before losing to Barcelona. However, they went no further than the Round of 16 since 2011, getting knocked out twice by Barcelona and three times by Bayern Munich.

“I think that in the group stage, there are not many interesting games. You choose (to watch) only one or two games,” said Wenger.

“It’s a routine now, the Champions League, in the group stage. Look at the audiences. It has lost some attraction power.”

While the timing of Arsene Wenger’s comments may suggest a sense of bitterness at failing to qualify for the competition, there is some validity to his points; viewing figures have nosedived over the past few seasons, while the two qualifying teams from most groups are predictable.

Before Arsenal travel to Belarus to face BATE Borisov in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, they wrap up the week’s Premier League action with an Emirates meeting with Tony Pulis’ West Brom.

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