Arsene Wenger worried by lack of Premier League teams in Champions League
By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @graemebailey. Last Updated: March 14, 2013 11:49am
Arsene Wenger: Arsenal boss feels Premier League are lagging behind
Arsene Wenger says the Premier League needs to take heed of the fact they have no clubs left in the UEFA Champions League.
After Arsenal bowed out on away goals against Bayern Munich after a 3-3 draw on aggregate, despite a 2-0 win in Germany, Wenger feels this is a warning to the English game.
The Gunners followed Manchester United out in the last 16, while European champions Chelsea and Premier League holders Manchester City exited in the group stages.
Wenger, whose own search for silverware has now extended to eight seasons, believes the Premier League struggle is no coincidence and believes lessons must be learned.
"It's a massive disappointment for English football," said the Frenchman.
"For a number of years we've not had that. I think it's a massive wake-up call for us.
"It means the rest of Europe has caught up on us. We have to take that into consideration when we think about the future of the Premier League."
"It's a massive disappointment for English football. It means the rest of Europe has caught up on us."
Wenger could take pride in Arsenal's performance at the Allianz Arena and praised the character of his players after the final whistle.
"We were very, very close tonight," Wenger told Sky Sports. "Maybe a few times we were lucky as well, but we had the chance of Gervinho, and there were maybe one or two set-pieces we could have done better.
"But the spirit and the performance was there, and overall we had a great go.
"The regret we have tonight is from the first game. We conceded a very bad goal in the last 15 minutes. If we had lost 2-1 at home, you can see how important that goal is tonight."
Midfielder Mikel Arteta was also pleased to see Arsenal show such fight, saying: "We gave absolutely everything we had in the game. We knew we had conceded three goals at home and it was going to be difficult, but we kept going and we kept believing."
Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes, meanwhile, was critical of his team for letting Arsenal back into the tie and admitted there was a lot to work on ahead of the next round.
He remarked: "The early goal for Arsenal was obviously just what they were looking for. We had the better chances in this game, but lacked clinical finishing and weren't as calm as we usually are."