Wenger wants to match Spurs
Published 26/08/2010 | 14:16
Arsene Wenger has challenged his young Arsenal side to stay ahead of Champions League debutants Tottenham and remain the pride of north London.
Spurs secured a place in today's draw for the lucrative group stages for the first time since playing in the 1961/62 European Cup after thrashing Young Boys 4-0 at White Hart Lane.
The Gunners have enjoyed the bragging rights over their fierce rivals during the past decade, as Wenger's men landed three league titles, four FA Cups and also reached the final of the Champions League in 2006.
However, since moving to the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal have failed to turn their potential into silverware, and have faced a battle to retain their top-four status.
Wenger feels Harry Redknapp's men can make an impact in Europe, but maintains his team have to retain their focus to stay ahead of their rivals.
"That is down to our performances on the pitch, of course we want to be ahead of everybody else and we are confident we can achieve that," the Arsenal boss said.
"It is up to them to do well and then [see] who is the best."
Wenger, though, warned Spurs will have to adapt quickly to the challenges of top-flight football at home and in Europe.
"What is very important is that you are capable of focusing on the Champions League and the Premier League. It is not easy because both take a lot of energy," Wenger said.
Arsenal are one of the top seeds in today's draw, but could yet face Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Wenger, though, is more concerned with the fixture logistics than opposition.
"You always look at it to test the difficulty of the schedule you will face in terms of travelling, the shorter the better," he said.
"Also there is the difficulty of the fixtures - it is all in the luck of the draw."