AW purely focused on progress

Wenger also admits that everyone is living in the shadow of Spanish

giants Barcelona and Real Madrid. Wenger feels that Real and Barca

are on a level up from everyone else, and his efforts will be

concentrated on making it into the knock-out phase, after already

coming through a tricky qualifying clash with Udinese. “Two teams

are above the rest this season, Real Madrid and Barcelona,” he

said. “The rest have to catch up during the season. The competition

inside our country has become harder. And outside, Barcelona and

Real Madrid have much more financial power. “For us, it’s a new

start because we are a new squad. “And what is at stake during the

group stages for us is to show that we can go through. “They have

shown they can win it so, at the moment, it’s too early to compare

us to them.” Wenger also insisted that Manchester City cannot be

compared to Barcelona at this stage, adding: “It’s a bit early to

compare Manchester City with Barca. “That does not take any credit

away from Man City but Barca’s players have won the World Cup and

the team has won two Champions Leagues in the last three seasons.

So I think it’s too early for City.”