Heading into a must-win (by a certain scoreline, no less) clash against Olympiacos, Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger isn’t even considering the repercussions of failure.
Arsenal are three points behind Olympiacos in the Champions League group stage and, having lost 3-2 to the Greek champions at the Emirates Stadium back in September, the Gunners need to win by any scoreline other than 1-0 or 2-1 to head through into the knockout rounds.
Any other result would see him take his side into the Europa League instead, but that hasn’t even crossed the manager’s mind.
Wenger on qualifying for CL last 16: “If you want to jump over a hurdle, you do not think what happens if you miss it.”
— James Olley (@JamesOlley) December 8, 2015
“If you fall down then you respond, but If you want to have a chance above and across you have to focus and give absolutely everything to jump over it.”
With injuries mounting and the pressure on, Arsenal will have their work cut out in a tough environment on Wednesday evening.
Nonetheless, there’s no consideration of not qualifying in north London, and that’s good to hear. The Europa League would bring tough challenges like Napoli, Borussia Dortmund and fellow English sides Liverpool and Tottenham, as well as the prospect of playing on a much maligned Thursday-Sunday rhythm.
If missing out on the Champions League wasn’t bad enough, Wenger will be eager to avoid the Europa League at all costs.