Arsene Wenger believes that Arsenal will have enjoyted a successful season even if PSV Eindhoven end their hopes of silverware for another year.
After losing to Chelsea in the League Cup final, getting knocked out of the FA Cup at Blackburn and with the Premiership out of reach for another season, the Champions League represents Arsenal’s last chance to win a trophy this year.
However, Wenger believes that the introduction of the likes of Gael Clichy, Theo Walcott, Denilson and Abou Diaby into the Arsenal side, means that the season has still been a worthwhile exercise.
Wenger said: “If we lose to PSV it will be a big blow but it will not stop the club going forward.
“This team is a machine that nothing can stop progressing. I am convinced of that because of what I have seen of the youngsters.
“The average age of the team that played in the Carling Cup final was 19. The future is very positive. That is why we have to be strong when we don’t win.
“I feel the team has shown character because they have not been fazed by the importance of the games. They have gone to Liverpool and Tottenham and played Chelsea without being inhibited.
“That is why I believe they have a strong desire to win at the top level of competition.
“We still have our two main priorities,” he said. “We can qualify for the Champions League and try to go as far as we can in it this season.
“I feel we were a bit unlucky because Thierry (Henry) was injured a lot and we did not have (William) Gallas for long parts of the season. It has punished us sometimes.
“But the season is not over. Everybody is rushing to push us out of it but we have enough quality to qualify against PSV.
“We have put ourselves in a difficult situation after the first game. 1-0 is a tricky score and we have no choice but to try and come back as quickly as possible.”