Dennis Wise believes Arsenal have got a good chance of winning the Europa League but admits they face a difficult tie against Atletico Madrid
Arsenal have a “really good chance” of winning the Europa League, says Dennis Wise.
The Gunners booked their place in the semi-finals of the European competition earlier this week after a 6-3 aggregate victory over CSKA Moscow and were pitted against Diego Simeone’s side in the last four.
Despite a second-leg defeat to Sporting Lisbon, Atletico reached the last four with a 2-1 win on aggregate and former Chelsea midfielder Wise says they are the “best team” left in the competition.
Speaking on The Debate, Wise said:”If they [Arsenal] get past Atletico I think they have a really good chance of winning this. Everyone at the start of it would’ve picked Arsenal out and said they were the team to beat and they have been. But they shook a little bit the other day [against CSKA] and there was a little bit of a sticky period.
“That’s Arsenal for you. On their day they can go and play exceptionally well.”
Goals from Fedor Chalov and Kirill Nababkin put CSKA in front on Thursday evening, before Arsenal hit back through Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey, and Gordon Strachan argued the battling draw in Russia displayed the Gunners’ mental strength.
“At 2-0 down that can spook people,” Strachan said on the Debate. “You can’t say they are mentally weak, they might be physically not as big as a lot of teams but they turned it round to 2-2, so that’s a big plus for them as well.”
Wise, however, questioned where a Europa League win would leave the status of Wenger as Arsenal manager.
“The interesting thing about this is Arsenal as a football club,” Wise said. “You look at them and where they are in the position that they are, sixth in the Premier League, and you ask what’s happened. The problems they are saying that they’ve got. Arsene Wenger always seems to get himself into some situation where they don’t know what to do.
“You can actually see them winning and getting through to the Champions League and then the Arsenal fans questioning what they do next. He’s done an unbelievable job and it’ll be interesting to see how Arsenal pans out.”