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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Champions League has lost some of its sparkle - Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

ESPN's Alison Bender and Stewart Robson give their thoughts on whether Arsene Wenger was right to criticise Europe's elite competition.
As debate swirls around Arsene Wenger's team selections, Paul Mariner gives us his preferred Arsenal starting XI.

Arsene Wenger has said he believes the Champions League has become less of an attraction than it was, with many now watching "only one or two games."

Wenger, whose Arsenal side missed out on qualification for this year's tournament after 19 years and are playing in the Europa League, said the Champions League had lost some of its former sparkle.

"I think that, in the group stage, there are not many interesting games," he said. "You choose only one or two games."

He said the group games had become "a routine" and added: "Look at the audiences. It has lost some attraction power."

Figures have shown a steady decline in television viewing figures for Champions League matches in Britain, with even those featuring UK clubs failing to attract the level of viewers they once did.

But Wenger, whose side will play BATE Borisov next week, said he missed being involved in the tournament after such a long run of competing in it.

But he added: "I have had nearly 200 games in the Champions League, so I can feel privileged."

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