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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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By ESPN Staff

Gunners have earned Euro respect- Wenger

Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger believes the club are now respected throughout Europe because of their consistent qualification for the Champions League.

Wenger believes that victory over Porto at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night will help them take a massive step towards qualifying for the next phase of the competition.

Arsenal are determined to reach the final for the second successive season and while they are now seen as a real `scalp' by other clubs in Europe, Wenger knows that overcoming Porto will not be an easy task.

Wenger said: 'I want to win the Champions League but it's step by step. I am convinced that if we beat Porto we are close to qualifying.

'But when you look at the Portuguese teams they do not lose easily in England. It's a big, big task. I hope we are able to keep the ball and adapt to their pace and take advantage of any situation created.

'I think we are more respected in Europe because of eight or nine consecutive seasons in the Champions League. Everywhere we go it looks like it is a big, big game.

'When we went to Zagreb it's a sell out quickly and that's a sign we have a certain respect.

'We had to gain respect and we are looked upon as a big scalp. The next step is to win not once but two or three times to be go in history of European football.'

Wenger will come up against former Tottenham striker Helder Postiga on Tuesday and the Arsenal coach says he is now beginning to show the kind of potential he never realised while on the books of their north London rivals.

Spurs signed the Portugal international for £6.25million from Porto in June 2003 but he was on his way back home just over a year later for £5million after failing to settle at White Hart Lane.

Postiga was tipped for success by Portugal's coach, Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari, but he just could not adapt to the English game as Wenger noted.

Wenger said: 'When we played against Tottenham, I came out of the game thinking he had qualities and after that he never performed.

'A year before that Felipe Scolari said `watch out for Postiga'. He was a bit young when he came over to England but now he looks to be coming through.'