By Andre Moura, FootballPredictions.NET, 15:56 12/08/2020
Arsenal is, without doubt, one of England's most iconic clubs having won 45 trophies throughout its history. However, the Gunners have never managed to truly shine in Europe.
Despite being considered as one of Europe’s biggest and most prestigious clubs, Arsenal have never won the Champions League.
They have been close to continental success on only two occasions throughout their history. Back in 2006 they were able to reach the final with long-standing manager Arsène Wenger in charge, but FC Barcelona left with the title after a close match.
Three years later the Gunners managed to reach the semi-finals of the competition but on this occasion English rivals Manchester United left them out of what would have been their second final.
Arsenal’s honours in Europe consist of a European Fairs Cup in 1970 and European Cup Winners Cup in 1994. The North London club have failed to qualify for the competition since the 2016/17 season and the last time they were able to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League was back in the 2009/10 season.
Since then the team have been either knocked out in the last 16 round or they haven’t taken part in the top tier of European competition.
There are other big European clubs that haven’t yet lifted a Champions League trophy, but unlike Arsenal, they have indeed played an important role in the competition despite not achieving the desired reward.
Arsenal and European competitions have never seemed to get along well. Despite having left their mark on the domestic competitions, when playing on the continent the results have been quite different.
Although their football style has been admired in many countries, their performances outside England can only be described as a big deception for club and fans.
With the only two continental trophies that Arsenal have managed to lift in all of its history being such minor ones, it can only be described as a somewhat poor return. Their potential is for so much more.
The new century would give the club its best years in the elite of football. However, once again, the results were never quite as expected.
Drama in Paris
Back in 2006 with Arsène Wenger in charge of the team, the Gunners managed to reach their first and only Champions League final that was held in Paris. Their rivals were FC Barcelona, a team that had dominated La Liga and that were the favourites to lift the title.
However, on their road to Paris, Arsenal had been able to knock out important teams such as the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus.
It was time to finish the job for the North London club, but after a great start to the game, German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann was sent off. Despite being down to men, Wenger’s side scored the opener, but two quick late goals from the Spaniards left them the Gunners to dream about what might have been.
The dramatic night in Paris seemed to mark an end for an era for Arsenal. Although they did reach the Champions League semi-finals in 2009, from then onwards the club began going through a dark period, not only in Europe but in the Premier League.
The Dark Years
More than ten years have passed since Arsenal last played a big role in Europe. Since then, they haven’t managed to get past the last 16 round of the competition. The last time they reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League was in the 2009/10 season.
Since 2016 Arsenal have continuously failed to qualify for the competition as the battle for the four spots that give access to the Champions League intensified. The resurgence of rivals Tottenham, who reached the final themselves in 2019, and the continuous presence of Manchester City has made the task of finishing in the top fours so much more difficult in recent years.
The 2020/21 season won’t be any different as the club once again failed to seal a top-four berth in the Premier League after yet another average league performance that left them eighth in the table, ten points away from the Champions League places.