Arsenal boss Wenger denies lack of spending hurt English clubs in Europe

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insists the lack of big spending from England's Champions League clubs was not the reason for their failure this season.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insists the lack of big spending from England's Champions League clubs was not the reason for their failure this season.

Wenger, who has virtually conceded the title for another season after Wednesday's defeat against Tottenham, disagreed with England manager Fabio Capello's recent comments that the lack of spending among England's 'Big Four' was the reason for their early demise in the Champions League.

Wenger said: "I don't agree with that. The competition in the Premier League has become much harder and the big teams in the Premier League paid for that in the Champions League.

"You cannot afford any more, against anybody in England, to rest your players before a Champions League match. The physical demands in the Premier League are just so high that you go into the Champions League in March and April having lost your best players or already having exhausted them.

"The Premier League is too demanding. What other leagues can do we cannot afford to do. I do not believe at all that the Premier League has become weaker.

"It was an exception from us because we played against a stronger team (Barcelona) and you have to accept that. They were better than us but under normal circumstances Man Utd would have gone through and Chelsea as well."