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Arsene Wenger, Arsenal FC Manager

Arsenal Battle For Champions League Placement in 2012-13

Man Utd and Man City have secured the top two spots. Arsenal intend to secure third place to secure automatic qualification.

Arsenal are currently in third place in the Premiership table. Finishing in third or fourth place would normally secure a place in next season's Champion League placement.

"If we finish third, you want Chelsea to win the Champions League because it's great for the Premier League that an English club wins," said Arsene Wenger, Arsenal boss.

"If you are in the fourth position it would be masochistic to wish that you were out of the Champions League. You cannot ask the impossible. That is why maybe the rule is a little bit malicious. I think everyone in England wants an English team to win the Champions League but the team who is fourth will certainly wish they had a chance to play in the Champions League. But let's not forget that the team that is fourth can be Chelsea. You don't know yet."

However if Chelsea FC win the Champions League title this season and finish in fifth place or lower, they would bump the club who finishes in fourth. If Chelsea loose the Champions League Final against hosts Bayern Munich in May and fail to finish in the top four, then they would usurp one of their rivals (Newcastle United, Arsenal, or Tottenham Hotspur) to enter the group stages.

Arsene Wenger feels the rule is 'not completely fair', he also believes it would be 'illogical' for the holders not to be able to defend the title.

'It is the rule that everybody knows before the season starts, nobody complained and if Chelsea win then England will have four clubs represented in the Champions League. We have to accept it,' Wenger said.

'But the surprise of the season is neither Chelsea, who are not even in the Champions League places at the moment which is very unusual, nor Bayern, are top of their leagues. That shows you how unpredictable the Champions League is.'

1 Manchester United  35 54 83
2 Manchester City 35 60 80
3 Arsenal 36 24 66
4 Newcastle 35 7 62
5 Tottenham 34 18 59
6 Chelsea 34 18 58
7 Everton 35 8 51
8 Liverpool 35 6 49

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has spoken again of a desire to increase his stake in Arsenal's parent company up from 30%, perhaps to have a seat on the board. Arsenal's majority shareholder is Stan Kroenke, who completed a takeover last year.

'I always think it is important in a big club that everybody does his job. I have zero shares so I cannot sell him anything. For the rest I don't want to be involved in that,' said Wenger.

'That is a decision which has to be made by the board, who is represented there.

'Why not? As long as we have the freedom to decide on the sporting side, I have not to decide what is going on with the board.'

Wenger shared some thought on how he feels about being booed and jeered on the pitch.

"I've had enough experience to cope with that. It doesn't bother me too much. I don't listen to what people chant," said Wenger.

"I think one day football will have to tackle that. It's easy to sit in the stand and insult people. It's the easiest sport in the world.

"I focus on what I love in my job, which is football and the way my players behave on the pitch. I'm not responsible for the way people behave in the stands.

"If you want to stop that, it's easy to stop. You can isolate every single face.

"I think sometimes when I go out on the pitch at the end of the game, and people are angry or hateful, I would like a little picture to send home for them to show their son or daughter, and then come back next week and see if they will do it again, see if they are proud of you."

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