Character test for Wenger, Arsenal

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February 14, 2017
Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger.

LONDON (AP):

For Arsene Wenger, the outcome of Arsenal's Champions League showdown with Bayern Munich could well be make or break for one of the longest-serving managers in European football.

The Frenchman will not say so, of course, but after 20 years in charge at Arsenal speculation is growing over his future at the Premier League club.

That speculation increased last week when former Arsenal striker Ian Wright said Wenger had told him his time at the club was "coming to the end."

Wenger said he was misinterpreted and assured Arsenal fans that he is "not ready" to walk away.

But with his team plagued by inconsistency in the Premier League and seemingly out of the title race again Arsenal has not won the English title since 2004 Wenger will hope that a deep run in the Champions League can provide some spark to its season.

Bayern stand in his and Arsenal's way, however.

Arsenal have not been past the last 16 in the continent's top club competition since 2009-10. The teams, who play the first leg in Munich tomorrow, have met six times in the last four years, with Bayern routing the Gunners 5-1 in Germany in their last meeting.

"Yes, we've had bad experiences against them," Wenger said. "But I feel that this is a good opportunity.

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