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Martin Keown: 'Arsenal not yet ready to mount Champions League challenge'

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown claims that Arsene Wenger's side isn't ready to challenge in the Champions League this year.

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has written off the Gunners' chances in the Champions League this season, claiming that the competition has come "too soon" for them.

Arsene Wenger's side have qualified for Europe's elite competition for the last 17 seasons in succession, but face a mountain to climb after losing 2-0 away at Borussia Dortmund in their first match this term.

Keown told BBC Sport: "In the Champions League it takes time as Man City are seeing. It's another step up and you have to come alive and find another gear.

"It was a real shock for us initially when we first played in the Champions League. A lot of the players were 29 or 30 and Arsene Wenger was holding our hand on that journey.

"Arsene was talking about an exclusive club and if Arsenal can get into a semi-final that is success. The dominance in Europe has moved away from Arsenal. I feel this year will come too soon for Arsenal developing this team."

Follow the Gunners' game at home to Galatasaray with Sports Mole's live match commentary.

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Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger waits for the begining of the UEFA Champions League play-off football match Besiktas vs Arsenal at Ataturk Olympic Stadium on August 19, 2014
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