Frustration: Pellegrini reacts during his side's 2-2 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday.
Manuel Pellegrini has hit out at the way Arsenal remain seeded in the Champions League – despite having only finished fourth in the Premier League.
The Manchester City manager said it was “not good that the teams who play qualification because they finished fourth in their domestic leagues are in Pot One [seeded], where the strongest teams should be”.
City are the Premier League champions but were in Pot Two for the draw – Arsenal’s status is related to their consistent qualification for the tournament – and have to face Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow and Roma to reach a place in the last 16.
“Our group seems unbalanced,” Pellegrini said. “In our group we have three domestic champions – the English champions, the German champions and the Russian champions.
“I think we need to find a modification whereby, for example, all teams who play qualification [ie, Arsenal] go into Pot Four and all champions and those who have lots of points in Europe [a high coefficient] go into Pot One.
"There is a need for some modification to not let something like what happened to us happen again and then, on the other hand, for the teams who play preliminaries to not appear to be the most important ones in Europe.”
Pellegrini will watch the match on Wednesday from the stands as he completes a two-match touchline ban for controversial comments about Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson last season.
Twenty-four hours earlier Arsenal face Borussia Dortmund – also away – with Jack Wilshere suggesting it would be the “icing on the cake” to Arsène Wenger’s career as the club’s manager to finally win the Champions League.
“He has been 17 years [as manager] and had one final – he came close to winning that, he was unlucky, he had [goalkeeper Jens] Lehmann sent off [in the 2006 final] – so I think this is the one he really, really wants, as well as the Premier League, because he wants it for us. But if he gives the Champions League to us it will also be like a present [from us] to him if we win the Champions League.”
The midfielder stressed it was important in a group that also contains Galatasaray and Anderlecht that Arsenal finish top. “Over the last few seasons we almost thought we were finishing top and we lost the last game and it has cost us.”SOURCEPelle, stop complaining about Arsenal and think about your own team!