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Arsenal fans are entitled to one of two valid emotions after the club's defeat: encouragement at progressing from the group of death or disappointment about finishing second when such an outcome could easily have been avoided.
The argument employed by the former camp is that Arsenal will have to play the big boys if they are to win the competition, so we might as well start now. And if the Gunners can't hack it, that gives them more time to focus on the Premier League.
But this ignores the fact that Arsenal's odds of winning the Champions League are significantly improved if they play more teams of less quality than them. It's that simple.
And by playing Zenit St. Petersburg instead of Real Madrid, for example, there is a greater chance of a smaller team knocking out an elite club before Arsenal would have to face them. Progression also brings in millions of dollars of television revenue.
So, while Arsenal's progression from the group of death is a fine achievement, they should be kicking themselves for letting a golden opportunity slip.