Arsenal club secretary David Miles conceded being paired with Barcelona in the Champions League was not the draw the club’s fans – or his family – wanted.
Miles was left stony-faced in Nyon on Monday as Arsene Wenger’s men were handed a round-of-16 clash with Luis Enrique’s all-conquering title holders.
Barca dumped Arsenal out in the knockout stages in 2010 and 2011, as well as beating them in the 2006 final, and Miles admitted it was not the draw they were hoping for.
He said on BT Sport: “We are delighted to be here for the 16th successive season. On the back of the great win in Athens, we were hoping for a good draw.
“I think it’s probably the tie of the round and it’s not going to be easy. I think most Arsenal fans would have wanted to avoid them but it’s up to us to put on a performance.
“My family said ‘if you draw Barcelona, don’t bother coming home’.”
Although Barca can boast the famed forward trident of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, Miles claimed Arsenal, who will play the first leg at home on February 23, have their own players to grace the occasion.
“We’ve got world class players and it will be two fantastic games that we are looking forward to,” he added.
“We’re sitting top of the Premier League, come February-March we’ll have some players back and it would be great to take them on with our full-strength side.”