To be perfectly honest, when Arsenal were struggling last season and looking likely to miss out on the top four and a subsequent Champions League spot, I half hoped that we would crumble and not even make it into the Europa League. The chances are that the club would then have had to part company with Arsene Wenger and the new manager would not have had any distractions with the European midweek games.
The last two Premier League winners did so with no European games, so maybe Arsenal could have benefited just as Chelsea and Leicester City did. As it is we did not even need our league position to get a Europa League place because we won the FA cup and so Wenger and the Gunners just had to get on with it, but most of us were dreading the effect these Thursday games would have.
Not nay more. It is still early days, of course, and we could still suffer on the following Sundays, but so far the Europa League feels to me like a good thing for Arsenal. Two good games with lots of excitement, which is what we all watch football for at the end of the day, and two good results have helped with the growing confidence and good feeling around the team.
We have seen players like Wilshere, Walcott and Giroud get valuable match minutes and goals and assists and we have seen a few young Gunners starting to break through. Arsenal are in charge of our group and look certain to progress and without having to risk the fitness of the really key players, so do you agree that this season out of the Champions League could still be a good thing for us?