I have to say that I was not terribly impressed with our Swedish opponents in Arsenal’s Europa League tie at Ostersund this evening, and in my opinion we could have played all our reserve players and probably won just as well. But, on the other hand, this competition is likely to be our best chance of reaching the Champions League next season and some may say that we should put out our best available team whoever we are playing.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, our new signing that won the Europa League with Man United last season, agrees with that sentiment. He was asked if Wenger should rest his stars ahead of the League Cup Final just after the second leg and Mhki replied: “No, I don’t think so. Because we have to focus in every game. It doesn’t matter if we have got a good result or not.
“We have to win in every game to get more confidence and to have better success. It doesn’t matter who we are going to play after the second leg, yes, we have a game in the cup final but we have to play with the same team, I think, and to win at home.”
It is an interesting thought, but back in England and hopefully not on such a freezing day, surely we should be able to play our reserves and get through to the next round. Man City are going to be formidible opponents in the League Cup Final, so should we give our best players some practise against Ostersund in the second leg? Or rest them so they are completely recovered before the Final?