When Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United were in the Europa Cup semi finals last season, the Portugese boss gave up on the title race and rested players in important Premier League games so they could be fresh for the infamous Thursday night competition. It worked out for United though because although they dropped to 6th place in the League they gained entry to the Champions League.
Arsene Wenger is not impressed and has said that he was opposed to the idea of automatic entry to the main competition for the winners of the EUropa League. He said: “You cannot go into the season and think that [is going to be your route into the Champions League],” he said.
“I was always not in favour of that, because I think at some stage it can influence the championship, because if a team is in April in a position where they have more chance to win the Europa League they can let some games go in the championship, and not completely focus on that.”
So I’m wondering if Arsenal get into the same situation as Man United were in last season, does that mean he would put all his efforts into getting into the Top Four rather than try and win the Europa League? That would be silly.
But obviously if we are fighting for the actual title then I would agree, ignore the Thursday night games!