Are Wenger’s ‘cup-tied’ comments out of place ahead of Arsenal’s EL tie?

Arsene Wenger has moved to insist that UEFA’s ruling regarding players being ineligible for certain competitions to be scrapped, with Pierre-Emerick’s exclusion from Arsenal’s Europa League squad clearly irking the manager.

The Gunners are set to take on Ostersund in Sweden on Thursday night, but will have to do so without both Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The French striker has been ruled out through injury for the next four to five weeks, but the latter is fully fit, and simply cannot play because he has played in Europe for Dortmund already this term.

Arsene Wenger has now come out in the press to slam the rule, claiming that every other club would also agree that it needs to be scrapped.

“Unanimously, I believe that all the clubs agree now this rule has to disappear in Europe” he said.

“When you look at the transfer amounts you spend now, that you have to spend £50m, £60m, £70m in the middle of the season, that the players cannot play doesn’t make sense.

“Unanimously, everywhere in Europe now, the clubs are against this rule.”

I don’t personally understand how Wenger can be annoyed by the ruling when he would have known fully well of the situation when the club was making their moves in the market, and I don’t expect the 68 year-old would have made such a complaint if he hadn’t lost Lacazette to injury.

Would Wenger have complained about the rule if he hadn’t lost Lacazette to injury? Should clubs not have spoken out about the ruling whilst it wasn’t directly affecting them?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Aubameyang Europa League lacazette


  1. Just read a news report stating that Arsene will be there post 2020, stability at the club will be restored and we’ll progress, provided hes given the players he recommends and requires

  2. But it actually is a stupid rule. Transfers are made in the winter so that teams can get players in the need and so fans can watch them play. It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

  3. I see Wenger is already getting his excuses out. Not sure why he feels he has to give excuses though, he has never been answerable to anyone for any result. Relax Wenger, no one will fire you even if you don’t win tonight! Besides, we will probably be out in the round of 16 once we meet Atletico, Napoli, BVB or Lyon.

  4. Being cup tied is one thing. It would be unfair for a player to play for one team, perform well but lose, and then be transferred to a new team. In the league over a full season of games it is slightly different where one team’s season doesn’t simply end at a single lossed game where a transfer can dictate lots of on the pitch elements. I fully understand the ideas (perhaps misguided) behind a cup tied rule.

    That said…this isn’t a cup tied situation. Aubamayang has not played in the Europa League. His transfer makes no difference to any match that has previously occurred in the competition. If Dortmund had fallen out of Europe entirely, he’d be legible. If they were still in the Champions League, he’d be legible. It is only in the instance that Dortmund enter the competition now (not having yet played a single game) that it matters. If a player does not play in a competition and is transferred without having played, he is not cup tied. Thus this situation with Aubamayang is ridiculous to say the least.

    I think Wenger is just fed up with a stupid rule that makes little to no sense in this context

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