The Europa League provides a route to Champions League qualification and must not be ignored.
This season qualifying for the Champions League via a top-four finish is almost certainly not going to happen but there is still a way via winning the Europa League and any chance Arsenal has of progressing beyond where they are right now, has to include Champions League football.
Not playing in Europe’s elite competition has severe consequences, it is a huge financial hit, it hinders player acquisition and it creates scenarios where some of our best players want to leave in order to play in the Champions League.
Arsenal simply has to do everything in its power to get back into the Champions League and that means taking the Europa League seriously.
Hand on heart no Arsenal fan can truly say that Mikel Arteta’s men will definitely finish top-four next season, in fact, I would suggest it is probably unlikely.
By finishing seventh or below the Gunners will probably miss out on next seasons Europa League and while some fans may welcome that, it closes a huge door to Champions League qualification.
Look at the transformation at Tottenham because of their Champions League participation and then compare that to the decline at Arsenal.
Any top club that is consistently outside the Champions League declines over time and the road back can take years. That is evident now with Arsenal and teams like AC Milan in Italy.
I understand why some fans want Arsenal to miss out on Europa League qualification, it is a Micky Mouse competition dragging the team and fans all over Europe on Thursday nights playing substandard games, no one enjoys that but we really have to look at the big picture.
If Arsenal manages to win the Europa League this season it would overnight make attracting top talent far easier and boost the transfer budget significantly.
Targetting a Europe League qualification spot every season when Champions League qualification via the league is doubtful is a no brainer to me.