Paul Merson reckons winning the Europa League is harder than when Man Utd won it.
Arsenal’s best chance of qualifying for the Champions League would be to win the Europa League, but Paul Merson cautions Mikel Arteta’s team over the difficulty they face in achieving that.
The Gunners are currently a long way from the Champions League places but they are in the knockout stages of the Europa League.
They reached the final of Europe’s second-biggest club competition last season but they lost to Chelsea in an all-English final.
Merson claims that the Europa League is even tougher this campaign than when Manchester United won it under Jose Mourinho.
“You don’t know what they’re going to do with the Europa League,” he wrote for Sky Sports. “They’ll have to do a Manchester United.
“It’s hard this year, no disrespect but when United won it it wasn’t that difficult, and there’s some good teams left in it this season.”
I am not sure that Merson sees anything easy for Arsenal or for that matter, positive, but he has to make a living and talking down Arsenal chances obviously works well for him.
Arsenal’s next Europa League game will be against Greek giants Olympiacos a week on Thursday and no one is pretending it will be easy.
The Greeks were impressive in their Champions League campaign this season and they finished just below Tottenham. They have lost their star man Daniel Podence who joined Wolves in the last transfer window, but Arsenal cannot afford to underestimate them.