Come on Gooners – Let’s look at the positives of Arsenal’s being out of the Europa League

Why Arsenal lost against Sporting CP is a blessing in disguise? by Aziz Senzia

Every team wants to win a tournament they are playing in, no matter what! Arsenal team is no exception.

Arsenal’s elimination against Sporting CP is a painful one to take for both players and fans.

But there is a silver lining to that loss! Some might say, it’s one way to console oneself as an Arsenal fan after being eliminated from the tournament. However, I will explain why it’s not all gone for Arsenal!

If Arsenal has to stand any chance of winning the EPL after 19 years of trying in vain, they should solely focus only on the EPL alone based on the current state of its squad.

Arsenal at the moment hasn’t got the “luxury” that their nearest rivals, Man City have in terms of a “big” squad. Even if they had one, by contrast they needed to play fewer games than Man City to have the upper hand in the title race. As bizarre as it may look, by not playing on Thursdays in the Europa League whilst City are playing on Wednesdays in the Champions League, Arsenal players can have enough time to recuperate between the EPL games and avoid exhaustion that might have been caused by travelling overseas for these Europa League games.

To play on Thursdays in Europa League and then back in the EPL to compete for the title on Sundays is never an easy task especially if your squad is that thin.

Against Sporting CP on Thursday, Arsenal lost two important players in Saliba and Tomiyasu coming into the tense period of the season.

Further, Jesus isn’t ready yet to be thrown into the thick of the EPL games. Who knows how long it is going to take for Nketiah to come back on the pitch? Mo Elneny’s season is far gone… ERS is not 100% fit yet! The squad is already stretched.

Arsenal cannot afford to lose any player at the moment whilst they are in the title race, as they are, so it’s not all end of the world as long as they keep this momentum. It could be a blessing in disguise when it comes to the end of the season. COYG!

By Aziz Senzia

A Gooners Fan in Tanzania


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  1. Arsenal will have more time to prepare for the games and recover, but those won’t guarantee victories. I just hope Saka and Saliba will be fully fit to play tomorrow

    1. Gai,
      My biggest worry is Saliba not playing Holding can’t be be rusted he is prone to taking dangerous cards. I think it’s time for Thieney to play, the defence need to be strengthened. Matinnelli also need to get over his dissapointment. I see a draw in this game or a lucky win for Arsenal considering various circumstances.

      1. Holding played well against Sporting, but I’d also prefer Saliba over him

        As for Tierney, I’d prefer Zinchenko as he is more suited to the inverted LB role. We could bring Tierney in the last thirty minutes of the game, to strengthen our defense or to utilize his dribbling skills

  2. Hallelujah! Hurray for sound sense, writ very large by the perceptive and wise Aziz!!

    Well said sir!

  3. Evidently, we have to focus on the league now. We have to make the best use of the resources we have and do our best in the remaining games.
    However, I disagree with this notion that falling out contention for the EL is some kind of “blessing”. If we do win the PL there is no doubt that some will include this setback as part of a narrative.

    1. But, if we don’t win the EPL it’s another bad end to the season like last year!

      Yes, we will achieve CL football again (and we need it) but if we don’t win a cup this year it will still feel like a massive failure.

      I’m still optimistic and hopeful though. Especially if we win tomorrow.

  4. I don’t like loosers mentality, we had a good enough squad to compete on both fronts so getting kicked out of EL is not blessing in disguise and its no way positive. I don’t understand some of the fans, if we don’t win EPL this season that will mean we have won nothing with the performances we have put in. For me it will be a failure. Club’s success is measured by trophies. So every cup is important, we are turning into spuds by this mentality of calling some of the cups n EL mick mouse cups.

    1. Also another thing to point out is how is it you guys think playing Thursday and Sunday can not be managed but playing Wednesday and then Saturday will be next season. Its same number of days in between. When our bench win us the games then it’s good enough but when they loose we cry about squad depth.

    2. Exactly. A guy by the name of Alex Ferguson, who fans may have heard of, said; “I expect my players to contest every single trophy we are involved in equally, and to try to win every one of those trophies”. A statement attested by his key players. This attitude of ‘cups don’t matter’ rather sadly one that our own arsene wenger was a keen exponent of, is utterly negative and ultimately has meant those same cups have increasungly travelled to the trophy cabinets of a very small number of “super clubs”. Its ironic, given how many sub par teams Wenger chose to play in the cups, that he became the most successful fa cup winning manager of all time. It’s a sign of weakness in a squad when you cannot contest as many cups as possible, in an age when so many teams put finishing 15th in the epl ahead of making history.

      1. Perhaps Arsene Wenger knew what he was doing with regard to the fa cup, as in his time at our club, he won it seven times and only failed to progress past the 3rd round once.

        1. And lost it 15 times, failed to win the EPL 19 times, failed to win CL/EL 22 times ( and still pocketed millions every year. Shame!) Compare his stats to those of Sir Alex, and you know who brought about the toxic loser mentality. And it will take some time to erase this toxic thinking from the club. Mikel is fighting this battle, he need to support him. Well written Marge

      2. Comparing to where we were past 3 seasons and now we are on the verge of winning the league which not a single soul saw it coming, I think it’s unreasonable and unrealistic to expect Atsenal to challenge for everything this season.

        After winning the league and return to Champions League, we will have more quality additions and then we can challenge for everything.

        In my opinion only three trophies matter
        1. The Premier League
        2. The FA Cup
        3. Champions League.

  5. I’m still heartbroken 💔 from the loss, we should have sealed the game before 90mins,
    Arteta and Edu need to also consider stamina and strength when buying skillful players, Fabio and Jorginho were muscled out in speed and strength, we really need those qualities in the midfield.

  6. This game allowed Arteta to have a better appraisal of the game without Odegaard and Partey. It clearly illustrated that these 2 players playing together in the midfield make others play better and elevate standards.
    Therefore those who replaced them aren’t simply good enough. We need better squad depth and the game gave us to have a good idea on the positions we should look to reinforce in the summer.
    Caceido or Rice is a must and for me, we need to bring Maddison or Xavi Simons or even Raphael Leo to the Emirates in order to solidify the rebuild.

  7. Good article and one I concur with, except that all PL clubs have the same squad size of course.
    We have shown that we can match anyone on any given day in the PL, be it Sunday through to Saturday, without players such as Partey, Jesus and ESR when injuries happen.
    I hate losing, but it DOES give us a clear run in to the end of the season in the PL and the draw would have been a nightmare if we’d gone through.

    OT.. Great to see Theo Walcott helping Southampton draw with the spuds – still playing PL football and helping out The Arsenal make “that gap” even bigger!!
    Interesting fact about Theo – he’s never played for a club outside of the PL during his senior career.

  8. Personally, I don’t think it’s positive but negative as far as Arsenal are concerned when playing at home last Thursday’s night, they got knocked out of this season’s Elc competition at the last round of 16 stage by Sporting CP.
    Nevertheless, I’ve taken the disappointment that followed Arsenal’s lose to Sporting on my chin. And I’ve moved on hoping Arsenal will win this season’s Epl title unfailingly.

  9. I think those who fail to see it is a positive help to our Perm chase, by being no longer in Europa are flying in the face of reality.
    It was always fools gold to seriously hope for BOTH trophies with the still thin sqaud quality wise we have, esp by comparison to City.

    Now just ONE GAME A WEEK helps us massively.

    I, at least, have the brains to see that clear reality!!

    1. Any comment on Theo Walcott’s goal and assist for Southampton Jon?

      Of course, city aren’t in the Europa league, so their quality wouldn’t have mattered and it’s worth pointing out that united are still in with a shout for three trophies with a squad that one might liken to ours.

      However, it makes complete sense to see that one game a week is a real factor, especially as city have progressed further in the fa cup.

      1. You really can’t expect him to give even a little bit of praise to Walcott after he spent years mugging him off, even a couple of years after he had gone.

        1. I know GB, but one can only try and educate.
          The old saying “Your never to old to learn” comes to mind.

      2. KEN you have long known my unchanging views on Walcotts time here. I wil of course say I am pleased that he scored a rare goal in a rare appearance and thus prevented Spuds winning.

        On now having only one game a week aiding our Prem chase, we both agree, as we both know!

    1. He is good but you can stop him..
      He is not like Messi, Ronaldo or Hazard who can create something for himself..
      He has to overly dependent on KDB, or Silva or Mahrez…
      If you stop his creative supply then you automatically take Haaland out of the game…

  10. Arsenals squad isn’t stretched because it’s short in numbers, it’s because it’s short in quality, so Arteta has little choice but to constantly play Saka and Odegaard etc. ESR is good enough but can’t get match fit because MA keeps playing Vieira who isn’t good enough. Tierney is good enough but apparently doesn’t fit the tactics so we get Zinchenko every game who can’t defend. We aren’t good enough and I think we will fall short of winning the league.

    1. Yes short in quality which will be remedied in the summer by quality additions as Premier League title winners, Champions League football and lucrative salaries.

      Which player will refuse to join us?

  11. I’m not a fan of Rob Holding but we have no choice but to pair him with Gabriel. Usual midfield. Up front Saka, Jesus….I would start Trossard and bring Martinelli on as impact sub, but would be as happy to see Martinelli start.

  12. I believe that most of us have mixed emotions (or more correctly a conflict between heart and head) here, and we only appear dogmatic in chat because of this built in chest-thumping ideology that because Arsenal are a huge club, therefore only winning every competition is acceptable.
    A few (what I believe to be) truths:
    1 EVERYBODY deep-down wanted Arsenal to win, regardless of the fact that doing so would clog up our fixture list and increase risk of injury and fatigue during the run-in.
    2 EVERYBODY knows that losing greatly increases our chances of winning the EPL.
    3 Arteta did NOT choose and send out a team to lose. He chose the weakest (rotationally) team possible that he thought would win. He rested players that, even by common fan consent, most needed resting or sheltering from potential injury for the EPL run in. A weakER team, yes, but not a WEAK team. The mix was wrong, motivation was low, Sporting were excellent, so Arteta got it wrong on the night.
    4 EVERYBODY wants both but agrees that if we choose one to bomb out of it’s the Europa.
    All the article is doing is highlighting the silver lining as we are out and it’s done.
    The very same people saying that certain players are tired are the ones now saying we should have played them in a midweek game. The same people who, if we had played full throttle to win would now complain how jaded we are 3 days later in not beating Palace.
    One outcome of the loss whilst fielding EIGHT first 11 players was that it highlights that our squad is still not deep enough to depend on almost any players outside that first 11 for games that are virtually all “must win”. On that basis one game a week wil be manageable. Imagine trying to factor in two midweek Juve games then maybe 2 x Man Utd whilst winning the EPL, with 11 players?

  13. We weren’t ready for EPL title when season start. Our focus was to win Europa League. We abandoned our plan A, which was more realistic. EPL trophy wasn’t our Plan B after all. Now, we must win EPL for abandoning our plan A. Or else, it will be most disappointing season ever in Arsenal history. I hope for a Glory.

  14. A friend of mine ( a Chelsea fan) asked me the other day if I would have preferred we beat sporting cp and saka or Partey got injured.
    It was a strange question but a good one , seeing that saka’s and/or party getting and injury could very well mean we go out of the UEL in the q/finals and still lose the EPL title that we chase.
    It hurts to go out but the bigger picture MUST be looked at here, and winning the title is the big picture plus I see this as another learning process for our gaffer who I trust so much. So onwards we must go.

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