When you look at what has been dominating the news over the last week or so you would have thought that the build-up to the Europa League final for Arsenal has been disrupted but has it really?
Let’s take the three major issues that Arsenal have had to deal with and analyse what effect they have had.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan safety and eventually being omitted from the squad
The brutal truth is that he was not a guaranteed starter and the fury over his omission from the squad is more based on principle than the damage it has actually done to the team. It would have been a lot different if it was Alexandre Lacazette or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but it was not.
It could also prove to be a positive because the players will use what has happened to Mkhitaryan as a motivation, a kind of, let’s do it for Micki type of thing.
It has certainly been a distraction but I would suggest not one that will affect the team on the day of the final.
Fans treated terribly and very few being able to attend
Yes, it is a farce but it is exactly the same for Chelsea, their fans are in the same boat and while Arsenal football club will come out and protest and the supporter club release furious statements will it actually have an impact on the day?
I doubt it, as I say, Chelsea is in the same position and I am not sure not having many fans in attendance will make much difference.
Petr Cech joining Chelsea after the final
The timing was crap but it was hardly a secret and if Unai Emery goes with Cech as a starter, which looks likely, then I expect he will be professional and play to his best ability, I personally would not pick him but I cannot see his teammates giving a damn really, the players, in my opinion, will be just fine with Cech in goal.
So, in conclusion, from a media perspective, the build-up has been a bit of a mess with so many distractions but will they really make any difference and have these distractions really had an impact on the build up? I don’t think so.