How disruptive has Arsenal’s Europa League final build-up been?

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.


  1. Take a look at shrewd business by BVB. Sold Pulisic (who IMO is not that good) for £60m and bought

    LB Schultz £22m
    LW Brandt £22m
    LW Hazard £22m

    Wow. Brandt and Hazard both performed better than Pulisic last season.

    I expect us to dither for defenders all summer and end up signing that Argentinean guy for £4m at the end of the window.

    1. Dortmund already have Reus and Sancho, but still buy Brandt and Hazard long before the next season starts. Whereas Arsenal don’t have any good winger, but still postponing the winger purchase and would most likely buy only one in the last minute

      I know Arsenal are waiting for a good chance to sign a big name player, as when they purchased Ozil, Sanchez, Lacazette and Aubameyang. But they should have moved faster if they want the new player(s) to be ready for the next season

      If they cannot get a big signing immediately, they might as well gamble, as what Leicester City did with Vardy, Mahrez and Kante. Good scouts can spot good low cost talents and Arsenal’s activities show they don’t have any good scout in years

  2. No more disruption please. Am glad Mhkitaryan isn’t going, nothing is worth anyone’s safety. Peter Cech should not be the keeper on the day. It might be too much emotions for him and everyone. It’s the final and we need to be in top condition. Pep didn’t care about loyalty, he just simply picked the best keeper on the day and that might be the reason why they kept a clean sheet. I love Peter but I don’t think we need the headache at all.

    1. It’s difficult to call Pat because we have an experienced keeper who has played in Europe and then we have a keeper (Leno) who has not had a run in European football! Could the pressure get to him?

      I do agree, Cech should be there but NOT as first choice but maybe he is the obvious choice?

      Something tells me he will be. I think Unai Emery is a little like Wenger and sticks to guns (as far as loyalty is concerned). Cech has been the EL keeper of choice thus far. It’s also his last game and I doubt he will want to finish his career at Arsenal without a trophy!

      Then again, I do think back to Lehman in the CL Final getting sent off in the first 10 minutes. All his experience and he completely loses his head!?

      Whoever is the chosen one, good luck!

    2. Dropping Cech could be disruptive to his teammates’ mentality, because they struggled together in EL

      However, Cech should have backed off. Because he would be questioned by many people if he makes any mistake or if he doesn’t put in extra effort in the final

      But Cech seems to be eager to play his last big game and I believe he would not dare to disappoint Arsenal

    3. Absolutely agree with that Pat. You’re right, Petr Cech is a very nice guy, even took time to have a picture done with my partner and her friend in Baker St one afternoon, however Petr best years are behind him, also the fact that he’s joining Chelsea after the final and doesn’t need the unwanted pressure. As someone said previously, if we 2 or 3 up with ten minutes left (dreaming maybe) then bring him on for a cameo role.

  3. The issue of which goalkeeper starts in the final is so complicated. We all know that Leno is the better goalkeeper. However, Cech has made us reach the final and it would be totally unfair to just drop him. We will just have to wait and see who Emery picks

    1. Well that’s a very simplistic way of looking at the situation and one that chelsea, apart from getting there, do not have to address.
      First of all, let’s take Myk…no-one knows what team UE will pick on the day, when one considers his “tinkering” of the squad.
      The only thing on could say is that, in actual fact, one of our first team squad will not be travelling. Not because he is banned, injured, sick or rested…it’s because of the venue chosen.
      chelsea have, of course, no problems with their first team squad and can prepare accordingly.

      Cech is also a situation not hindering chelsea. I am of the opinion that this story originated from west london in order to do exactly what it has achieved.
      Unrest in the club and unforseen pressure on UE, Cech and our supporters.
      What may have backfired for chelsea, however, is the fact that UE might actually have been forced into selecting our No.1 keeper…and make no mistake, he is our No.1 and should have been chose anyway.

      Finally, although the author sees this as a situation that could urge the players forward (do it for Myk etc etc) there is a more worrying aspect to this.
      Fifa, Uefa may just be sitting back and seething with indignation that The Arsenal have refused to accept their announcement regarding Myk’s safety and it has highlighted the ridiculous decision to stage a european final in a country that is technically at war with it’s neighbours.
      Being a self confessed cynic, it would not surprise me in the least to see decisions being made on and off the field that benefit chelsea, as they have not, as far as I am aware, been as vocal in their criticism as The Arsenal.

      So in summary, the three talking points have most certainly affected the club, UE and the players and in a way that chelsea will have benefitted from two of them and, consequently, the roll on effect from our clubs refusal to bow to these corrupt organisations.

      1. Far too Machiavellian a post IMHO, Ken. In reality the game will SIMPLY be won by the team that plays better on the DAY, as most games are too.

        1. Of course Jon, couldn’t accuse EUFA or Chelsea of bending the rhetoric to suit themselves, Beyond comprehension.

          1. Kenny, I sometimes think our friend Jon lives in this world of dreamers, where nothing untowards happens regarding football matters.
            To not even question the decision to play this final in a country that is at war with it’s neighbour is daft.
            Why was this venue choosen?
            Which team has been disadvantaged by this decision? The Arsenal
            Which club has questioned the morality of this? The Arsenal
            Will the governing bodies take the questioning of their decisions lightly?

            Of course not and one club will be high on their list…The Arsenal
            By the way folks, I am prod of the fact that our club has been so openly critical of the governing bodies, we are a big club and we are acting like one on this occasion.

            1. Ken, But I have many times criticised the venue corruptly chosen and said so openly. But your post was far wider than just that , hence “Machiavelli”. You clearly don’t read my posts as I have often said so. My comment referred to the so called advantage you think Chelsea have. I differ and simple as that. On Uefa AND Fifa corruption both are blindingly obviously bent as corkscrews and have been for decades past.
              Separately, I have long scorned Kennys long running theory that all our Prem refs are anti Arsenal and which you have often agreed with. Rubbish? Certainly! Bent? No !

  4. Miki’s situation is understandable and the team should make him proud back home, I learnt that uefa are on the lookout for misconducts from Arsenal fans in Baku because of their unpleasant reaction so far Which I think it’s unfair considering the Miki’s circumstance, how many Armenia Arsenal fans are denied the opportunity to support their dear club because of this diplomatic hoolabaloo? Visa problems and the distance. I’m not bothered by anyone the Gaffer favors under the cross bar it’s just a matter of professionalism.

  5. If we win the EL some will say it was because “we did for Miki” and if we lose it will be because the disruptions of Miki, Cech, Baku etc ……………………we have had enough restto not blame fatigue and enough squad to give it 100%……..we will win or lose with no excuses before game, as for in game, it`s down to officials !
    The day after the final is my birthday, normally my happiness is decided on whether any bastards put money in my cards, I will forsake the money for a win and be happy !……………… money and no win will be my worst ever birthday !………………….

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