I’m sorry, but Arsenal simply can’t win the Europa League this season…

Why Arsenal Can’t Win The Europa League by Dan Smith

Mikel Arteta has correctly labelled the Benfica game as a Final, we have to win (or draw 0-0) to keep our season alive.

That’s a lot of pressure to have to deal with, and as the squad have proven numerous times this campaign, I’m not sure they can be trusted to handle it.

We showed in the first leg we are a better team than our opponents, wasting the chances to make this second leg less intense.

In truth, this tie is between two clubs with strong reputations who are both not in a great period in their history.

Even though the Portuguese side have lost their form post Xmas, they still have a realistic chance of qualifying for the Champions League domestically.

Arsenal on the other hand are 11th, 11 points behind 4th, with zero signs we can put the run together needed to even be in the conversation.

So we have to win this competition to return to UEFA’s premiere tournament.

Even if we advance to the next round, we will continue to face opponents who would like to win this cup compared to the Gunners who need to win this cup.

I think it’s asking too much for this group of players to go all the way with that much pressure.

Forget for the moment that players and fans want to be in Europe, think of the financial implications if we are not.

When Football first went into lockdown, those in power at the Emirates warned that failure to at least qualify for the Europa League would impact on our transfer policy.

Europa League revenue can’t be compared to the Champions League so the fact we were relying on Thursday nights for income showed how much the pandemic has cost us millions.

Knowing you have to win to minimise the companies losses is huge pressure, pressure that we couldn’t cope with a year ago at home to Olympiakos when we were crippled by the fear of failure.

Failure meant 55 redundancies and a smaller percentage of the players 12 percent wages paid back.

Once you know that your results are having a direct impact on salaries and jobs then it takes a strong mentality to cope with that, something we simply don’t have.

Unfortunately, nothing has changed.

Owners have gone longer than they planned without match day revenue, so common sense would say if Arsenal couldn’t afford to not be in Europe a year ago, the situation would be the same this time around? Plus, such is the gap between us and Man City, Stan Kroenke will be under pressure this summer to invest.

Remember as well we no longer have the FA Cup as a route into Europe. Remember how some said that was a good idea?

Based on who wins the FA Cup, 7th in the Premiership could be enough to be back in the Europa. We are 6 points away from Everton but played a game more. That’s how far we have fallen.

Where once we had fans who complained about ‘only’ finishing in the top 4, we could now be hoping certain teams don’t win the FA Cup just so we might squeeze into 7th.

The table doesn’t lie. 11th means we are an inconsistent team.

Surviving Benfica is one thing but expecting this squad to handle this kind of pressure every round is asking too much.

Be Kind In The Comments


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  1. We sit at the bottom half of the table because of the five red cards and Arteta’s occasional weird decisions. As long as the players can control their temper and if Arteta keeps the winning team, we’d have a good chance to win EL

    1. I don’t think the red cards should be used as excuse its not like the referees just felt like giving them. They are not DNA they are players own making.

  2. Couldn’t you say the same thing about last season and the FA cup? Arsenal had to win that in order to get European football, playing against tough opposition who wanted to win it but didn’t have to. Look what happened there.

    Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think Arsenal will win the Europa League. Not unless there is a huge change in Auba’s attitude and Partey’s + Tierney’s fitness. But to say they can’t because of the pressure – the logic just doesn’t hold up.

    1. But neither does your logic ?
      Your disagreeing with me then saying you don’t think we can win either ?
      Winning a game to get in Europa League isn’t same as all or nothing from Feb to get in CL
      Hence , the 2nd leg of the Europa League against Olymiakos

  3. The present problem is Arteta. The longer he keeps the job the longer we will remain average. Reason is he cant formulate tactics fitting players at his disposal. Another reason is he a novice who want see quality in players unless it’s done by chance. Examples of goal keeper and Saliba tell us all we need to know. Even that Willian ca contribute if he was under Alladyce or someone else with skills. In the end he will be sacked but longer than it shd be.

  4. All realists know that we do not have a serious chance to win the Europa . We have just a remote chance and THAT is realism. The articles theme is therefore correct.

    1. You are correct. A “real” realist should not praise the manager who sit at the bottom half and the season is going to an end. I genuinely belived we would challenge for the title but we have failed this season.

      I don’t wish for Mikel to be sacked now, he should be given a chance to get European football if he fail then they should go for another manager.

      1. HH, A realist would also conclude that it was your unrealistic expectations that are awry, not the managers Herculean and long term task to turn the shambles he inherited around for good.

        Not long ago you were openly saying our squad was as good as almost any in the PREM, WHICH A REALIST WOULD ALSO KNOW, AND DOES KNOW, IS FANTASY NONSENSE FROM A BIASED FAN.

  5. Arsenal performance in the league is just nothing to write home about,its a pity there are always playing catch up.The possibity of them winning the EL is zero.

  6. I’d be most pleasantly surprised if we’d win the the EL. My heart would want us to, but my head knows we can’t.
    In fact, we may not go beyond Benfica. If we concede first, as we are wont to, we will lose because they’d catch us on the counter as we try to retrieve the game.
    We just don’t have what it takes – the quality and commitment, the tactical nous, the mentality, – these are all in grossly short supply in our team right now

  7. As much as I would agree with your statement that “11th means we are an inconsistent team.”, I still won’t write off the team.
    I believe to the end until it’s over or near impossible.
    Everyone can become pessimist, negative and even so-called realist, it changes nothing either on the pitch or in the club.

    1. Just saying that a realist is not the same , not remotly, as a pessimist.
      When you lumped those diverse words together, as if they meant they same thing, I had to spell out exactly what a realist is and what we are not.

  8. TP remaining healthy, Emile, Saka n Gabriel will be the keys and Auba firing again for Europa Final.
    Goals are mostly from strikers. If strikers are not scoring that’s gona be a problem.
    Goals can come from midfield but there’s a limit to how many goals can score.

  9. Does it really matter anyway, there’s now enough money to prop up a prem club just by avoiding relegation.
    If you’re dreaming about top whatever you’re deluded. No one wants to even COME HERE once they know the truth about our spiky training ground and how it ruined a whole xi of potentially good players.

  10. “Where once we had fans who complained about ‘only’ finishing in the top 4″…although I will give you kudos for being a bit more discreet lately, it’s these kind of “easter egg” comments that always give you away…grow a pair and just write your Wenger love letter already, instead of this constant barrage of “coded” messages that all should functionally be titled “I told you so”…hopefully when you finally set your time machine to 2021 you’ll realize that not only was it considerably easier to finish in the top 4 during the vast majority of Wenger’s reign, but that if it weren’t for the ineptitude and mismanagement shown by the club under Wenger’s monopolistic tenure, post-Dein, this current rebuild wouldn’t be such an arduous task

  11. Arsenal are not favourites, it is not rocket science.
    With that said, if Arteta can give us a break from his stupid decisions, and no odd decisions from players and refs, those players are good enough imo.

  12. With a shiite team, a lot weaker than the present one-I was absolutely convinced Unai Emery is going to take us to the final.And he did it,in style,Imust say,without losing a single game and scoring a bunch,home and away.You see,it was the experience of the coach making a mediocre team to achieve an unthinkable height.We don’t have that luxury today,with an inept and scarred “ coach”.Even if we have a lot better team than Emery’s one.Arteta out!Only excuses ,over and ober again to cover for his mediocrity.Out,out,out….my eyes hurt watching that ugly,negative football.No more “ sideways- backwards” football,that’s enough.No more Xhaka-Elneny. combo,it makes me sick.

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