Is Wenger right to pick strong Arsenal XI for Europa League?

Even though Arsene Wenger admitted that the Arsenal squad was a bit too big and did a lot of his transfer work this summer on thinning it down rather than spending money and buying some big name players like the fans were hoping for, we still have a strong squad because a club like ours needs one.

Despite missing out on the Champions League for the first time in 20 years, the boss and the players still have European games to cope with in midweek but Wenger had suggested that he would not be taking the group games too seriously as our focus would have to be mainly on the Premier League.

The Frenchman may already have changed his tune, though, and has declared that he will be picking a strong Arsenal side for our first group game at home to the German Bundesliga outfit Cologne this Thursday, reports the Arsenal website.

He said, “It will be a Premier League team. Some players will come in of course, because many players played twice for the national team, and then again today. So two or three will not be in the squad, but most of them will play.”

I must say that I am a bit surprised to hear the boss say this, especially as we face an early Sunday kick off away to Chelsea on Sunday. Does this mean that Wenger is happy to play his best players in quick succession at this early stage of the season without fear of fatigue or injury? Does he think he has enough options to chop and change without dropping in quality?

What do you guys think of him playing a strong Arsenal team against Cologne with Chelsea coming less than three days later?


Updated: September 11, 2017 — 6:59 am


  1. Wenger is always right, it was the PL table that is wrong.

    1. Having a seperate Europa league team with Jack Wilshere as captain will make loads of sense. In fact, if I were Wenger, I’ll resist playing him in the Premier league as much as possible.

      1. I would definitely let players who don’t start in the PL take the lead in the Europa league. If we field a team that includes Jack, Giroud, Theo, Nelson, Chambers, Iwobi, Mert, Iwobi we should still be good enough on paper to progress. Once we make it to the knock out stages we can always reconsider depending on our PL position, not unlike Man U did.

    2. Can fans attest protest and boycott the europa league games? Or are they too “loyal” to kroenke to do that?


  2. Don’t listen to what he says. It’s double speak. Expect a Wilshire or a Nelson or the other player who doesn’t start normally in the PL but then he can turn around and call all his squad players PL players and thus he fields a PL team. It is really a silly topic. It will be nice to see some different faces and hopefully Nelson will be one of them and hopefully, we get off to a convincing win.

    1. I saw a picture on the news showing Wilshere training with the first team. So they might use players that rarely play like Wilshere, Nelson, Sanchez, Mertesacker, Elneny, Ospina and Iwobi, to build their match fitness.

      1. A fit Wilshire is an upgrade on Ramsey (IMO) when played as DM next to Xhaka.

  3. Wenger has 2 ways of getting back in the champions league top 4 or win this comp, he needs to chose which one is the best way back in, but Knowing Wenger he’ll probably think we can do both and muck them both up. Play the fringe and young players give them a chance to prove themselves, keep the first team for the prem and if we make it through the group stages but struggling in the league, go all out for it but if the versa let the kids n fringe continue there journey

    1. I think we should go for both…we have a 25 man squad…that means with good management and balance we can field 2 different teams in a row and win 2 games in a row…if we cant do that then we may as well trim the squad to 15 point having 25 players if we cant win a game on thursday and another on sunday.

  4. I hope we win d EL bcos it is d only way to get back to CL.
    NB:Wilshere will do a better job in dat midfeild area than Ramsey.

  5. rotating the squad without losing much balance is healthy more so if young players like nelson,iwobi,willock are given chance prove themselves

  6. The only I don’t think we have any cover for is Right Back / RWB-

    Unfortunately I think that’s the position we HAVE to play someone other than Bellerine-

    Because although I’m not his biggest fan – we can’t risk his injury in a non-EPL game

    1. Theres a reason why debuchy is still in the squad

  7. Preferred line up against koln
    Chambers Mert Holding
    Nelson Wilshire Elneny Dunno
    Walcott Iwobi

    Debuchy still our players cos relying on bellerin’s fitness is a massive gamble. Except Wenger plays Nelson at LWB and Debuchy at RWB

    1. ……Ospina…….

  8. My team for EL


    Holding Mertesacker Chambers

    Debuchy Wilshere Coquelin Maitland Niles

    Iwobi Walcott


    1. that team should be good enough to progress.

      1. Yes lad,Wenger is a shrewd, unfaltering decision-maker. He has built a football club, not a football team, and in doing so he has given Arsenal a philosophy and an identity. This is a man who, prior to managing Arsenal, earned his living by analysing football teams and the type of tactics they employ. He is a true master of the game – wise, thoughtful, ruthless. There aren’t many of those left anymore. Arsenal fans, like all football fans, will always enjoy the peaks and suffer the troughs of their team’s fortunes. That is the nature of football. That is the beauty of football. Calling for Arsene’s head is nothing new, but the supporters need to grasp something that everyone associated with the club has understood for the past 21 years, Arsene Wenger is a genius, and he’s the only man capable of returning the Gunners to their former glory.

        Sing with me now, ONE ARSENE WENGER.

        1. And God forbid he dies! The Emirates will be closed and turned into an olympics swimming pool. I really hope Indiana Jones found the holy grail..we are gonna be needing that sweet immortality water soon.

          1. We all the true passionate fans have finally figured out whats wrong with this pest type of fan’s brain; “On the left side, there’s nothing right; and on the right side, there’s nothing left…”.

            RESPECT ARSENE.

        2. Yup hail our God. We shall return to the day of glory even to wait for another decade.

          But can wenger survive another decade that what’s I worry about.

        3. Definitely only one wenger unless wenger used all his money earn fm arsenal to clone another wenger.

          1. Haven’t you seen the HBO Series “WESTWORLD”?

            And you have a marvelous idea, lad.

          2. Haha this guy definitely came from there.

          3. Haha, good one. How did you get here? Did someone leave your cage open?

          4. Same as you.

        4. I don’t need a genius who gets us Europa league football. Just get me a mere mortal like Conte, Pep, Mourinho, Klopp, Simeoni, Allegri, Jardim, Ancelotti etc, just mortal guys who win trophies and make their teams play better than the sum of the part and who get their teams to CL finals etc.

          You can keep the genius who gets us to 5th place and who hasn’t won a major trophy in eons and who hasn’t build a winning team of his own.

          1. If there had been time, we the true fans believed in him and confident he would have been as keen on our view of him as a mixture of French flair and passion and German calm and efficiency. It is like they don’t want anyone to enjoy the game since they can’t, very childish really.

            We are looking like clicking and its exciting for our fans who haven’t had this feeling for a while, i just struggle to understand why most you dont want us to do well individually and collectively. So shut it and support te team.

            RESPECT ARSENE.

          2. You are wrong my friend. All of us want the club to do well we just realize based on history it won’t happen as long as Wenger is in charge.

            PS: I am sure your opening paragraph was supposed to be a thing of beauty befitting the way we played the early days under Wenger, but I can not follow it? Maybe my fault or were there a few words left out in the hurry you might have been in?

  9. We need to take this competition very seriously
    1. It’s our best chance of getting into Champions League. We are the top ranked team in the competition so we definitely have a good chance. In the PL we would need to finish above 2 of these teams United, City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs. That will be tougher imo
    2. It’s a prestigious trophy with prize money that we have never won before

    Taking the competition seriously means putting out lineups that can win. I think if we put out a lot of inexperienced players we could jeopardize.

    We have a great chance of winning because we are the Top ranked team. Let’s not screw this opportunity up. The teams lower than us (ie Zenit St Petersburg, AC Milan, Dynamo Kiev, Lyon, Ajax, Villarreal, Lazio, even Everton) can definitely beat us if we don’t put good players out there. It will be a very tough competition but it is possible to win.

    Getting back into Champions League is vital. We need to be realistic. Because of Wenger’s lack of signings I don’t see us making the Top 4 in the PL sadly. So let’s take Europa League seriously

    1. Agree. Wenger’s philosophy will mean we will not finish anywhere near top 4 in the PL. 5-6 teams are now better than us.
      So we should go for the Europa League and give the young ones a chance in the PL

    2. @Arsenal_Girl. Aren’t you forgetting something? The third placed teams in the UCL will join EC later. So the opposition could be tougher than those you have listed.

  10. No need trying out any kids.. There’s a competition for kids certainly not this (ask Manure and Chelsea) you think other teams like AC Milan and Lazio are walkaway?

    My team

    Debuchy Mustafi holding morael
    Xhaka. Wilshere
    Welbeck iwobi theo

    Is the only chance we’ve got. So let’s take it instead of Fooling ourselves thinking we will win the epl or even qualify for champs

    1. If you really want to take it seriously don’t start Debuchy, Theo, and Giroud.

      But if you ask me we should give players a rest after the WC qualifying break and the big game coming up against Chelsea. Rest Welbeck and Xhaka. We should try to make as little changes as possible against Chelsea compared to the Bournemouth game IMO. Playing Welbeck on Thursday as injury prone as he is might be inviting problems.

  11. Chelsea won the Europa because they think like a big club! Manchester United won the Europa because they think like a big club! so, why can’t Arsenal win both the Europa and the Premier league? Ain’t we a big club? am even surprised we are talking prioritising one competition over the other! big clubs don’t reason like that! we can win both, if we want to! up gooners!

  12. Am not convinced with this team performance in the epl, let’s focus on europa league

  13. this team needs every possible win to get their confidence back most especially when they have a season testing match at hand in a time their confidence is low.. a win going into Chelsea match by the first team players will be very good for team

  14. Let’s get the trophy rolling.

  15. Europa League victory could be our ticket to the Champions league next season, as top 4 in the premier league seems difficult.

  16. Yes he has to take it serious bcos he just realized the league is over.
    so to get to CL he has to play his best team in EL.
    Wenger out#

  17. Koln are bottom of their league and if whatever team we put out doesn’t batter them we may as well pack it in!

  18. I still feel that we should be concentrating on the Premier League since there’s a good chance we can progress to the knockout rounds of EL with playing Wilshere, Iwobi, Nelson, Debuchy, etc… I don’t care much for Europa League in general, and want us out of that competition, but it is another piece of silverware, and in the end it might be the best chance of getting back into CL (just like ManU did last season).

  19. think about the chelsea game
    holding mert mustafi
    martin-niels elneni whilsher monreal
    ozil iwobi

    start ozil against colonge because there is no way a manager in his right mind would start him away at chelsea….
    except wenger…

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