Playing in the Europa League should be given respect?

With Liverpool thrashing West Ham and City having beat West Brom, Arsenal’s hopes of a top four spot look slimmer by the day. However despite our slim chances the club isn’t giving up on Top Four just yet and goalkeeper Petr Cech wants Arsenal to face the fact that the Europa League isn’t quite as bad as it’s made out to be!

In order to secure a Top Three spot, the Gunners would need to win against Everton as well as seeing a heavy defeat for Manchester City and/or defeat Liverpool this weekend. The final premier league fixture list for this season sees Liverpool play relegated Middlesborough and City play Watford. Both the favourites are likely to walk away with all three points leaving Arsenal in the dark for a fifth placed finish. The Gunners can afford for just one of the two other sides to lose, but even so, fourth place does not guarantee getting to the champions league next season, with Manchester United favourites to win this seasons Europa League.

In a Sky Sports report, a Europa League winner with Chelsea, Petr Cech is quoted saying: “I have to say you want to have the Champions League one rather than the Europa League one but you can see more and more, big teams are treating the Europa League with respect because it is a European trophy.”

“Now you can qualify for the Champions League too. I have to say it is a fantastic memory for myself to look at the medal. I only played in it once and was fortunate in one go to have won it. But obviously I would rather be in the Champions League, that’s for sure. Let’s see what will happen.”

Cech is very much correct in his opinion when he states that the Europa league has become much more attractive to clubs across Europe. This is especially so with many top European sides scuppering under the increased pressure of rising clubs pushing the well known top sides out of certain contention. A clear example of this is the Champions League places given to Spurs and Leicester last season. As previously mentioned the likes of Chelsea have missed out on qualification for this past season and it’s worked wonders. Meanwhile, United and Liverpool’s withdrawal from the Champions League for a ‘single season’ as it was suggested, has now turned into more of a regularity for the two English ‘Giants’.

Arsenal have a real concern on their hands if the Gunners can only achieve Europa League football next season. Especially so with the dire transfers rumours that the club is currently speculating. The Gunners may have to face the reality that Alexis, Ozil and a number of other players may seek an exit if they cannot play in Europe’s most prestigious cup next season. I think Alexis is the most likely to leave for sure if that’s the case, but I’m sure he wouldn’t be the only one to go out the exit door!

My biggest issue with the Europa league is that it is sure to have an adverse affect on our domestic league campaign. United have struggled with playing fixtures on the Thursday across Europe, to then face a Premier League side two or three days later. It has meant that United’s domestic form has decreased to the point they are no longer the strong force to worry about.

Chelsea on the other hand are an example of how not being in Europe’s biggest competition also has its benefits. Although the Blues didn’t partake in a single European fixture this season, it has paid off massively considering they are close to doing the FA Cup, with the Premier League already in the bag. I just think that although it would give the Gunners something to cheer about and a new competition to experience, the mid week Thursday fixtures may become quite challenging for the club, especially during the busier schedules that Premier League football experiences. I think if the Europa League offers more damage than promotion to Arsenal, then I would hope Arsenal give the competition a go, but ultimately don’t focus too much on winning a competition that the fans aren’t too interested in!



  1. luvdaguns says:

    yes, its the valued prize of the ‘lower half of the table’ teams, its where spurs belong. not us, it represents a failed season for clubs considered leaders. imagine FCB claiming that respect…

  2. RoyK says:

    Liverpool supporter here. I can’t figure out the English snobbery of the Europa league. Fact is, towards the latter stages, it does become competitive. Enough for a fact that since Chelsea, and a long time before that, no other English club has won it. If it were that easy, more PL clubs would have had their name on the trophy. Distraction in the league? It’s not like not playing in the Europa league is a guarantee of winning the PL. And having a European club competition, a trophy in the cabinet, is better than having nothing. Add to it, the guarantee of playing in the CL, and a better coefficient!!! A European trophy attracts more players globally than none in the cabinet.

    Don’t believe me……ask the Spanish clubs!

    1. clam says:

      Well said.
      I don’t understand why qualifying every year for the CL is something for the fans to complain about, even though our records in the tournament wasn’t that good. I look at ManU and Liverpool, they have had their glory days and also have their not as good years where they were totally out of the European tournaments.
      I understand that they want progress or “intentions”, but come on, both the EPL and CL aren’t the easiest competition in the world. Teams as strong as Juve, as rich as ManC, etc. aren’t making it at the top. Spending 200M does not guarantee any success, look at ManU, and it might have adverse effect on our long term sustainability (look at Leeds).
      Just stand behind our team COYG!
      (It’s not like we have any say in the transfer market anyway…)

  3. Baba Boo says:

    Pool to bottle it 1-1 with Boro and us to beat a Everton.
    We go through in 4th.

  4. Martin says:

    Of course the Europa Cup should be taken seriously. Can’t see the problem of playing Thursday. In the earlier rounds you get easier games and with the incentive of a place in CL you should be going all out to win it. Yes, there is a bit of travelling but it’s not as if they have to fly economy is it !!

  5. Nebsy says:

    Even if Manure wins Europa league fourth place still qualifies.
    Just saying…

    1. Break-on-through says:

      Wish we had of got knocked out of our group, Europa this season looked easy compared to Seville, and when Zenit and Leverkusen were still good, also a couple Italian teams like Napoli Fiorentina Roma, or a Porto, but these latter stages kept getting sh*ttier and sh*ttier. Jesus, have we really come to this.

  6. Atid says:

    I think arsenal should take Cech up on his offer, let him respect the Europa league by being our Europa league, fa cup and EFL keeper, whilst Pickford or if we can’t get him szczesney plays as our epl keeper.

    Cech could still get plenty of games, United have played about 24 matches in reaching 2 finals, may be Cech could lead us into going a little better and make 3 finals playing 26 matches in his final season, winning 3 trophies before becoming our part-time goalkeeping coach and no.3 keeper the following season.

    The manager could then name 2 squads, so instead of selling loads of players off, build a truly world class squad to go for the EPL and a really decent “cup” squad led by the likes of Cech, Mertesacker and cazorla in their twighlight years,

    Sounds crazy right? But we currently have 36 players born 1995 most of whom are reasonably decent. That does not include the likes of iwobi, Bramall, bielik, mavididi, Nelson, nketiah and the willock brothers. Add say 4 world class signings and a few top promising ones ans we could field 2 genuine 25 man squads. Some from both squads could also dip into the u23s to help with fitness when required.

  7. Break-on-through says:

    I have an idea that might suit everyone. Do you know the way we like money, and we think that having no euro football is an advantage. Well we should sell our seat to the highest bidder, don’t know if there is a rule against it, (likely), but PL teams are loaded these days and some team who never experienced it might like to cash us out. What about that Sunderland fan yesterday, ask him does he know anyone still in prem that might be interested, how bout Newcastle.

  8. Yossarian says:

    If you’re a club like Barcelona or Real Madrid, or even Liverpool, who already have top-class European Trophies in the cabinet, then I can understand not being too interested in the 2nd-tier European competition.

    However Arsenal only have a Cup-Winners-Cup which we won under George Graham, which is the old-school equivalent of the current Europa League. Therefore as well as guaranteeing a return to the Champion’s League, winning the Europa would match Arsenal’s best-ever achievements in European football.

    Of course it’s worth winning!

    1. Ozziegunner@Newcastle upon Hunter says:

      Arsenal also won European Fairs Cup in 1970.

  9. Dominic says:

    Seville and Athletico Madrid used the Europa League as a springboard to boost their status and thus attract better players. As a result Seville have reached the knock out stages of the Champions League and moved up La Liga while Athletico regularly reach the latter stages of the Champions League and hav won La Liga, topping Real Madrid and Barcelona.

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