Premier League or Europa League – which one should Mikel Arteta prioritise?

There will come a time when Mikel Arteta will have to prioritise either the Premier League or Europa League.

As things stand today Arsenal play the Europa League on a Thursday night and usually a Premier League game on a Sunday. In the past players tend to get rested in the Europa League so they are fresh for the next Premier League game.

However, the Europa League probably offers the easier route to Champions League football next season, even if fifth place is confirmed as a Champions League qualification spot.

The cost of not making the Champions League is immense and not just financially and surely that end goal must now be the priority for Mikel Arteta.

Of course, one would love it if the best team can be fielded for both competitions but with injuries and the FA Cup that is unlikely to be possible.

The decision as to which one to prioritise is probably not there yet but it will be very soon, certainly if Arsenal progress beyond Olympiakos in the next round.

Hoping to make the top-five mathematically is only tenable if it is realistic, the minute it becomes too much of a long shot then you have to hope that Arteta makes the Europa League his number one target.

Arsenal will not be relegated, so what difference would it make if Arsenal finished seventh or seventeenth?

If Arsenal fails to win today then as far as I am concerned Arteta has to start putting all his eggs in one basket and go all out for Europa League glory.

Yes, it is still advisable for Arteta to also target a Europa League spot in the event a Champions League spot is unattainable and so he should never field a team composed of fringe players, he has to mix it up but the very best players should be reserved for the Europa League.

9 Comments

  1. Reggie says:

    BOTH! NON NEGOTIABLE!

    1. Reggie says:

      We have a big usable squad, we can still rotate to some degree and still target both. We have to target both because nothing is given at the moment at Arsenal.

  2. Diogenes says:

    The 11 playing on Thursday night will be fatigued on Sunday afternoon. Stats show you lose points after European games, but especially if it’s less than 4 days in between.

    Martin is absolutely right. If we fail to win against Newcastle, we should rest our best 11 for the Europa League.

    If we win, however, and also do well in the next 2, 3 games, it will be tough to decide, though. Teams above will lose points.

  3. Diogenes says:

    Very important facts:

    Between the 1st leg of QF and 2nd leg of Semifinal of Europa league our 4 league games are:
    – Wolves
    – Leicester
    – Spurs
    – Liverpool

    If we focus on both competitions, chances are we’ll fail in both unless we get a lucky draw…

    1. Jon Snow says:

      Premier league as the 5th spot is open for champions league.

  4. S says:

    Going to not win today as usual, and the manager (whoever he is), will be in his Don’t Worry, Be Happy mood as usual. Not fooling anyone. Toxic atmosphere due to the owner’s apathy and our poor contract negotiators means we’ll only ever be a stepping stone, and eventually the Emirates will be too big for us.

    1. Rkw says:

      Either is fine for me but just waiting for a more consistent String of attacking Performances … which means he needs to sort out his midfield which hasn’t really improved at all under arteta which is disappointing

  5. A J says:

    Arsenal: Leno; Bellerín, Luiz, Mustafi, Saka; Xhaka, Ceballos; Pépé, Özil, Aubameyang, Nketiah.

  6. SAGooner says:

    Mikel cannot afford to prioritise. He HAS to go for both. Prioritising one competition over the other is asking for trouble. Just one slip-up in the Europa League means we’re reliant on 5th place in EPL (of course only if ManCity lose appeal re ECL). The squad is there to go for both and the FA Cup.

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