Should Arsenal now make the Europa League our priority target?

The Europa League is now an important trophy for Arsenal

After winning the FA Cup and beating some of the biggest clubs in England in the process, the Arsenal fans could be forgiven for believing that this season would be one of significant improvement and competing at a higher level in the Premier League, alas, that has not been the case.

Another by-product of winning the FA Cup and the high hopes built prior to the start of the season was that the Europa League was dismissed by a good number of the fans, in fact, when the group stage games where being played it would not have been a surprise if a few of those fans used their time checking out virtual casinos in the UK as opposed to actually watching the games.

Well, things have changed and you can take it to the bank that the majority of those dismissive fans will now be looking at the Europa League as a means to gaining both success and entry into next seasons Champions League.

Considering the form that the Gunners are in right now it is unlikely that they will achieve a top-four finish and it is more likely that they will be desperate for European football instead of finishing among the elite in the division come the end of the season.

The good news is that the next stages of the Europa League are in February, which is after the winter transfer window shuts.

That means that Arsenal has an opportunity to strengthen the squad and possibly offload any poor influences within the club that are undermining the team’s morale.

The bad news is that they have drawn Benfica and it is hard to see how they could have possibly drawn a tougher opponent.

Benfica is not Dundalk or Molde, they will approach the game with the belief that they can qualify for the next stage, they have no reason at all to be frightened of a two-legged affair against this Arsenal side, not unless something dramatic happens between now and then.

The Europa League really is the poor little relation in comparison to the Champions League but it is all that Arsenal have right now if they have any hope of making it into Europe’s premier tournament and if stagnation happens in the Premier League then manager Mikel Arteta will have some massive decisions to make.

Does he focus on the Europa League over the Premier League and which players does he field in the respective competitions, especially once he has secured safety in the domestic league?


  1. gotanidea says:

    Both EPL and EL are equally important

  2. Grandad says:

    Having watched Rangers against Benfica , this is not the Portugese team of yesteryear nor anything like it.If we play well as will beat them twice.It’s not relevant to target specific games or competitions.Every match has to be treated on its merits , for example , if we draw Marine AFC in the next round , we could perhaps rest Leno and Tierney who are arguably our only indispensibles .

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Grandad, I would have been more concerned if Arsenal was to meet Unai Emery’s Villarreal in their current form. They are scoring some good team goals.

  3. Akonteh Andrew says:

    FRUSTRATE goal makers like Mane, Vardy, Song, Salah. etc etc as they are frustrating Auba, Lacs etc

  4. kingandroidx says:

    Are u joking? I been telling this since start of the season. UE Cup is our Priority. We need get things straight not some jokers in our club or supporters. I have told this before too, as long as we win UE L game, Arteta stays. Grow up!

  5. Aaron says:

    Just win baby…

  6. Innit says:

    We should make winning matches in the Premier League, Europa League and FA Cup our priority

    We have enough players to make that happen.

    It should be about winning matches which we didn’t do well last year and trying to win a trophy like last year

  7. jon fox says:

    BENFICA MAY NOT BE MOLDE OR DUNDALK, But neither are they, these days, a special side. Not to be feared. PLANNED FOR, BUT NOT FEARED.

    Martin has paid them far too much respect in this article. I believe we will beat them.

  8. Wiggy says:

    As long as these players dont play:
    El nani

    1. Adeski says:

      Add to your list
      El deco
      El moutinho
      El martins
      El Pepe (not Nicholas)


  9. The Art of Teta says:

    I think it is way too early to give up on a top 4 finish. It is also not reasonable to expect any meaningful signings this winter.

    I don’t care too much about the Europa league but of course would not say no to winning it.
    The true measure of our strength lies in our PL finish IMO.
    However, I would not prioritize it over the PL. A top 5 PL finish would be a minimum result worth appreciating because of the money it would bring. But we are in a rebuilding phase and to prioritize the Europa league in the hope you win it is a long shot.

    We are good enough to finish top 5 or 4. Let’s not give up half way the season.

    (Martinelli injury would be a big blow)

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