Are Arsenal (and Man United) sacrificing the Champions League for title bid?

At the end of last season, and in this pre-season, Arsenal were in such scintillating form that we were being talked about as genuine Premier League contenders, and despite our sluggish start to the new campaign we are definitely in with a shout, and could even go above leaders Man United next weekend.

But what about the Champions League? Can Arsenal (or any other English club) make an impact on the competition any more. Thierry Henry seems to think we are wasting our time. The Arsenal legend said: “When you are looking for the potential winner of this season’s Champions League, it is impossible to look beyond Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and, of course, Barcelona,”

“When you see a side like Dinamo Zagreb beat Arsenal, it is clear that even the smallest teams in the Champions League now fancy their chances against the English.”

“Back in the day, a match like that would have been a guaranteed three or four-goal win.

“People can argue that the English teams are hampered in Europe because the Premier League doesn’t have a mid-season break.

“But that was also the case when English teams were dominating ten years ago, so it doesn’t really excuse the recent poor results.”

Man United also lost their first game to PSV, and Louis Van Gaal admitted that he too would be rotating for tomorrows game against Wolfsburg, knowing they have a trip to the Emirates next weekend. He explained his reasoning thus: “The Premier League is a very difficult league,”

“To beat your opponent every week is not easy, it is always a struggle and a battle.

“Then you have to play again mid-week in the Champions League and that is the difference between all the clubs in Europe.

“It is not predictable to say four teams in the Premier League shall overcome this group stage round, no, it is not like that. But I have to say that we have the teams to do it and we have the quality to do it.

“The difficulty is that all these players are in a rat race and that takes a lot out of the players, which is why you have to rotate and that is what I am doing now because I have to protect my players.”

EPL sides have certainly underperformed in the Champions League in recent times, and perhaps Wenger has realised that he has much more chance of winning the Premier League than becoming European Champions – and he is (like Van Gaal) setting out his teams accordingly. He played his League Cup team against Zagreb two weeks ago, and is likely to do the same tomorrow with the crucial Man United game coming up next.

Should we just be concentrating on our domestic titles? Or should we be playing our best team in the Champions League?

Tags Chelsea Henry Man United


  1. So…dynamo fancy their chances but we should concentrate on the league.
    We HAVE twin the ucl if we Re , ng to be considered boys from the club.
    It will be easier to attract players to win leagues. ..hell even refs will be under our spell.

    Again I see all we are doing is looking at manure…..

    Didn’t we do just that and look the result for chelsea…..

    If we don’t want to be in it then let’s not be in it and really be happy with staying in the epl …..why fight then?

    Nonsense. …we have to win or we will always be the “almost” team.

    1. Agreed, for the past decade we focused on PL to get 4th. No more excuses, we have to be challenging on all fronts if English football wants to be taken seriously. You won’t see German and Spanish champions giving excuses, they don’t need to because their 2nd team is just as good as their 1st team. And that’s because players don’t mind being 2nd choice for a club that challenges for titles every season.

      1. Indeed.
        Curious and funny. Why if we are oth in the same page I get all those thumbs down hahaha.
        I couldnt care less its just out of curiosity

  2. Ospina
    Debauchy Mert Gab Gibbs
    Arteta Chambers
    Ox Ozil Campbell
    Should be enough to win at home …

  3. I dont see why we cant compete in the CL as real contenders…Yes we have been knocked out by teams like Bayern and Barca in the recent past but most of that was by 1 goal or on away goals rule..At the end of the season, its such a big hype to get to automatic CL qualification – and now that we in it, we expected to take it lightly – just doesn’t make sense..

  4. Any Arsenal fan can easily argue that Wenger will deliver a treble with the personnel at Pellegrini’s disposal but without defending Arsene’s decision or hesitation to win but not buy the league is the reason why the UEFA champions League handlers feel that EPL teams do not deserved the cut they get in the competition.
    Why argue in Arsene’s favor when an ordinary fans can identify the weaknesses in the Arsenal team and sometimes Wenger himself agree to the said weakness but choose not to do anything about it is the reason i cannot fathom.
    Some fans have questions Arsenals board ambitions to see if it is in alignment with that of the fans. I need a double win in our next two games and not excuses because the window is a provision for competing team to address their various needs but Wenger is busy experiment is old fashioned tactics in a modern day.
    Gooners for Life.

    1. ha! pelgrin…his face and character really look like he is wenger’s cousin to me…. nowadays he makes me smile whenever i see him because he seems to me wenger bullied him when they were playing as children.

  5. yes we should give priority to the epl. first we have to b the champions of England before we can b champions of Europe. it’s as simple as that. we need the quality and mentality to be the English champions, then we will be the European champions. apparently van gaaal seems to think so too. after all manure needs the epl too. so the question is can we beat manure?

    1. if we dont have the mentality to be there…why are we there?
      Are we like the cinderella?
      we have been there for the longest time…even more years tan Frkk Barza!
      One final, one semi final, plenty quarters.

      Prority to epl we saw what happened.

      Priority should be to win all we can win.

  6. Chelsea prioritized epl and is trying cl, we must focus on epl this season and nxt year we can try cl with good stikers if we find better than what we have righnow

  7. I don’t agree that we should not have a right go at winning both comps but I would like to see the first round of CL games being the games we rest a couple of players in, as opposed to resting them for that comp. Could prove risky now though because it backfired so early but I still think it was the right choice, the two home games were maybe more ideal but we still should have won.

  8. Iv alwaaayss said walcot is our most dangerous forward after alexis. He is silent in certain games, then bam!!!

    I think we’ll win Olimpiacos and man united. I might get some stick for this, but we have to much gentleman in the team. We are to nice. Which is why Gabriel and Coq are so vital, they bring that extra”bark”.

    I think ramsey is wasted on the wing. Like I get soo damn angry when he tries this flicks and dribbles. Im stilllll pissed at the chance at Chelsea. Ozil delivers a beauty of a pass, if he put his darn laces through it first time we might have drawn but nooooooo. I feel he should be benched id rather play debuchy rb and bellerin wing (since ox is lazy these days).

    I feel wilshere is missed. Him along with sanchez are the only players that try and attempt to make a an attempt to change the game. oh well……

    I feel Campbell can contribute, with more game time kid is jus low on confidence.

    #ya gunners ya#

  9. Arsenal should not play Arteta or Debuchy at any cost but only to be allowed for the capital one cup matches. Walcott is scoring goals now and best thing would be to let it continue and make him get another 20 goals so that it creates a blanket for any tough clashes in the champions league or a difficult away match. Playing Oxlade Chamberlain is vital to any success arsenal will want to have and it means he has got good dribbling to break free of any tough opposition as Giroud can miss 10 chances in a match. Danny Welbeck is very good at running at defenders which will surely cause panic to certain teams. I think pace is what the team needs.

  10. Are we having inferiority psycho issues?
    Do fans really feel w can beat Manu and Chelsea or City but not have a go at Bayern and Real?
    Have you READ some results of Bayern realor barza in their own leagues?????

  11. Wenger has got the balance about right. He rotates the team, focussing our best team on the PL rather than CL. Once we make it past the group stage, then he puts out a top team for the CL knockouts. If we can’t beat the best then, we don’t deserve the CL. So the rotational policy works because we are getting through to the knockouts. Pity we so cxxp at them.

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