Should Arsenal try for the Europa League or play with reserves?

The worst nightmare of every Arsenal fan came to life the past weekend – Arsenal failed to achieve the bare minimum, which is Champions League qualification. So despite the late surge of victories, the Gunners will now play in Europe’s secondary competition, the UEFA Europa League for the first time in the club’s history. So how should Arsenal approach playing in the minor league?

In my opinion, what it all boils down to is squad depth. If Arsenal have a squad that is deep enough to play three games almost every week, then it shouldn’t be a problem. However, the Gunners unfortunately do not have the deepest of squads and with Wenger making a statement that he will be looking to bring in just ‘one or two’ players this summer, it does not seem as though the club are looking to improve on that front either.

With squad depth obviously a problem and given our luck with injuries, the team will most certainly have to prioritise competitions next season. There can be no question that the Premier League is what is most important, as is the case every campaign. So with that being said, I believe that the Europa League should be sub-ordinate to our Premier League aspirations. I would approach the competition in the same manner as Wenger approaches the FA Cup.

Arsenal should play some youngsters and fringe players in the early parts of the competition and if the team make it to the quarter-finals, we can start taking the competition more seriously. Despite where Manchester United have reached in the Europa League this season, I believe that focusing on domestic football will give the club a better chance of swiftly climbing back into the Champions League places or even further.

From an optimistic point of view, failure to qualify for the Champions League enables Arsenal to focus completely on the Premier League, something the club has not been able to do in the past seasons. While it will be good if our youngsters and fringe players can get the team to a stage where the Europa league can be taken more seriously, it will not be the greatest disappointment even if they do not. Let’s focus on the Premier League and aim for the title!



  1. ThirdManJW says:

    If one knows their Arsenal, they’ll know we’ve done almost nothing on the European stage, so winning the Europa League would be huge in the contexts of our history. We’ll probably struggle to qualify for the Champions League via the league for quite some time, so this is an extra incentive to win.

    1. Zed says:

      We finished 1 point behind Liverpool, (who were not playing in Europe) and 3 points behind City, surely that is not a gap that will make use miss the champions league for quite some time

  2. John Ibrahim says:

    Either we will still get hammered

  3. Fatboy Gooney, Too Fat to track back. says:

    ?? We are bound to lose 2-3 key players during the summer, yet Wenger keeps making the same old stale statements about only Looking to bring in one or two new signings. ?? Is there anyone who is actually looking forward to next season? ?
    The only thing that could lift the spirits at the club now is a complete change in ownership and until that happens, will have to put our dreaming on ice.

    1. Tony says:

      Spot on mate

    2. khangunners says:

      Hehe and here i was so happy that the worst season in my arsenal career was over. Imagine a 10-2 vs besiktas or dynamo zagreb.
      Wenger is making me more mad how can he say that 2 players. We hve never been so far from challenging from pl and worse is the top four is turning into a title race itself. If you are not fighting for the title genuinely then it will be hard to get a spot there. Only a new ownership can make me back wenger next year !! But if it was upto me he could be gone long time.

  4. Janssen says:

    If there was any chance of us winning it I would say go for the Europa league. It is not like Wenger could leave all his first-teamers at home so they have to endure the trip in any event.

    However, I don’t think there is a reasonable chance to win the Europa league. Wenger is not Mourinho who is very good at “one off” type cup games (sadly).

    So it would be best for Arsenal to get knocked out of the Europa league early on allowing them to focus on the PL where they face an equally hard task to get back into the top 4.

    1. Muffdiver wants change...not for arsenal...for.the vending machine, I'm thirsty as f### says:

      That’s the reality. Mourinho is far superior a manager.
      Wenger carries himself with alot more class but this isn’t a pre requisite of success in football

      We want success

    2. bran99 says:

      it’s true, and Wenger has used that excuse before, saying that those who win the league have no extra burden of playing in the ECL. so, we crash out so early in the EL and concentrate on the EPL and see if Wenger was right or just one of his many excuses as to why he fails to win the league

  5. Zaidy says:

    Its easy to say we should get rid of our dead wood. Because I have 5 questions.
    (And u can slay me afterwords, BUT I’m sure this goes throw alot of our minds)

    whose going to wana buy them?

    Who are they willing to leave Arsenal for?

    Will we get decent cash for them?

    Does Wenger have the balls to let his favorites go.

    Are we going to replace them with quality or us Stan going to pocket the money?

    This is why a sporting director is a MUST!

    1. Tony says:

      IMO the questions about who will buy them and who are they willing to leave Arsenal for shouldn’t be a problem especially when your are trying to rebuild your team with new players
      …a player can be forced out of the club whether he likes it or not, better still he can be forced to go out on loan with a clause that allows the club to sign cos you don’t want him back and high amounts should not be expected cos the buying club know you trying to get rid of a deadwood,buh if those two options don’t work out then you just have to pay a certain amount as compensation so that the play can leave your club…your last two questions boil down to the character of the manager…if he is willing to let go of star players and can easily hold on to deadwoods then there is a big problem as we can all see…Chelsea, Manchester United et al proved to us that you don’t necessarily need to be in the UCL to attract big/strong/quality names just have an ambitious manager whose able to convince this guys with his vision for the club

      1. Zaidy says:

        In recent history MR WENGER only attracted TWO big names to Arsenal. And that’s was with UCL, how’s he gonna do it without UCL?

        Chelsea situation is totally different. As the Russian owner is a lover of the game before his the owner of the club so he will always invest in his Chelsea weather they in the UCL or not they will pay more then the asking price to get the players needed and sell lots of players to either free up wages or make space in the team. They are Ruthless and that’s great bcos players know that if they don’t perform they gone and not given a lot of chance to prove themselves, and they will move on to the next best thing.
        Where as arsenal give players better contracts, but they haven’t proven to the club that they are playing at the best. Eg Welcot he would never make the Chelsea squad let alone team but bcos Wenger likes him he gets a new contract to sit on the bench. We need to be ruthless in order to be successful.
        We going down the packing order in world football bcos of our big soft spot for players, we show them to much loyalty.

        We need change and only then we will go forward bcos next season will be the same thing just happening all over again and Wenger will be tied down to contract which he will insist that his going to stay and see it throw. Then it will be another 2years before we see change.

  6. Atid says:

    Well there are currently 36 players born 1995 or before, so we could theoretically split that 36 in half then add 7 players (new signings and youngsters) to each 18 and have two 25 man squads. Youngsters would include the likes of Alex Iwobi and Cohen Bramall who are born 1996, Maitland-niles who is born 1997.
    One squad could play league games only and the other squad europa league, fa cup and EFL cup. The youngsters in each squad could also play u23 football, when required.
    This season man United played around 30 cup games and 38 league games, so plenty of matches for everyone, plenty of rest ahead of the world cup, lots of youngsters gaining experience and an opportunity for a Coach or assistant manager to take charge of one of the squads.
    Won’t happen but a feasible idea, here is our 36 playersborn 1995 or before.
    Gk – Cech, ospina, szczesney, martinez, macey, iliev
    Wing backs – bellerin, chamberlain, jenkinson, Monreal, gibbs,
    Cbs – holding, chambers, Debuchy, Gabriel, mustafi, Mertesacker. Koscielny
    Holding Mids – xhaka, coquelin, kamara, wilshire, elneny, ramsey, cazorla
    Attacking Mids – ozil, alexis, toral, walcott, campbell, asano
    Strikers – welbeck, giroud, akpom, sanogo, perez.
    Under 21s –
    Gk – Huddart, keto,
    Wb – Bramall, Moore, bola, maitland-niles
    Cbs – Bielik, Oconnor, sheaf
    Mids – zelalem, Adelaide, mcguane, Nelson, willock c, dragomir, nwakali, willock j
    Strikers – mavididi, nketiah
    Add some world class signings to the league group and some top class potential to the cup group and we could clean up!!

    1. Muffdiver wants change...not for arsenal...for.the vending machine, I'm thirsty as f### says:

      Clean up ur bedroom maybe

      Thats it

  7. Muffdiver wants change...not for arsenal...for.the vending machine, I'm thirsty as f### says:

    Let’s get some perspective here..
    Onyekuru to arsenal
    Griezmann to man u

    We’re winning the league. We’re winning the league
    Arsene wenger he’s winning the league

    1. TH14-TW14 says:

      Neither did Pogba to Man U and Xhaka to Arsenal stop them from finishing below Arsenal (not to say Arsenal did well) or Pogba to Man U and Kante to Chelsea for even better perspective. The team that wins is the team that works very hard. We have a squad that can win the league but we have not worked hard enough. I don’t think the Chelsea squad is superior to City, Spurs, Arsenal or even Man U (same with Leicester last season). The only difference is that Chelsea, like Leicester before them worked very hard. Griezmann to Man U will change nothing if they remain as lazy (like Arsenal and City) as they were this season.

      1. John0711 says:

        Wow they won two trophies and are now in the CL please stop making silly comments

  8. dboy says:

    How long! How long? Before Wenger leaves!!!

    Playing Europa games plays perfectly into AW & Stan,’s hands if stadiums are full every game. More money to pocket, they not interested in whether they win it or not. As long as they meet their financial objectives.

    Wenger and Kroenke are in this together. Kroenke makes us think that he wants to make Arsenal successful, but only in financial terms, not as a team. Wenger has the same ideology as Stan.

    Arsene Wenger’s mind games go a step further. He now tell us he has turned down every team in the world to stay at Arsenal. We would like to ask Mr. Wenger to thank Arsenal for allowing him to stay this long. Cause “every team in the world”, would not have allowed you to get away with all this nonsense. You would not have lasted this long somewhere else. That is why he turned them down.
    One thing we have learned about AW over the past years, is that he does not like change, that is why he is still here.

    He and Stan need to stop playing mind games, and call it a day. Arsene Wenger is not loyal to Arsenal, he is loyal to Stan Kroenke. If he was loyal to the team than he should have had more success with the team. But he is loyal to his boss Stan that’s why he(AW) has more success managing the team financially. He makes Stan happy and Stan allows him free reign, just what he wants. He will not get that anywhere else.

  9. reddb10 says:

    If anyone thinks we are too good for the Europa then they are even more deluded than wenger. As a gooner i dont give a S##t about the champions league because it is a competition significant only to money, where our club gets ridiculed year on year. As long as the trinity of evil, kroenke, gazidis, wenger are at Arsenal, the Europa is more than enough for us to hanlde.

  10. Raoh says:

    Simply put anytime you have the chance to compte for a trophy you have to go for it wnd of the story

  11. mark says:

    Not sure why we would play our reserves in a European competition?

    Bit arrogant to think it’s not a trophy worthy of your best players..

    Judging by old Mourinho last night it’s definitely worth winning.. 😉

  12. Nebsy says:

    They should, because I’m not really sure they’d be able to get the top four without Sanchez.
    But then again, they aren’t likely to win EL without him either.

  13. GunnerSince2004 says:

    Okay. I find my fellow Arsenal supporters’ way of thinking quite concerning. You say you want us to be a great club but yet you want to pick which trophies to win. Great clubs don’t do that, they bulldoze everything that comes their way. A trophy is a trophy despite its monetary value because to win it you will have beaten the best of the best at that particularly time. Some might talk about the luck of the draw but look if you deserve to win and you are the best of the best who you draw shouldn’t concern you.

    I wonder how many AFC supporters are aware that at number 11 ranking in Europe AFC is the highest ranked team in the Europa competition right now? Kind of reminds of when we played Hull City & Aston Villla in those 2 recent FA Cups victories of ours. We can win Europa provided no big gun drops down from UCL.

    Now on the issue of Mr Arsene Wenger. So he might stay or he might go, who knows. But that doesn’t mean we stop supporting the team. This group of players will not always be there (like they weren’t there 10 years ago) but the Arsenal will. Who can remember when Real Madrid won La Liga 2006/07 & 2007/08 under Fabio Capello but nobody liked the guy? The difference was the supporters still supported their team and the players did their job by playing.

    In my opinion AFC has reasonable quality in depth. What we lack is depth in world class players for most positions. Despite that, i still believe even our so-called bench players can make a team decent enough to finish in the top 8 of the EPL of which top 7 is basically European football (since the big clubs that have already qualified for UCL or Europa will win the FA Cup & league cup anyway). So, since most of these so-called experienced players are being paid to sit on the bench or not even make the matchday squad, why not put them to work on Thursday nights and keep them fit?

    I have drafted a team for the EPL and a team for all cup games to show you that it can be done. These drafts do not take into consideration any possible departures or arrivals (the assumption is departures will be replaced by arrivals of similar quality)

    This is basically the EPL team:


    Holding – Koscielny – Mustafi

    Chamberlain – Ramsey – Xhaka – Monreal

    Ozil – Sanchez


    This is basically the cup games team:


    Gabriel – Mertesacker – Debuchy

    Bellerin – Coquelin – Elneny – Gibbs

    Walcott – Cazorla


    Note that in both these line ups I have left out the following who can strengthen the respective benches and provide relief for inevitable injuries:


    Surely we can win at least 1 trophy????!!!!

    1. GunnerSince2004 says:

      Or i forgot Giroud up there on the bench

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