Not only were Arsenal mightily impressive in being the first team this season to put four goals past Valencia to easily reach the Europa League Final, but our opponents were forced to spend a gruelling two hours struggling to get past Eintracht Frankfurt, and only managing to do it in the last penalty kick of the game. This must have been their most mentally draining game of their season.
To cap it all off, some idiot in the Blues marketing department scheduled Chelsea to play a charity match against New England Revolution in Boston on Wednesday night after having their last game against Leicester on Sunday. Their coach Maurizio Sarri believes this gives Arsenal a big advantage over Chelsea for the Europa League final. When asked if he thought the charity match would disrupt Chelsea’s preparation, Sarri said: “A problem? We go there for a good reason I think, so as a man I am very happy to go there,”
“But as a coach, of course, I am a little bit worried because I know very well that the team now needs rest. So it is not the best way to prepare the final, I think.
“I don’t know (if it is a disadvantage), Arsenal is not my problem. I have to look to my players, so I know very well that my players need to rest, and after four or five days they need to work for three or four days and then they need to prepare for the match. The match will be interesting and difficult.”
Sarri was then asked if his players would need a long rest after this gruelling week, and he replied: “I think so, I think so,”
“I want to speak to the physical staff, to the doctor and then we need to prepare the program. I think that they need three or four days completely in rest.
“I am not worried about the physical side, I think it is more difficult to recover mentally. Because in a match like this one you spend, usually, a lot of energy and then of course you have to go down and then it is not easy to go up again.”
Perhaps Arsenal can make use of Chelsea’s stupidity and teach them not be so reckless in the future. Surely they must have known they had a good chance of reaching the Finall when the Boston game was scheduled?