The Europa League represents a great opportunity for Arsenal

The Europa League must not be seen as a sideshow

In the dark misery of this season, the Europa League has been something of a lighthouse. Youngsters like Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli have found their feet. The football was sometimes really fun, a stark contrast to what was offered two days later by the senior team. But the quality also got worse. More and more, we were being pegged back by teams whose highlight of the season was playing against Arsenal. By the end, we crawled through as group leaders.

The last two seasons in the Europa League have yielded at least a semi-final place. We’ve been denied by teams like Atletico Madrid and Chelsea. As things got increasingly worse this season and as teams like Inter Milan and Ajax dropped into the Europa League, it was difficult to imagine another semi-final spot.

Things have changed since then. Unai Emery has been sacked and Mikel Arteta appointed in his place.

A new energy and pattern have been inserted into the team as a whole. The results are not yet there but the on-pitch progress is clear for all to see. Potential match-ups with the likes of Ajax do not seem so terrifying now. Something has changed. We do not know by how much but we know it certainly has.

Maybe the team will click into gear and conquer all hurdles in the Europa League or maybe the damage lingers yet — we do not know. All that matters is that fans and players do not forget the Europa League is an opportunity for a happy ending to the season, an opportunity that we should all look forward to.

An article by Agboola Israel

5 Comments

  1. ThirdManJW says:

    I can’t see us winning it. We seem cursed when it comes to Europe. Only two European trophies in our entire history, with the last one coming 26 years ago.

    I feel very optimistic with Arteta that we can do something, it’s our squad that is the problem.

  2. GunnerSince2004 says:

    Sorry fellow gunners but Inter Milan is too strong for us unless some other team dumps them out for us so we dont have to meet in the final. Maybe over 2 legs it might be close like the Athletico Madrid when we got dumped out in the semis. All the other so called big teams (Man U, Sevilla, Porto, Ajax, Sporting) I’m sure we’ll be motivated enough to sail through (barring and significant injuries)

    1. Diogenes says:

      Inter are indeed favorites for me.

      Conte’s 3-5-2 is predictable, though, so Mikel might outwit him somehow.
      On the other hand – Lukaku is in great form now, ditto Martinez, they have a fantastic keeper in Handanovic (who has among other achievements saved 35% of penalties he’s faced in his career), the excellent Croat Brozovic at DM, the veteran Godin is probably still commanding in cup matches, and now they’ve added Eriksen.

  3. Japheth says:

    Football club don’t play football but the players do ,do not look at the players this club have but just be focus on bringing the best out of the ones you have forget about inter Milan or the rest club in the Europa League and constrate on how you can succeed after all a small club hold the same inter Milan to a draw last week with all the star they have .arsenal should just take one game at a time up gooners for life

  4. Sunny says:

    Too early to tell now. But since PL top 4 is out of reach. We should put all our eggs in one basket which is Europa League. If Inter and Ajyax are tied together if we are lucky, then at final if we are lucky again then we can be the winners. EL is the one we should aim to win

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