Wenger hints at Europa League rotation

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Arsene Wenger has hinted that he’ll view the Europa League as a chance to rotate his squad, as his priority will be closing the gap on Chelsea in the Premier League.

The Gunners will have to cope with Europe’s second competition for the first time in over 20 years, having finished 5th last season, and it seems the manager is looking at it as a way to use his squad to its fullest.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s Community Shield with Chelsea, he said, “In the Europa League, if we can afford sometimes to rest some players, we will do it. But we have to adapt to the level of the competition and see, first, what kind of group we play in.”

Having already said that a season without Champions League football was ‘a good opportunity to focus completely on the Premier League’, he also spoke about how winning the Europa League could give you a passage into that competition the following season.

“You cannot go into the season and think that,” he said.

“I was always not in favour of that, because I think at some stage it can influence the championship, because if a team is in April in a position where they have more chance to win the Europa League they can let some games go in the championship, and not completely focus on that.”

If nothing else, it’s going to be different. The draw for the group stages is made later this month.

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42 Comments on "Wenger hints at Europa League rotation"

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Joel Carter

Rotate the entire starting 11 at least for the group stage would be my shout. We’ve got a big enough squad to do it.

midgunner

I agree, the squad is huge. Full of players who should have been moved on. I know there’s still time to go but our recent inactivity in the transfer market is frighteningly familiar.

So little of what needed to be done has actually happened and here we are at the start of the season.

Still COYG and I say go full tilt for the prem and rotate the arse off the early Europa games.

Don Cazorleone

I just read that Szcz’s transfer was the first one in three years to generate more than £5m for the club…

Not sure if that’s correct, but if it is, you can consider my tiny noodle blown.

For a club that is so proudly financially self-sufficient, we don’t seem to do much to actually generate revenue, other than bloat our ticket prices and over-charge the fans.

Especially at a time when we are being told on one hand: We don’t need the money from sales (i.e the Sanchez sale); and on the other: We can’t afford to compete with other clubs financially…

It’s easy to focus on who’s arriving at the club (even if once again we will stop 2 players short of a possible title winning team), and ignore the “out” transfers.

Time to sell.

Kwame Ampadu Down

I think Don this is the summer when Arsene’s failures of the last few seasons are coming back to haunt him. Our transfers in haven’t been good enough & too many players have been left drift along without improving enough. As a result, we’re left with too many average players we want to move on with not much interest in them. A lot of work to be done in the next week’s to get the wage bill down.

Andy Mack

So you think it’s good to sell your more valuable players then?
I think most would disagree.

I think the last transfers over £5m were TommyV and Vela…
But I could be wrong.

It Is What It Is

Yet, Psycho Stan bought us/Refuses to sell. Decipher…

Martin

Which proves that we keep our best players

Gearoid Kelly

I’d say rest everyone for away games. Go all out for 3 home wins, with whatever players are fresh.

www

Win the PL

DontForget

Just see how everything’s going. No need to commit to anything before the season’s even kicked off.

My wig smells cheesy

I can think of quite a few occasions when complacency has cost us against smaller teams in the champions league group stages. I want Arsene to rotate but I want the whole team to not think they are too good for this competition. We did finish 5th after all. I’m not being negative (I hope) but lets get the job done early in the group so there isn’t pressure games towards the end of 2017- this should all be achievable with a rotated 11 with the right attitude- which is key

EZD

I agree we shouldn’t underestimate Europa League opponents (or overestimate ourselves) and assume we can walk the competition with a B side.

If we rotate heavily, we need to be comfortable going out early. But won’t people lose their shit if we went out at the group stage?

So Arsene’s in a difficult position – everyone (including me) wants rotation, but people also won’t accept going out before quarters/semis.

EZD

So I think Arsene will rotate less than many people might want

Anonymarse

I’d rather we prioritise the league this year. Could well make the difference between winning the league and not.

As you say doubt that we will though.

Weirdbowski

“winning the league”
*dies of laughter*

My wig smells cheesy

Do we think Alexis will accept being rested for it? I doubt it!

Stuck on repeat...

Agree with your statement “that we should not think we’re too good for this competition”.

Much that it has pained me, I’ve thought that we’ve been much more of a Europa club than a CL club in the last couple of years.

Yes it’s been great to have played in the CL (& we’ll all miss it). Realistically though we’ve ‘participated in it’ rather than ever stood a chance of winning it in recent years. We’ve been great at times, but just haven’t been consistently ‘good enough’ to have been a serious threat. We were good enough to reach the final in 2006 (& we were good enough that year to win it). Just since then if we’re honest we haven’t been same.

Europa is different. Yes, it’s considered second rate, BUT we’re good enough to win it (even when not consistently playing at our best).

PL is THE priority. But let’s not consider ourselves too good for Europa…let’s PROVE we’re too good for it by winning it at our first attempt in 20 years! Then either way it’s back to the CL.

David C

plus teams will be really up for a game against Arsenal, a big club.

PGunner

Sounds logical

Ivan Drago

I’d love to win it, the loss to Galatasaray in 2000 has always stuck with me as one of my worst Arsenal supporting memorie

Berlingoon

That game made me an arsenal supporter. I already liked them before but it wasn’t “my club” before that game. Watched it with a Turkish friend who obviously shouted for Galatasaray and a Croatian friend who was shouting for Arsenal, because of Suker. (He was brought on in the 117th minute or so and the only thing he did was missing his penalty.)
But after the game I felt so sorry for Arsenal because I thought they really would have deserved it, that I became an supporter from that day on.
Today I have Arsenal FC tattooed on my arm, own about 50 kits, have seen them play in London, Munich, Dortmund and Stuttgart and haven’t missed a single game (not even friendlies) since 2009. Before that I missed some because of my job.
My point is, the Galatasaray game actually changed my life.

Ivan Drago

For me I would have been about 14 and been supporting Arsenal about 3 years. No one in my family had any interest in football at all so it took me a bit longer than most to find my way to it. So it was at an age when if you get into something you get completely obsessed with it, it was my first European cup final, and I was so, so sure we were going to win it

I was utterly heartbroken when we lost, even more so than against Barcelona in ’06

3pointsinthe

I am wondering how willl UEFA put Bayern to our group, they have to think out of the box this time right? Also don’t know if Olympiakos is in ChL or El but get them would be just boring…

Andy Mack

If they can’t get Bayern into our group then they’ll find a way to get us playing Barca instead…

2.0

Serious question to fellow gooners.Should we focus on winning the Europa Cup or should we focus on the PL and getting back in the CL? I think imho that we won’t win the PL this year but it’ll be good to be back in the CL spot plus an FA cup win. Any other cup is extra bonus.

nacho man

what tripe

2.0

What tripe what?? Care to explain or you full of shite? ?

Rwandan Gunner

He is telling Maurinho

adgonner

I want the likes on Niles, Adelaide, Iwobi, Holding take Europa by the scruff of the neck! I think our youth is good enough to take us to the semis.

NEParse

AFC stopped being taken seriously a long time ago and the reason is Wenger needs to stop talking and starting doing. Article after articles of his thoughts and opinions yet nowhere enough top quality players to win the BPL and/or Europa League. Same old same old year in year out.

Martin

So you want a silent manager as well as the silent owner.

Sir Henry Norris\'s Brown Envelope
Sir Henry Norris\'s Brown Envelope

This is why should have kept Perez. We need a big squad to compete in Eastern Siberia on Thursday night and then away to some cloggers in the BPL on a Sunday

Akbar

“…..because I think at some stage it can influence the championship, because if a team is in April in a position where they have more chance to win the Europa League they can let some games go in the championship, and not completely focus on that.”

Why do I get a feeling that cunt Mourinho will see that as a dig and will respond to that in a cunt-like manner like he always does

John C

“Having already said that a season without Champions League football was ‘a good opportunity to focus completely on the Premier League’”

Have we actually been trying to win the Champions League over the last 20 years then?

Considering we played only 2 Champions League matches in 2017 and our terrible run of league form was between January and April, i really can’t see what difference not playing in the Champions League will make

nimble foot

Oh feck off already
We may not have been trying to win the CL all these 20years but I’m pretty certain we were trying to win each CL game we played. We’ve lost for a variety of reasons in that time ranging from poor refereeing decisions to low fitness levels (injuries as well too). Get off yer high horse. I don’t think you have got everything you ever targeted, you win some, you lose some.
Frankly, in the past 6-7 years, English teams have been poor in Europe (Chelsea’s win in 2012? Being the exception) sounds like a sorry excuse but you can’t write off no winter breaks, more cup competitions and the level, physicality and pace of the epl as possible effects on performances. This is why I laud the appointment of the new fitness trainer.

Kolasinac\'s shoulder muscle
Kolasinac\'s shoulder muscle

Just get out in the group stage. Will it be so hard after that to finish atleast fourth?

Don

I hope we really go for the Europa League. It’s a trophy we would actually have a chance of winning, unlike the Champions League, whilst also guaranteeing CL football next season. We undoubtedly will and should be considered favourites to win the competition, and I really hope Wenger doesn’t dismiss it. While we will surely do better in the league, given our current squad I can’t see better than a fourth place finish. And given the choice between fourth or winning Europa, I’d take Europa all day long.

Mark

Playing in the Europa league on Thursdays with so many long trips is a big worry and Wenger will have to rotate, but it’s also another great option to get back into the CL as Man United did last year so certainly have to put focus into it. I do expect more rotation for sure than Wenger would do in CL matches which could be a big benefit for the squad in PL matches getting by getting some rest for those that play all the time and keeping the others sharp that don’t get as much PL time.

Kwame Ampadu Down

Rotation in itself is not a problem. Players coming in when we rotate & going through the motions rather than busting a gut to prove themselves to the manager has been a problem that Arsene hasn’t quite cracked up to now. If he can get the attitude right, he can rotate all he wants.

Lone Star Gunner

I have the sneaky and perhaps sinking feeling that the upcoming season is pivotal for Arsenal. I worry that we either bounce right back into the Champions League this year or start getting very familiar with 5th – 7th place. I see reasons for optimism and reasons to be very afraid of a downward spiral driven by loss of our best players and a Champion’s League drought causing us to be unable to replace them. Fingers crossed that we hit the ground running as every point will matter this year.

Cultured Determination
Cultured Determination

epl: cech, bellerin, kolasinac, kos, mustafi, monreal, ram, xhaka, ozil, alexis, laca

europe: ospina, ox, gibbs/ monreal, chambers, holding, gabriel/ per, elneny, coq, iwobi, welbz, giroud

Ernest

If Wenger is not going to let some of the players to go, the I agree with him 100%.
I hope he will buy two more players

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