Wenger not viewing Europa League as Champions League backdoor

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Arsene Wenger says that Arsenal are in the Europa League to win it this season, but insists he’s not viewing the competition as a way back into the Champions League.

The winners of the Europa League are given a seat at Europe’s top table, which is why 6th placed Man Utd are playing in it this season, but the Arsenal boss says his aim is to do well enough in the Premier League to qualify next season.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s game against Cologne, the boss said, “It’s not the best chance to qualify, it’s one of the opportunities.

“I came out many times, I think the best way to do it is via the Premier League. This is a different competition, we want to win every competition we play in but we don’t calculate that this is a way to qualify for the Champions League.

“We’ve done that for twenty years by doing it in the Premier League.”

It’s the first time in his 20 years that Arsenal have played in the Europa League, although a Champions League exit at the group stages brought about a UEFA Cup run in 1999-2000, and Wenger was asked if this was a blow to his ego.

“The disappointment of not finishing in the top four is there, of course.” he said.

“Unfortunately, we were one point short. We made 75 points last year. Overall, I’m humble enough and happy enough for us to win every competition.”

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