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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52 Comments on "Wenger not viewing Europa League as Champions League backdoor"

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Pedant

Good attitude, players shouldn’t get complacent in the PL, thinking the Europa will get them into CL. We are better than United.

bdagooner

Table doesn’t seem to think we are…

mpls

That’s the spirit!

DennisElbow

That’s the truth.

Martin

So Watford, Burnley, WBA, Huddersfield, Newcastle are better teams than us ?

IamaGoober

I bet that Watford, Burnley, West Brom Newcastle and Huddersfield will all go away to Anfield and not get beaten 4 nil like we did.

Non Flying dutchman

Do you mean all or any of them? if the latter I will take that bet

Andy Mack

A loss is a loss as far as points are concerned. The score-line from a loss is only about ego. It was desperately poor play but that’s less important than the points, so maybe some (all.. unlikely) of those teams will leave anfield with the same points we did…

Reality check

Andy Mack..
Losing after giving a good fight is fine but losing badly and being completely dominated knocks all confidence and momentom out of the team, brings you back down to earth, it makes you doubt youself. Champs can’t afford to be entertaining that sort of feelings. We were never really able to recover after Southampton last season.

Andy Mack

True, but that still doesn’t mean Watford, Burnley etc losing there is any different from us losing there.

Pedant

Can we have an Arsenal supporters-only policy on here?

I can’t believe I’d be getting into an argument with an Arsenal supporter when I say ‘Arsenal are better than United’.

Pedant

OK, you win, Man United are better than Arsenal.

bdagooner

We aren’t better than United. Their coach (who i can’t stand) and squad is much better than ours at this point in time.

Rant, scream and call yourself a ‘true’ Arsenal supporter all you like…but the fact remains is that as of now Arsenal are not on the same level as United.

Tusikon

Sadly, I have to agree with bdagooner here…

Bill

Guys it’s 4 games in, don’t jump off the band wagon yet! Wait at least 5 or six games.

Pedant

Imo, as an Arsenal supporter, we will always be better than United.

bdagooner

More of a delusional sycophant than a supporter IMO of course.

But to each their own I guess.

Why not

Writing IMO doesnt make a bad comment better.

Bdagooner

Supporting a coach who is past it unconditionally doesn’t make the team better either…

Non Flying dutchman

We shall see

Making Arsenal Great Again
Making Arsenal Great Again

What table? The table doesn’t count when you’ve only play 3 out a total of 38 games

Making Arsenal Great Again
Making Arsenal Great Again

That’s 8% of the total games if you’re doing the math correctly

Mootilated

you’re right. but when you consider the losses of those 3 games could make or break your season, it does start to matter 🙂 You do know we’ve already lost 2 games, right? That means we can only lose about 2 or 3 more to even have a sniff of the title, let alone win it…

Why not

actually last years table does seem to think so. This seasons league table has just started.

Andy Mack

At this point in last season it said Chelsea were a mid-table team…
But no one was dumb enough to believe it after only 3 games…

RedBaron

Last full season’s table certainly thinks so

Kampala gooner

Not even a little bit!

sixteen swans

It’s a fucking major trophy with a fucking huge global audience. There’s even an actual major trophy supercup thingy at the very end of it.

It’s harder to win than the old Cup-Winners Cup. And there’s not a sane mind out there who’d claim that that too wasn’t a major trophy.

It keeps the squad players happy and the extra money can’t be sniffed at either.

So what if UEFA hands the winner a seat at the top table by way of motivation?

We want the big night out in Lyon, the shiny silvery thing, the dosh, and (what do you know) a special pass to next season’s Champions’ League. Because by winning it we would have fucking well been worth it.

Mpls

I think it’s a reporting thing. He didn’t say we weren’t going to try to win it, he just said the proper way to get into the UCL is to place high enough in the league.

IamaGoober

@sixteen swans.

I get that people want us to win it, but its one or the other; have a decent league campaign or go balls out for the Europa League.

The scheduling makes it so difficult to compete domestically. The Europa League has been the sole reason why we’ve always managed to catch Spurs and over take them in the last few weeks of the season after we’ve had our standard mid season melt down because their smaller squad just always ran out of legs.

Bear in mind as well, we have spent the last 20 years struggling to cope with the easier scheduling of the Champions League, yet we still run out of legs in the league come February.

This time around we are playing more games, further afield in Europe, with less days to recover between the Premier League games, oh and lets not forget that our league has got 20-30% more difficult to play in because even the proper bin men teams are buying players like Renato Sanchez.

We have literally picked the worst time to fall out of the Champions League in my opinion. It wouldn’t of mattered if we did it a few years ago when the competition wasn’t there domestically, but now there is 6/7 teams going for that top 4.

So realistically we are only going to be able to do one or the other, domestic success matters to me more then running around the dark spots in Europe to maybe jam our way back into the Champions League by winning a second rate trophy that might as well come with a free fridge magnet because its so irrelevant.

Atom

We also have a much deeper squad than Sp*rs who really have to play the same 11 week in and week out. There’s no reason our 2nd string shouldn’t be able to progress to the knockout stages at which point we can start bringing in the starters if necessary. This doesn’t have to be an either or. Players like Walcott, Per, Eleneny should be more than enough to get us through the initial stages while resting the likes of Ozil, Ramsey etc.

thepinckpunk

Blah blah blah blah blah. We can win both mate. Thanks for your expert analysis of our “legginess” though.

IamaGoober

@thepinckpunk

You are clueless if you think we can win the league and Europa with Arsene Wenger in charge.

Its not like we have 14 odd years worth of proof. .. oh no wait.

We do.

bdagooner

It’s crazy that after we beat lowly Bournemouth, that all of a sudden people have unbridled faith in a manager that hasn’t won or come close to winning the league in over 10 years whilst NEVER winning any European trophies.

Non Flying dutchman

Fuck it, lets get Di Matteo or Brenden Rogers in then if we are going to make those two matters the sole critereon and not recognise in the slightest either mitigating circumstances in the early days or 3 cup wins in 4 seasons.

caligunner

Why are you still around?

Mistafi

If Wenger can keep the teams separate and rotate sufficiently. We can go the distance in both. The one that will need to be sacrificed is the FA Cup. Arsene doesn’t think much about the league cup anyways.

Europa league is a major trophy, it’s not like there is no competition there. We should be one of the favorites there as well so cheer the team on and stop moaning about the CL we are not in it this year.

Andy Mack

We’ve a big enough squad now so that we shouldn’t need to sacrifice the FA Cup either, and we can go back to using the TinPot Cup as a youth team event.

Stuck on repeat...

Agree with everything except that last paragraph Goober. I believe it’s a decent trophy to win. We’re not good enough to win the CL being completely honest. We are good enough to win Europa. I do tend to agree we may have to choose between either the PL or Europa. Still think the PL is beyond us this season, so it boils down to top 4 & in the CL, or win Europa & in the CL.

clins

id honestly be surprised if arsenal will get into top four this season . even top six is hard enough as it is with the kind of manager we have. europa league is our only chance to ger back into top four and if wenger is going to give less importance to it he will surely regret it at the end of the season

caligunner

Who bought Renato Sanchez? That small club in Munich?

Whats the real difference between playing Sat/Sun and then having Cl match on Tue/Wed? Its very similar with Thu EL match and a Sat/Sun PL week.

You just seem really sad and pathetic. You should stop watching games this season. Wait till next summer or better yet wait till AW leaves the club.

Abhi

Here’s the truth as I see it: we have NO chance of winning the champions league, so there’s no point of us being in it really..and some chance of winning europa..stress on ‘some’ in that last sentence because i see some teams in there that could still beat us.we’re far from assured the trophy, just like we’re as yet far from having a complete disaster of a season..would like to think we are where we are because we deserve to be there at the moment..and we’re still a better side than the spuds albeit they have a better manager at the moment..but fuck them and the champions league and all of it, europa league, wenger, its what we have now, so lets just hope the team does the best with what we have..win or at least do decently well in the europa league, finish above the fucking spuds in the PL, and hopefully in the top four, and win some important close games, score some brilliant arsenal goals along the way, and ill be happy…

caligunner

CL in only going to be won by clubs that spend huge amounts and transfers and wages. So us winning CL is a long shot. Plus the most of the other leagues have much weaker leagues where clubs like PSG, BM, Juve don’t have to worry about most of the league games when CL match games come up.

Stuck on repeat...

Um…”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”. Please just win it, just to be safe.

Genuinely hope we take this competition seriously. Yes, it’s not the CL but we are capable of winning this, whilst I don’t think have been for years with the CL. Hope we don’t misjudge Europa…it’s winable, but we’d be wrong to think it easy.

Nick

If that were the case that he was “humble ” enough and “happy ” enough for us to win every competition then why has he consistently treated the league cup with disdain? Even playing kids in a Wembley final against Chelsea! He has also been less than humble about the FA Cup until it helped him keep his job ! He has NO intention of REALLY going for the EL he will treat it as an irritant and a chance to play fringe players and kids ! Personally I’d like to see the “champions” league made up of actual bloody CHAMPIONS! !

Frank Bascombe

Bertie Mee said to…

santori

Its ridiculous for the usual media to suggest we should give up on PL already. How stupid is that?

Remember Chelsea last season coming off a REALLY poor season. They got beat by us then went on to sort themselves out (with pretty much the same players as the weak season before) and went on to win the league.

The opposition in the Europa competition on paper looks light and it is a poor version of the CL but you cannot take anything for granted. The PL will also affect the Europa league and vice versa.

Media being a bunch of twits as per usual.

Rob67

“I am happy enough to win every competition ”

Arsene Wenger – stand up Comedian extraordinaire 😡

He\'s got no hair but we don\'t care...
He\'s got no hair but we don\'t care...

Whilst I understand he cannot admit that, he just opens himself (and is) up to yet more ridicule as everyone knows we’ve got no chance of top 4.

Rahul

He should have said something like, “We play in Europa league to win the trophy. As far as champions league qualification is concerned, we wanna go there as premier league champions!”
Show some hope atleast this early in the season, for crying out loud!

BigJohn

I don’t even care if it gets us to UCL. I would love a European trophy and let’s be honest, we will never win the UCL anytime soon with Wenger we should least try a lesser trophy which is winnable. But knowing Wenger he would not like to emulate mourinho cos of his pride.

AndrewG

Even the manager knows we won’t win the league. What an ambitious club.

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