Wenger: Europa League players knocking on the door


Arsene Wenger admits that some of his Europa League charges are making it hard for him to select his starting XI for Premier League games but insists the domestic fixtures are coming so quickly that rotation is necessary.

Established players stuck on the fringes of the first team squad, such as Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud, have shone in UEFA’s second tier competition so far this season giving the boss food for thought.

Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Everton on Sunday, Wenger told Arsenal.com: “Some of the Europa League players are making it hard to be left out of the Premier League games.

“That’s what you want. But I believe as well, once you go into the rotation and you have so many tight games with such a short period of time, we play Sunday, we play Tuesday, you’re a bit of a prisoner of that.

“You can make two or three changes but with the short period of recovery time, you cannot play all the 11 that played on Thursday – that’s impossible now.

“I have seen that freshness [in the players who haven’t travelled], especially when the games are repeated. At the moment, [they] play nearly every week.

“On top of that, in the Europa League, it’s very interesting for us to see some young players, how they resist to stress, how they resist to pressure away from home.”

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26 Comments on "Wenger: Europa League players knocking on the door"

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Ooooh Santi Cazoooorla
Ooooh Santi Cazoooorla

“I see the freshness of the players who haven’t travelled”….lose 2-1 to Watford. That is fresh!!!


Manager needs to freshen up his knowledge too

Ox in the Box

For gods sake you do realize most of our first teamers are internationals who played two extra games, traveled to two different locations (and another continent in Alexis’ case)? Are you avoiding highlighting this on purpouse or are you just unaware of thes little thing called world cup qualifiers??


I mean sure these are explanations for sub par performance, but Wenger of all people was aware of this, and yet he still played them. If they were that knackered, start someone else. If they’re not, then we should expect them to perform at the highest levels.

Mr November

I think it’s safe to say that Theo Walcott isn’t even tapping on the door, let alone knocking.


You’d be surprised what goes on in Wengers head. Think of this, Theo has scored or assisted in all those pointless midweek games. In Wengers mind, Theo must be banging on the door to start. Scary thought…


He’s peeking through the keyhole


Hahaha, this is a joke right? We were calling for Jack to play at Watford and Wenger decided to keep a back 5! I wish Wenger would just fuck off


Throw in a towel please Mr Wenger. You won’t finish top this season and if you don’t win Europa you will be back there or won’t even play in Europe next year. You are done Mr old man. Just give up please…


Yes Wenger you can see how they perform OUT OF POSITION! !! For sanitys sake please play Nelson and Maitland Niles in their NATURAL positions! !!! Are you trying to ruin their careers already? ? Have we not got ANY promising full backs at a academy or under 23 level at all ???


He’s getting the kids games. Period. They need them and as long as they win these Euro league games, who cares? They are getting experience no?

jack jack jack

If he plays them in those positions, more established players won’t get game time. It’s not feasible.

Besides, it’s good to get experience in other positions. De Bruyne last season played all over the place, including wing back, and said recently that he was happy to do and that he learned from it.

Getting European experience at that age is valuable in itself. Their time will come to play in their proper positions – perhaps we’ll even see it in the League cup this season.


Its a tough call reay-to pick up from the players who delivered the pathetic performance against watford or these who ‘knock the door’ after the dullest of dull shows in Belgrad. Wilshere aside I am really not sure who he is talking about.

Man Manny

My thinking really.

Down Under Gunner

I think this is the best thing about the Europa League. It’s giving the guys on the edge of selection a chance to show what they can do without the glare of the Champions League spotlight. And if it gets Jack back in the first team then it’s all been worth it!!

Lord Bendnter

Knocking on the door? Can’t think of anyone really who’s turning around heads. I guess Wilshere, but it’s also more because of actual midfield in the starting 11 is so crap.

Cliff Bastin

Drop Xhaka for Wilshere for a few games.

jack jack jack

Reckon we’d have to move to a midfield three (something I’d love to see by the way: DM, Wilshere, Ramsey) as a Ramsey-Wilshere two would be a disaster waiting to happen.

Girouds Lovely Locks

At this point, I’d rather see Maitland-Niles given a chance instead of Xhaka.


At this point, I’d rather see Amaury Bishop given a chance instead of Xhaka.


only thumbed up because you made me chuckle…

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

Oh definitely. Put all the youngsters in against Everton, that’ll hammer away at their shot to bits confidence.
However, definitely play Jack instead of the guy fluttering his eyelashes at maureen.


Defo great to have Jack rehabilitaed and an option.

Also Debuchy may well be useful.

Giroud is more than a plan B for us.

Theo thrives when he needs to prove something.

So as I mentioned, we need ALL our players to be in top form. Its not a case of this player is better than that one and that one should be plan B.


Jo Willock


giroud did zero until the wonder goal and zero after.


so he did the one exciting thing in the game, that also won us the game