At the moment Arsenal have two routes into next season’s Champions League: finishing in the top four, or winning the Europa League.
Neither are exactly long-shots but there’s a lot of work in each case to achieve it. Speaking to BT Sport ahead of Saturday’s North London derby at Wembley, Arsene Wenger says his focus is on both, and that his team cannot allow themselves to get into a position where they have to potentially prioritise one over the other.
Asked to choose between the Premier League and the Europa League, the Arsenal manager said, “Both. We want to qualify through the league first. Because you cannot bank on a cup success you know? That would not be reasonable.
“In top level sport you do not switch on Friday to play on Saturday and the day after you switch off for three weeks & you switch on again. It doesn’t work like that.
“The results are a consequence of a consistency of attitude and of focus of everybody individually and of the team as a whole.”
It was put to him that he may have to make a decision if, for example, qualification via the Premier League becomes more unlikely.
“There is no prioritisation at all,” he said. We want to win our Champions League spot through the league and as well if possible through the Europa League but today it is not tomorrow we play the final of the Europa League.
“We are at the start of the real competition now and we have still a possibility to qualify through the league so we have absolutely to try to achieve that.”
Watch Spurs v Arsenal live on BT Sport 1 on Saturday 10th February from 11:30am. BT Sport is where the best in sport go head to head, bringing you live coverage of the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and Emirates FA Cup. For more information, visit www.BT.com/sport