Arsene Wenger insists that, like the FA Cup, Arsenal will have to rotate their squad if they’re going to win the Europa League.
In order to keep players fresh while also having a go at winning the Europa League this season, Wenger believes that rotating the squad during the knock-out stages is key. Just like in the FA Cup.
“Do I think we have a chance to win it? I would say yes. Let’s give it a go, you know?” Wenger said.
“It’s like the FA Cup because it goes straight to direct know-outs so it’s important that we have a go and give absolutely everything to do it.
“That’s why it was good in the first round to give experience to everyone but I will adapt every time to whatever team we face and try to pick a balanced team. Of course, I have some that have shown quality but I consider them as well for the Premier League.
“It’s a fight going on and nobody’s ruled out for any game.”
Can Arsenal win the Europa League? pic.twitter.com/tL7yMnEJ0R
— Goal UK (@GoalUK) December 7, 2017
Arsenal are already through to the next round of the Europa League after finishing top of their group with their clash against BATE Borisov still to play. Despite the final in Lyon still being five months away, Arsenal are second favourites to win the tournament already at 7/1, if you want to use your Betfair Promo Code 2018.
Who Wenger fields during the knock-out stages of the Europa League will probably depend on the opposition. For example, during the 3-1 win against FC Cologne in September, he put out a strong team that included Alexis Sanchez. However, ever since, he’s started a B-team. Presumably, he realised that he probably didn’t need to risk his best men after all.
Just like in the FA Cup last season, in which we rotated depending on the quality of the opposition. In the final against Chelsea, we put out a full-strength starting XI except for David Ospina.
With the Europa League currently looking as if it’s the most straight-forward route for Arsenal to get back into the Champions League, you have to imagine that the Frenchman will take it seriously going forward. Although he’ll probably still prioritise finishing in the top four of the Premier League.
Saying this, the likes of Villarreal, AC Milan, Lazio, Nice and Lyon have also guaranteed their place in the next stage of the competition, which means that it’s unlikely to be the walk in the park we were hoping for.
CSKA Moscow, Celtic, Atletico Madrid, Sporting, Borussia Dortmund, Spartak Moscow, Napoli and Red Bull Leipzig have also dropped down from the Champions League after failing to qualify for their knock-out rounds.
As Wenger says, if he’s going to have a chance of winning the Europa League this season, he’ll need to utilise his entire squad and not just the youngsters. While they’ve done well getting us this far, they’ve still got some developing to do. This was evident from their poor performance away to Cologne, which they lost 1-0.
If we’re going to progress, we might have to call upon the big guns.
However, for the moment, we just need to see out the final clash and keep everyone fit.