There is a scenario that could see Arsenal starting next season with a Europa League qualifier just 11 days after the end of the World Cup.
Highlighting Arsenal’s slide from the days they used to worry about finishing in fourth place, thus having to endure a Champions League qualifier, to have to qualify for the Europa League would be yet another humiliation for this club. Even the best bookmaker offers aren’t on Arsenal’s side.
But it’s a very real possibility when you consider their current domestic form:
– Arsenal don't win Europa League
– Burnley overtake them in the Premier League
– Southampton don't win FA Cup
Arsenal's season would kick off on July 26 with the second preliminary round of the Europa League, 11 days after the World Cup Final
— James Benge (@jamesbenge) April 16, 2018
Given how poorly Arsenal have coped with the Spursy nature of a Thursday-Sunday season, a serious argument must be made for Arsenal being better off next season without any sort of European football at all if they cannot make it back into the Champions League.
Let me explain.
When Chelsea were not playing in Europe, they won the league.
When Liverpool were not playing in Europe, they used their free time to improve in the league, work on the training ground and put together a team and set of tactics perfectly honed that has taken them further in the Champions League than Arsenal have managed in almost a decade and delivered a sense of optimism to their supporters that is painfully absent at Arsenal.
Although Wenger opted to play a load of kids in the Europa League group stages, he was required to dip into the main team for most matches and the result, as we have seen domestically, was an Arsenal slide down the table so bad they are in danger of being overtaken by Burnley.
Let’s look at each of those three points to see how likely they are to happen: