Gurban Gurbanov, manager of Qarabag, has said that Arsenal should not be in the Europa League because they are simply too good for the competition.

Qarabag's coach from Azerbaijan Gurban Gurbanov attends a press conference in Baku on November 21, 2017 on the eve of the UEFA Champions League Group C football match between Qarabag FK and Chelsea FC. / AFP PHOTO / TOFIK BABAYEV
Qarabag’s coach from Azerbaijan Gurban Gurbanov attends a press conference in Baku on November 21, 2017  FC. / AFP PHOTO / TOFIK BABAYEV

Gurbanov brought his side to the Emirates on Thursday night and put up a great fight, frustrating a young and inexperienced Arsenal team.

It was two of the Gunners’ heavy hitters who combined for the game’s only goal and it’s not unreasonable to suggest the game, that has been widely criticised by most Arsenal fans as one of the worst they’ve ever watched, would have ended in a stalemate had Alexandre Lacazette and Mesut Ozil not been involved.

“Arsenal should not play in the Europa League,” Gurbanov told reporters.

“They should be playing in the Champions League.

“I believe the team will reach the final. I would love to see Arsenal in Baku for the final.”

With Unai Emery, the competition’s most successful manager, now at the helm, there is certainly every chance that Arsenal can reach the final, going at least one step further than they managed in their maiden campaign under Arsene Wenger.

unai emery europa league trophy
Unai and his trophy

Emery won the competition in 13/14, 14/15 and 15/16, the third of is hattrick coming against Liverpool.

Only seven managers have won the Europa League, or its predecessor the UEFA Cup, more than once. Only two have done it three times (the other being Giovanni Trapattoni with Juve in 77 and 90 and Inter in 91)

None have won the Europa League on its own as many times as the Arsenal head coach.