If truth be told, the Europa League final wasn’t on my wish list and at the same time, even if it were possible, the same is true of the Champions League.
For me, the Premier League is the most important target for Arsenal football club and that’s something that will never change.
Yet, Arsenal are in a position where a cup validates ambition, facilitates transfers, increases revenue and opens the door of opportunity to the Champions League. It all sounds so important and to a degree it is, but even if Arsenal win the Europa League, as a fan, it doesn’t mean anything on the back of an indifferent season and a host of inconsistent individual performances.
It doesn’t compensate for years of incompetence and poor management. It won’t make up for the lack of transfer activity in January, that virtually ended any hope of a top four slot months before it was even a possibility.
Arsenal played a behind-closed-doors friendly last week in preparation for their Europa League Final against Chelsea. ?
Danny Welbeck scored a hat-trick! ? pic.twitter.com/1fB16HifLc
— Coral (@Coral) May 20, 2019
Winning the Europa League won’t ease the pain of having an owner who doesn’t care about the club and who blunders from one disaster to the next. Holding the trophy aloft won’t improve Arsenal’s ability to compete at the highest level, only money and the introduction of quality players will.
The cup won’t take the place of pride in the trophy cabinet that belongs to the gold premier league trophy for the Invincible’s in 2004.
In short, it’s a second rate award like the FA or league cup and although Manchester City have completed a domestic treble, one doubts they were breaking a sweat over anything other than the premiership or Champions league.
The Europa league is becoming a competition for those that can’t quite make the grade, that can’t keep pace with the breakaway leaders and are in the second tier of domestic and European football.
Of course, it would be extremely odd if Arsenal fans didn’t want to win against Chelsea on Wednesday, but winning doesn’t change the reality that both clubs are in a less significant and less glamorous competition and that both are a long way from challenging for the premiership.
Despite the gloomy content of this blog, I am a passionate fan but I can’t be bought off or forget what’s taken place. It’s a question with an important highlight for Emery and his players in an otherwise mixed campaign.
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It could, theoretically set the tone for next season, but I doubt the promise of Champions League football will be a factor in the type of player the club can attract and at a price they can afford. The game plan has to be firmly in place and significant investment coupled with shrewd management is what is required.
Without this, there will be more FA, Europa League and league cup appearances in the coming years and that will signify how far the club has declined under Kroenke.