I WANT THE europA LEAGUE
Yes, I want to win it.
I can hear it now:
“Europa League is shit!”
“It’s BS, mate.”
“It’s shit, bruv…”
“Jose only cared about it cos of the Champions League, mate…”
“It’s below us!”
“It’s a sign of failure.”
“We should throw it, and then win the league.”
It’s true the Europa League is NOT as prestigious as the Champions League.
But if anything, our manager’s best friend won it and showed a way forward.
I welcome it, since it’s a change.
Part of me likes newness. Sometimes I get bored easily, which admittedly can be a flaw. But I like seeking out new things and new experiences. By new things, we learn and grow. The Europa League is certainly thus.
It’s a chance to have a different experience.
And let’s be honest, we won’t win the Champions League anytime soon. We seemed to have taken that for granted, and saw merely being in it as a success, instead of winning it. And this is never the point of any competition. Yes, being in the same competition as Real Madrid, Barca, Bayern and Juve is fine. However, not if we seldom make an impression in it. It seems for many fans, it’s about bragging rights, and looking down on Spurs for Thursday night football. Oddly enough, the position has been reversed this season, though possibly we can turn that crisis into opportunity (or cristunity to quote Homer Simpson…)
We can win the Europa League, but there are misconceptions that need dispelling.
Spurs played FC Qarabag a few years ago, which is based in the Caucasus (Georgia or Azerbaijan). However, looking at potential rivals in it, we could see some familiar teams, or at least in familiar countries. So trips to the far reaches of our continent may not result. Atalanta are in it, and yes, we have not played them much ever. But they’re in Italy, and it’s not as if we’ve never had any good results in Italy, right? We could face Villarreal, or teams from the Netherlands, and we know Spain and the Netherlands for both good and ill. For every “1-0 in the Bernabeu” there is getting bullied by Messi, so it all balances out.
In the Champions League, we’ve played in Ukraine (Dynamo Kiev), Russia (Lokomotiv Moscow), and Turkey (Galatasaray, Besiktas, Fenerbache, etc). These are all in the east of Europe, are they not? We’ve seldom ever played in snowy conditions in Iceland or Norway, which Chelsea, Man U or Liverpool have, so we should be grateful.
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And there are two other reasons why I want the Europa League.
We’ve only won two European trophies. A club of our size, scope, influence and support should have won a lot more by now. The fact that Spurs has technically won more than us is galling, and we need to rectify that. We should have as many, if not more, than clubs that are not as large as us, such as Anderlecht, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, or Sevilla. If our historical performance has any flaws, it is we have underperformed in Europe vis a vis comparable clubs.
Moreover, despite him staying (and me expressing past reservations of him), I want Mr. Wenger to win a European trophy. Let us exorcise the ghosts of Galatasaray and Barcelona. And if his best friend could do it, then he can too. A European trophy, plus a reasonable league campaign, could endear him to the fanbase again. And deep down, most if not ALL Wenger outs WANT him to change, due to his immense influence at our club.
So I’ll savour Thursday night football. It may not be a popular view, but then we need the change, and Arsenal’s culture is rooted in glory and excellence. The Europa League is just another trophy that we can win, and it’s about time we won another European trophy. 1994 was way too long ago.
It would be sweet irony if Lacazette, and scored the winner in his old club’s stadium. I wouldn’t mind who scores should we reach and win the final, but the irony would be sweet to behold.
MarbleHallsTV is an Arsenal social media account on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. Been a Gooner since the 90s, inspired by Ian Wright, then Bergkamp, Vieira, Henry, Pires, Campbell, Rosicky, Koscielny, Ozil and Sanchez. A digital marketer/entrpreneur by profession, born in UK living in the Americas now.