Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Arteta: Europa League is part of our next step

Arsenal may be facing a hectic schedule alternating matches between domestic and European competitions but Mikel Arteta wouldn’t have it any other way.

While the Spaniard admits he’d rather be playing in the Champions League, he’s certainly not taking life in the Europa League, or tomorrow night’s opponents Bodo/Glimt, for granted.

“It’s a help,” said Arteta when asked if continental pursuits could be viewed as a hindrance.

“Playing in Europe is always great and tomorrow I think we’re going to have a great atmosphere again at the Emirates.

“We want to produce those nights and we know that we want to be playing yesterday and today, but at the moment it’s our reality and we have to accept it. It’s part of our next step.”

He added: “It [the Europa League] is a competition that is really important for us, we know how important it is to be on top of that group. We have tough competition, and the home advantage so we have to use it. That’s why tomorrow’s game is really important for us.

“We’ve done our homework. Obviously, we have made the players aware of the team that we are facing tomorrow, the history and what they’ve done in the last few years, and we have Martin [Odegaard] in the squad who knows them really well and he’s done his homework in the dressing room to understand that tomorrow is going to be a tough game.”

Having failed to qualify for Europe last season, Arteta had the luxury of time on the training ground with his players but too few matches to share minutes around as he wanted.

This year, it’s all hands to the pump, especially with games been packed in either side of the upcoming winter World Cup.

“It’s a test for the squad in terms of the numbers and the quality that you have when you make changes and how much you notice that,” he said.

“At the same time, it’s about how you are able to consistently play at the highest level and demand that of yourself and be successful doing it.

“It’s not something that we did last season and it’s something we will have to do this year for different reasons, but I think everybody is going to have to be able to do that after the World Cup, especially with the scheduling that we have.”

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Safe Hands

It could be a brilliant competition for us if the squad is managed well and we can progress through the group with youngsters/players that need minutes. Hopefully we can use the competition to keep the players that need it sharp, blood in some others, get some careers back on track and maybe even win the thing. COYG!

Boy Bastin

European football is clearly important for the club’s profile and can help as a platform for possible signings. The money helps as well of course. Granted the EL isn’t the creme de la creme of competitions but it’s better than nothing (which is what we’ve had recently). Arsenal, quite rightly recognised as a “big” PL club, seem to be in a rather odd position with their European profile (talking to friends in Spain and Germany). We are still remembered for regular CL qualification but not for doing that much at the sharp end of the competition. Also, as we all… Read more »


European Cup, Uefa Cup, Uefa Cup Winners Cup we’d have taken a win in any one of those competitions & celebrated like mad ! It’s a great chance to use the squad and the youngsters & it’s a great opportunity to chase European silverware. We’ve just beaten an irrelevant 3rd rate team & felt like we’d lifted Jules Rimet himself so let’s not dishonour the competition Other really good teams with great history are also in it so it’s a chance to show them we are in it to win it ! Use the squad wisely but let’s keep the… Read more »


Well said. There is nothing to be embarrassed about. Losing to Sporting and drawing against a second rate German side is embarrassing. As you said, there are some really strong teams in the EL with more to come from the CL. And the prize is well worth celebrating.

Martin R

Which supporter went OTT for beating Zurich? By the way we did win the Cup Winners Cup.


Yup and how happy were we when we did ? I went mental !!!

North Bank Gooner

You can only win the games you play in. Lets just keep winning, trophies will take care of themselves!

djourou's nutmeg

tbf, this season europa league instead of champions league seems kind of a blessing for us. if we’re gonna be playing every three days i definitely rather play a random norwegian team in between than borussia dortmund and atletico madrid. allows us to rest some players, give a go to others and focus on the league.


I’d love us to win the Europa League this season. The last time we won a European trophy was 1994, which is pathetic for a club of our size. And Champions’ League football is an absolute must for next season.

We must field basically a reserve team tomorrow: all of the big boys need a rest for the massive game on Sunday.

If we beat Liverpool it would make a huge statement to English and European football.

Giuseppe Hovno

It’s pathetic that we’ve not work a European competition but we must play the reserves in it 🤣

Merlin’s Panini

We can seriously win this competition. When you look at the teams in it, even with some dropping from the Champions League I still think this should be our year to win this trophy.

Emi Rates

The more I see Spuds fans gloating at us for not being in the CL while they are (as if that transforms them into something they’re not) the more I yearn for next season when we’re back in it and Spuds are not.

Buffalo Head

Sounds might just scrape into 4th place, considering the poor form of Liverpool and Chelsea

Boy Bastin

Despite ups and downs in form in the opening games, I would be surprised if the so-called “big 6” didn’t occupy the top PL positions come the end of the season. Their order is the $64,000 question (or should that be £64,000,000 now?).

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