Fact Check: The Europa League is a drag on performance
There is a lot of concern that Arsenal fighting in Europe got disrupt their Premier League title challenge, is this true?
As the season has progressed, Arsenal’s team goals have shifted from simply looking to qualify for the Champions League by finishing in the top four or winning the Europa League.
Arsenal have this goal essentially locked up (with 66 points, it would probably take 2 additional wins out the final 11 matches to guarantee a spot) and now challenging for the title is the main focus. This puts the question of what to do with the Europa League is on the top of people’s minds.
For basically every fan, the Premier League is significantly more important than the second-tier UEFA competition for what they would rather see Arsenal win. There is some question about how important the Europa League is by itself. Arsenal have won a lot of honors, but the track record in Europe doesn’t match what they have done domestically with just two European titles to their name, neither of which still exist.
This for me at least makes the Europa League something worth winning and it makes it something that is not a competition that I would throw away playing a reserves squad. I know that there are some people who would do that, and I totally understand that perspective and it is driven by the idea that the Europa League is a drain on performance and that is not worth it given what is at stake.
I think that leads to an interesting question of does a team’s performance actually suffer after playing in Europe?
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