On Thursday night, Arsenal recorded a 1-0 win at Napoli in the Europa League quarter-final second leg. The win saw the Gunners progress to the semi-finals with a 4-0 aggregate victory.
It is a great testament to Arsenal boss Unai Emery’s performance as Gunners boss that the above question is even realistic. Last season at this stage of the season the team from north London were still in the Europa League but were miles off the Champions League spots in the Premier League.
However, this season there has been a slight lift in performance from the Arsenal players that could make all the difference to the end result this season. Therefore, as supporters would you prefer to finish in the top four or win the Europa League?
Let’s balance the two
Finishing in the top four and winning the Europa League both grant access to the Champions League next season, so neither hold the advantage in that respect. Both produce the same result.
Winning the Europa League and finishing in the Premier League’s top-four are both prestigious, especially when it comes to attracting new signings this summer. I am not sure which would prove more attractive to prospective new signings.
However, both would be a sign to prospective new signings that the club and team are moving in the right direction on the pitch and off it.
Winning silverware always good
If it was a personal choice, for me I would always choose to win a trophy over finishing in fourth place in the league. Winning a European trophy is even more special. The only time the Gunners have ever won a European trophy was back in 1994 when the team from north London lifted the European Cup Winners Cup. (I was not sure to count the inter-cities Cup win in 1970, so I didn’t!).
Anyway, for a club the size of Arsenal, just one major European triumph is a crying shame. Lifting another this season would be a fantastic achievement.
The second favourites to win the Europa League
Arsenal are now the second favourites to win the Europa League at odds of 5/2, with Chelsea the favourites to lift the trophy. The Gunners semi-final opponents Valencia will not be pushovers, as Los Ches have found form in recent months. However, if Arsenal are going to win the Europa League, then the Spanish outfit are the sort of team that they need to be beating.
Of course, the hope is that the Gunners can do both this season. However, if you had your choice Arsenal fans, which would you choose top-four or winning the Europa League?