Arsenal would take Europa League seriously, insists Wenger

Date published: Tuesday 24th November 2015 8:34

Arsene Wenger: Ready for Dinamo Zagreb clash

Arsene Wenger: Ready for Dinamo Zagreb clash

Arsene Wenger insists his Arsenal side would take the Europa League seriously if they drop out of the Champions League on Tuesday evening.

The Gunners entertain Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday night with their hopes of progressing from Group F hanging in the balance after three defeats from their opening four games.

Their respective managers clashed over their views on doping in football but on the pitch, Arsenal know they must win to keep any chance of getting out of the group stages alive.

Even then, anything other than a victory for Bayern Munich over Olympiacos in Germany would see Wenger’s side eliminated – but they could finish third and drop into the Europa League.

In the past, the Europa League has been treated with disdain by a number of English clubs but Wenger would follow in the footsteps of clubs on the continent.

“We would take the competition seriously – but we are not out (of the Champions League) yet,” he said.

“I believe that this problem is exaggerated a little bit in England because we play Wednesday and Saturday, so it is the same as Thursday and Sunday. I can’t see the difference.

“There are plenty of examples in Portugal and Spain where teams have taken it seriously and won the championship. Benfica are the example, Sevilla have done well.”

Wenger on Bayern

Wenger also rebuffed suggestions that Bayern and Olympiacos could play out a draw at the Allianz Arena that would see both sides qualify at Arsenal’s expense.

“If Bayern don’t win they could still be second in the group because they go to Zagreb where they can lose,” he said.

“In front of their crowd they will want to win. That will be really Machiavellian to think they will deliberately lose to get us out.”

Arsenal’s stuttering Champions League campaign started with a 2-1 defeat in Zagreb, with Olivier Giroud sent off.

After the match, Dinamo midfielder Arijan Ademi failed a drugs test and has since been handed a four-year ban by UEFA.

While his club will look to appeal, Wenger said he is surprised the Croatian champions are still in the competition and questioned why UEFA rules mean there is no way of disqualifying them.

Wenger said: “It’s a surprising rule. UEFA applies the rule that is planned but I personally don’t agree with the rule.

“You cannot say that they had a doped player but the result stands. That means you basically accept doping.”

UEFA spokesman Pedro Pinto said in a statement released to Press Association Sport: “UEFA’s Anti-Doping regulations regarding the consequences for teams for doping offences are strictly in accordance with Article 11 of the WADA Code.”

Dinamo’s coach Zoran Mamic also disagreed with Wenger’s comments.

“Mr Wenger can think and talk about what he wants but there are other people who make decisions about that and that will be in the future,” he said.

“I can suggest him to write the rules for UEFA. I think this situation is not the point of this press conference so we don’t need to talk about Ademi.”

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Home Forums Arsenal would take Europa League seriously, insists Wenger

This topic contains 7 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by the specialone the specialone 1 year ago.

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  • #715861
    James Marshment
    James Marshment
    Keymaster

    Arsene Wenger insists his Arsenal side would take the Europa League seriously if they drop out of the Champions League on Tuesday evening.

    [See the full post at: Arsenal would take Europa League seriously, insists Wenger]

    #715882

    TheHulk
    Participant

    If he takes it seriously with fringe and youth team players then i will be happy. Anything else and he stretching us too thin.

    #715884
    steveosnakeeye
    steveosnakeeye
    Moderator

    agreed but if he played youth and fringe players he wouldnt be taking it seriously so im guessing he means he will play, knacker and injure our first 11 ads we falter in the PL, go out the FA CUP and eventually the Europa before a “spirited fightback” to nick 4th from a much more deserving team!

    #715891
    BlueLion
    BlueLion
    Participant

    “There are plenty of examples in Portugal and Spain where teams have taken it seriously and won the championship. Benfica are the example, Sevilla have done well.”

    I think you’ll find there’s a team in England that has done that recently too!

    #715893
    steveosnakeeye
    steveosnakeeye
    Moderator

    I agree BL BUT we are talking Arsenal……nuff said!

    #716184

    OttawaGunner
    Participant

    He didn’t take the Champions League seriously why should we believe him now. To be honest I’d rather we finished bottom than third to avoid the Europa League as it would surely kill off any title ambitions.

    #716204
    steveosnakeeye
    steveosnakeeye
    Moderator

    here here!! and welcome back ottawaGunner!

    #716260
    the specialone
    the specialone
    Participant

    You know a lot of people disregard the Europa league,as some sort of punishment to enter it.Yes the ultimate glory is the CL,but please respect the Europa league.It is a prestigious competition that is very tough to win as well.It has some really good teams in it.If you’d give me that if Arsenal go into the Europa league and win it I’d gladly take it,maybe even excuse wenger for not winning the PL this season.But the funny things in his comments are that we won’t even be able to win it because we don’t have the mentality to.Wenger’s inexcusable transfer activity is also another reason we won’t win it.So might as well go out and concentrate solely on the league!

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