Arsenal would benefit from not qualifying for European football next season, according to former striker Robin van Persie.
The Gunners are currently 10th in the league and their chances of securing a finish in the Europa League places are very slim. But the stunning victory over Manchester City in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final puts Arsenal just one win away from a place in the Europa League group stages.
The Gunners will face Chelsea in the final on 1 August.
But ex-Arsenal ace Van Persie insists it may not be a bad thing in the long-term if Mikel Arteta’s men avoid the added fixture list congestion that comes with European football.
“You can look at it from two ways really because Arsenal don’t really want to be in the Europa League, they want to be in the Champions League,” the Dutchman told BT Sport .
From one point of view, you can say it’s better for Mikel to have extra training sessions, to work on the tactics, to work on fitness, to go up another level, which is needed to compete at the highest level against the top teams. “If you ask me, I would say it’s better not to qualify for the Europa League, get those sessions in and go up another level, hopefully, and then go next year or the season after they can really compete with the biggest teams.”
Fellow pundit Rio Ferdinand echoed Van Persie’s thoughts but anticipates there will be no let-up as Arteta attempts to win each of Arsenal’s remaining games of the season. The former England defender added: “I can’t see any manager on the planet saying ‘don’t worry lads, we’ll go for a draw today, lose whatever’.
“They want to win. I can see the benefits for them but I can see the benefits for qualifying, financially. If I’m the manager, you’d rather have the time on the training pitch to understand what you want them to do.
“There’s no way Mikel Arteta is going to stand there and say ‘look, lads, we’ll give this FA Cup a bye, we’ll let City go through and spend more time on the training pitch next year’.”
Via Mirror UK
You want to share a story with us? You want to advertise? You need publicity for a product, service, or event? Contact us on WhatsApp – +234 803 3018 881