How far can Arsenal make it in the Europa League this year?
Will he get his chance to lift the trophy this year?

How far can Arsenal make it in the Europa League this year?

Arsenal were finalists in the competition last season.

oliver-tandy
Oliver Tandy

Arsenal had a relatively successful campaign in Europe last year, albeit one that ended in a defeat to Chelsea in the final - a bitter pill to swallow for  many Arsenal fans.

Losing 4-1 in Baku was a kick in the teeth that added to the negative mood at the end of the 2019 season, taking the shine off the previously impressive wins over Valencia and Napoli.

Missing out on a Champions League place by one point to arch rivals Spurs added insult to injury, with a resounding feeling of disappointing ensuring Arsenal's season ended in mediocrity despite so much promise.

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Lessons to learn from last year

Should Arsenal go one better than last year, they'll require a certain steeliness. The Gunners scored the second most goals in the competition behind winners Chelsea, showing no signs of a lack of creativity until the final itself.

However, Arsenal lost three of the 15 games they played, whereas eventual Champions Chelsea lost none of their games, a reflection of the grit and solidity required to win. 

Arsenal showed that they lacked a cutting edge in attack and a structured defence that is necessary to win a final. Chelsea meanwhile, provided a masterclass in that respect, leaking minimal chances apart from the quality Alex Iwobi goal that only amounted to a consolation, whilst being efficient and clinical in front of Arsenal's goal.

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Can Arsenal do things differently this season?

It could be said that with Arsenal's stars in attack, they have the potential to beat any team in a final, at least score plenty of goals. However, how many they concede is another question entirely.

Shkodran Mustafi and David Luiz are incredibly susceptible to mistakes, meaning Arsenal are never safe on a 1-0 lead.

The problems facing Arsenal last season haven't really been brushed away all things considered; the midfield still isn't solid despite the addition of Dani Ceballos and the ever growing talent of Matteo Guendouzi while the defence is far from watertight.

As such, Arsenal will have to go into each knockout game with the mindset of outscoring the opposition.

No disrespect to last years semi-finalists Eintracht Frankfurt, but after losing their two best players in Ante Rebic to AC Milan and Luka Jovic to Real Madrid, they won't be the same team this year. The Gunners would expect to sweep them aside comfortably enough, likewise against Vitoria SC and Standard Liege. at the top of the group and give themselves the best chance possible of facing a weaker opponent heading into the knockout stages. 

Arsenal have every chance to making it to the final of the competition, but with the third place teams from the Champions League groups coming into the competition in February, it isn't easy to predict which team will make it to the wire. Realistically, Arsenal should be targeting winning the trophy this year, alongside Manchester United, but their defensive frailties mean it could be another frustrating year where they fall short once more.

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