Arsenal failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in the Arsene Wenger era meaning that we will face off in the second tier Europa League. The Gunners placed fifth in the 2016/17 season, which ultimately led to protests by fans for Wenger to leave the club but the Frenchman compensated by winning the FA Cup against a more fancied Chelsea. The Europa League is a draining competition in which the teams travel long distances in the name of winning matches, which invariably means there is less time to recover for league matches.
Arsenal don’t currently boast enough squad depth, which is a necessary armoury to have in the quest to comfortably juggle all competitions. There is a growing feeling that Arsenal will prioritise winning the league next season, as Arsene Wenger wants to bow out on a high. However the distraction of the Europa League means that while trying to focus on the league, the challenges of doing well in Europe will affect the league form.
The futures of the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil is up in the air, meaning that the Gunners may be short of quality if they choose to leave, and without having Champions League football on offer, attracting top players will be a challenge.
Arsenal fans can only look at Manchester United in the outgone season to note that combining Europa League with league football is an herculean task, as Jose Mourinho’s team won the competition, and finished a lowly sixth, struggling with injuries and fatigue all season. Arsenal will have to make a choice to prioritise one over the other, as trying to win both with a depleted squad is only a recipe for disaster.