ESPN pundit Steve Nicol thinks that Arsenal have just as good a chance as any to win the Europa League this season.
Despite their inconsistencies in the league recently, Mikel Arteta’s men managed to place one foot in the quarter-finals of the competition last night with a commanding 3-1 victory away to Greek side Olympiacos. Given their position in the league, the Gunners’ best chance of qualifying for Europe next season, and now arguably the club’s priority, looks like winning the tournament.
And speaking on ESPN FC, ex-Liverpool defender Nicol thinks that Arsenal can consider themselves amongst the favourites for the competition alongside the likes of Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
He said: “I think they could [win the whole thing]. They, along with the other two English sides are the three favourites, in my opinion. And if it’s just between them, then there’s no reason why Arsenal couldn’t win it. Now, they’ll have to do better than they did today, they won at an absolute canter. They were in first gear for the whole game and scored three goals.
“But the other side of the ball, they were desperate. They created their own problems, giving the ball away trying to play out from the back. So if they can get rid of that and keep scoring goals then yes, they could win it.”
Can Arsenal win the Europa League?
TIF Thoughts on Steve Nicol’s comments about Arsenal winning the Europa League…
If last night’s performance is anything to go by, then Nicol is right to put Arsenal amongst the favourites. Because whilst they may be inconsistent across the league season, on any given day they can put in a good performance, as they showed on their FA Cup run last season.
And if they are to treat the competition as their priority by resting players for the league and going full-strength in Europe, then there’s no reason to suggest that they can’t do the same against whoever they come up against in the rest of the tournament.