Arsenal’s Europa League draw for this season means that they will have to do a lot of travelling across Europe this season.
At first glance, this seems daunting. It could contribute towards players getting fatigued during this crucial first season under new boss Emery in which they are looking to rebuild following the inconsistent results which were achieved during the final years under the helm of Arsene Wenger. The extensive travelling which Emery’s side will have to do could increase injuries to key players as well as fatigue players which could negatively impact upon their Premier League performances.
The Gunners are set to travel across Europe to play against Sporting Lisbon of Portugal, Qarabag of Azerbaijan and Vorskla Poltava of Ukraine.
Emery is a specialist as far as the Europa League goes. He famously led Spanish club Sevilla to the Europa League title thrice.
Despite the daunting fixture schedule which awaits the Gunners, Emery is choosing to remain positive rather than sulk. He will likely be aiming to use the competition in order to give playing time to fringe players and youngsters within the first-team.
On paper, the fixture list may seem daunting to fans. Fans should however rather view it as a blessing in disguise. The Gunners are on a re-building phase this season and are not really expected to challenge for major honors, if they do, it will be a major plus.
There can be cause for excitement among Gunners fans. The fixtures can be used as a means to identify which youngsters are cut out to excel at first-team level and which players are not talented enough to represent the club going forward.
When reflecting on the heavy schedule which lay ahead, Emery said as quoted by the Arsenal website: “First it’s three teams and we’ll have the recipe for them. After this, we want to go far in this competition.
“Each match is different and each match involves a lot of travel. For some, the travel is very long but it’s like that.
“The adaptation for these three teams needs to be positive and we need to face them with ambition and our interest to do well in the competition.”
Emery also added that he will be using a lot of players this season.
He said: “In this moment, we are not playing every player in this squad because we’re only playing one match every week. But I am sure we’re going to use a lot of players after this international break.”