Press conference

Wenger on how useful the Europa League has been

Now that we are nearing the business end of the Europa League, Arsene Wenger can start to think seriously about winning the trophy.

The Arsenal manager was asked about how of a priority it is for him in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday, and this is what he said:

on the Europa League…
It is one of the priorities we have. There’s a long way to go. Firstly we have to qualify tomorrow and then after that see who we get if we go through. We are focused on doing well but ideally we want to get back into the Champions League through the Premier League.

on how the Europa League has been useful for young players…
It has been very useful, but as well they have shown me that they have the quality to compete. I think this competition has allowed them to gain confidence, to show the other players in the squad that these boys have the needed quality and they can put them under threat. Internal competition has raised as well the threat for everybody because the young players have always done well.

on Mourinho prioritising the Europa League last season…
He has done that much later in the season [than for us now]. They were in the semi-final. We are not as far as that. We have to focus on the Premier League.
 
on how frustrating it is to have players cup-tied…
It will be [re-examined], I think. There’s a wave underneath with all the clubs who are fighting against that now because to be frustrated like that in the middle of the season, it doesn’t look right. When you look at the amount of money that is involved now with the transfers, it’s very difficult to defend. Everybody in Europe wants this rule to be changed.

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