Heading into last night’s Europa League final it certainly seemed as if it was Arsenal’s game to lose, if only based on the shift in momentum between the two clubs since the Premier League season came to an end. When it was all said and done, however, it was Chelsea that came away with the Europa League trophy, as reported by BBC.
The first half was relatively dull to be perfectly honest, with very few opportunities being created between the two sides. The fans wound up being pretty far away from the pitch due to the layout of the stadium, too, which didn’t exactly help them to create an atmosphere (which was always going to be an uphill battle, all things considered).
In terms of ‘shambolic displays’ this was right up there with the worst of them, and the weird part is we’re only really talking about the second half for Arsenal. After Olivier Giroud had given the Blues the lead things quickly went downhill from that point on, and as we look back on the game, it’s very obvious to see that Arsenal just went into a complete and utter state of panic.
“Not a great team”
“Arsenal are a good team, not a great one. They have some fine players, but not any truly incredible ones. They are a Europa League side, with a Europa League budget who will deservedly be back there next season. They will get used to trips like this gruelling one to Baku. They must. They will be playing in less fashionable towns and cities, corners of countries they will need a map to locate more often than not.”
Those words are from The Guardian, and to be perfectly honest, those words ring pretty true – all things considered. There’s a lot to be worked on for Arsenal, and truth be told, we think Unai Emery has a bit of a challenge on his hands during the summer transfer window. It’s not impossible to think that he could turn things around by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s all about timing – and the timing of this whole situation has ensured that Emery has a few months to think about the mistakes he has made.
Chelsea, on the other hand, haven’t really had to get out of first gear at all during the course of their entire run to the Europa League title. After they secured Champions League football next season through their Premier League finish we really did question whether or not they were even that interested in winning the Europa League, but evidently, they were.
There’s still a long way to go before they can be considered one of English football’s best once again, because Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool all have something to say about that. Of course, deciding whether or not to keep Maurizio Sarri on the books is going to play a pretty significant role in their future one way or the other.
Now, there’s just one more game to go in this crazy European season – and it’s a big one.