Wenger defends Europa League
Arsene Wenger has praised the Europa League just as the fight for a place in next season's Champions League goes down to the wire.
Last Updated: 12/05/12 6:09pm
Arsene Wenger has praised the much-derided Europa League just as the fight for a place in next season's UEFA Champions League goes down to the wire.
The Frenchman takes his Gunners side to West Brom on Sunday knowing that only a win and third place will guarantee a spot in next season's competition.
With North London rivals Tottenham and surprise package Newcastle ready to pounce if Arsenal slip up at The Hawthorns, Wenger knows his side face a nervous day.
However, he does not dread the prospect of football on Thursday nights next season.
He told The Mirror: "The Europa League final was a fantastic game. Atletico Madrid against Athletic Bilbao was fantastic to watch, much better than many Champions League games.
"Personally, I don't feel it's a useless competition. What's a useless competition for you? For me, a good competition is when you see two good teams play a good game. I watched Bilbao and Atletico Madrid and I watched the whole game, didn't miss a second.
"You see a fantastic football team. That's what competition has to produce - fantastic football games. There are some boring Champions League games but of course you want to be in the Champions League.
"When you play Thursday night and Sunday it's exactly the same as Wednesday night and Saturday. If you ask me if we prefer the Champions League to Europa League then you are completely right.
"We want to be in the Champions League, we don't want to be in the Europa League. You play where you have to and it's better to play there than not at all."