Gunners fans favourite Perry Groves hoping Arsenal can beat AC Milan and win Europa League
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
The 52-year-old looks ahead to the Gunners clash at the San Siro and tells Arsene Wenger’s team not to fear the Serie A club
Arsenal fans favourite Perry Groves believes winning the Europa League and finishing sixth would be a good season for Arsene Wenger’s team.
The Gunners are currently 13 points off the Premier League top four with nine fixtures left to play and it is looking increasingly likely they will have to settle for a fifth or sixth place finish this term.
It will see Arsenal miss out on playing in Europe’s elite competition next season, but if they win the Europa League, like Manchester United did in May 2017, the north London club will take part in the Champions League during the 2018/19 campaign.
Ahead of tonight’s Europa League last-16 clash at AC Milan, one of the Gunners title-winners from 1989 and 1991 has called on the squad to do everything they can to win the competition.
“The Europa League is a huge, huge thing for Arsenal at the moment,” Groves told PlayWithALegend.com.
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“The pressure is ramped up ten-fold on the Europa League because that’s how the season will now be judged.
“For Arsenal fans, it’s black and white: if we win the Europa League and come sixth, it means we’ve had a good season because we’ve won a big trophy. It we don’t win and we’re out of the top four, we haven’t had a good season – it’s that simple.
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“At the beginning of the season, I said I’d make the Europa League our priority because I didn’t think we’d finish in the top four.
“I’m not being wise after the event, but I just thought that – looking at the other squads – we’d struggle to be in the top four. It has to be the priority because, in that competition, we’re seven games away from being in the Champions League again.”
Groves, who spent six years at Highbury, called for the Gunners to approach the two last-16 games against Gennaro Gattuso’s side with confidence.
He added: “AC Milan are a superpower, but they’re a bit like Arsenal – they’re not the force they were.
“It’s not that bad of a draw. They’re something like seventh in Serie A and spent a lot of money in the summer, but they are a long way away from winning the league, like us. So, especially being away from home first, it’s not such a bad draw.”
Perry was speaking exclusively to Play With A Legend following the 2018 Carabao Cup Final.