Last season just didn’t feel right. Arsenal lacking European football was odd. And truthfully, I watched a lot fewer Champions League or Europa League matches throughout the season. After qualifying for the UEFA Cup for the 1996-97 season, Arsene Wegner built Arsenal into a European mainstay. Now back in the Europa League and with a rebuilt squad, can Mikel Arteta not only maintain this level but bring the Gunners back to Europe’s top club competition?
England has the highest coefficient of any European nation, at 100.569, and two spots alongside the top five countries. For the 2022-23 season Arsenal and Manchester United will represent England.
- July 18th - It begins! Well, actually it’s just the first draw. And it’s for the third qualifying round. But technically it’s the start of Arsenal’s path to a European trophy.
- August 18th & 19th - The Playoff Round matches. While Arsenal still won’t be in the tournament at this point, these games will dictate which clubs the Gunners may face during the group stage.
- August 26th - The Group Stage draw. We find out which three clubs Arsenal will be paired up with as well as the schedule of their home and away matches.
- September 8th - Matchday 1 in the Group Stage. (The subsequent four dates are 9/15, 10/6, 10/13 & 10/27.
- November 3rd - Matchday 6. Hopefully, by this point, Arsenal has secured a place in the Knockout Rounds, but just in case you might want to circle this one.
- February 24th - Round of 16 draw.
- March 9th & 16th - Round of 16 matches
- March 17th - The draw for the Quarterfinals, Semi-finals & Europa League Final.
- April 13th & 20th - Quarterfinal matches.
- May 11th & 18th - Semi-final matches.
- May 31st - Europa League Final in Budapest at the Puskas Arena.
Of course, Arsenal’s return to the Europa League means Mikel Arteta’s side will have a lot of Thursday/Sunday match pairings on the schedule this season. But the increased match load means more chances for the squad’s depth to get minutes and hopefully see a few of the more promising U23s in action with the first team (i.e. Charlie Patino or Miguel Azeez, if they don’t end up heading out on loan).
And before you go, a slight sidenote, but can we please quit dropping the eliminated Champions League teams into the Europa League? I know it’s done for TV ratings and money to have those ‘bigger’ clubs added in, but we don’t need to reward teams who lost. They get their chance to win the Champions League, these clubs are locked into the Europa League and leave the Europa Conference teams to battle it out on their own.