By Oladipupo Mojeed
Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech says playing in the second-tier European club football Europa League next season would not be a disaster.
However, the former Czech goalkeeper believes the club can still seal a Champions League spot on the Premier League’s final day.
Arsenal can only qualify for the money-spinning tournament if Liverpool slip up against Middlesbrough or Manchester City lose at Watford with a goal difference swing of five in their favour.
But, finishing fifth will mean Arsenal play in the Europa League for 2017-18, which they have not done in 17 years.
Respect for Europa League
Cech, who won the Europa League with Chelsea in 2013, feels the competition deserves respect, especially now that it offers the winners a Champions League place.
“A European trophy is a European trophy.
“I have to say you want to have the Champions League, rather than the Europa League. But you can see more and more, big teams are treating the Europa League with respect because it is a European trophy.
“Now you can qualify for the Champions League, too. I have to say it is a fantastic memory for myself to look at the [Europa League] medal. I only played in it once and was fortunate in one go to have won it.
“But obviously I would rather be in the Champions League, that is for sure. Let’s see what will happen, Cech told reporters after Tuesday’s 2-0 victory over relegated Sunderland.
Worrying about Liverpool and Man City
Cech also thinks that the North London outfit would be making a big mistake worrying about the Liverpool or City games rather than focusing on doing the job against Everton, who will finish the season in the seventh position.
“We have a difficult game, let’s not forget this first.
“We will concentrate on our game and there is only one thing we can do which is to win and then hope the other results will go our way, which if they don’t, they don’t. But we need to make sure we win our game.
“I never care about the other results so I am not going to start now,” said the 34-year-old.