Higginbotham also praises Alexandre Lacazette for his improvement
By Richard Cooke
Last Updated: 07/03/19 11:36am
Arsenal have to decide whether finishing in the top four or winning the Europa League is their best route into the Champions League, according to Danny Higginbotham.
Unai Emery’s team are one point adrift of the Champions League places ahead of this weekend’s Premier League fixtures and they face a tough game at home to Manchester United live on Sky Sports this Sunday.
Arsenal vs Man Utd
March 10, 2019, 4:15pm
Before that they travel to Rennes for their Europa League last-16 first leg on Thursday knowing that if they go all the way in the tournament it will give them an alternative passage into Europe’s premier competition.
Speaking on Sky Sports News, Higginbotham said the Gunners may have to weigh-up which is their priority.
“I think the Europa League is the situation that does create the problem for them and Chelsea as well,” he said.
“At some point, as we’ve seen in previous seasons, you have to decide which one you are going to go for. Which one do they think is most likely for themselves?
“Is it winning the Europa League and going into the Champions League or is it the top four?
“I think that’s what makes it more difficult for the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea.
“But there’s no doubt about it, I thought they were unfortunate not to win against Tottenham and obviously with the last minute penalty they missed as well.
“In terms of the way they set up defensively they looked very strong, and whether it’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Alexandre Lacazette you’ve got two players that know where the back of the net is.
Lacazette will miss Thursday’s match in France through suspension but he will be back for the game against United and with 14 goals to his name this season Higginbotham can see a continual improvement.
“I think he understands the Premier League better,” he added. “The hardest thing when you come from a foreign country to the Premier League is that you have to adapt to the pace because it is the quickest league in Europe.
“He is very good, he knows where the back of the net is, he’s got a great strike on him but what I love about him is his movement to bring others into play,
“At times you will see him dropping deeper so he has got the intelligence as well to be a team player.”