Arsenal fans would love nothing more than for Arsene Wenger to walk away from the club as a Europa League winner.
The tournament represents the Gunners’ only opportunity for silverware this season, and their most-realistic chance of securing a place in next year’s Champions League, too.
Just as Sir Alex Ferguson left Manchester United with a 13th Premier League trophy in his grasp, Wenger can leave north London on a high.
It will be an extremely difficult task, though. Atletico Madrid stand in the way of Arsenal and the Europa League final and either Marseille or Salzburg will be waiting should the Gunners overcome the La Liga side.
Arsenal supporters can only hope that the players are spurred on to ensure the ending to Wenger’s 22-year reign is a memorable one.
Frank Lampard knows what it takes to win the Europa League, having won the competition with Chelsea in 2012-13.
And he reckons Arsenal will have to be wary of Antoine Griezmann.
Lampard analyses Griezmann
Lampard has raved about the Frenchman, who has 26 goals in all competitions this season, in his column for the Evening Standard, writing: “Arsenal still have to worry about Antoine Griezmann. He is an intelligent goalscorer and also a link man who loves getting involved slightly off the front striker.
“I like his movement in the box. It is no coincidence when players like him arrive in the penalty area and score so frequently. They know where to be. He is a world-class talent.
“I don’t think Arsenal have the kind of individual to man-mark him. They have to get their lines right and make sure the gap between the defence and midfield isn’t too big. He likes to drift into areas just off the centre-halves.
“It is the responsibility of everyone to track his runs into the box and that is an area where Arsenal have been found wanting. You have to be focused from start to finish.”
Lampard’s analysis of Griezmann is interesting. He’s right when he says the Gunners lack someone who can sit on the 27-year-old and prevent him from playmaking.
Wenger will have devised another plan to stop Griezmann. We’ll find out if it works on Thursday.
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