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Arsenal playing in Europa League would not be so bad, insists Cech

Petr Cech insists Arsenal should not despair if they are only able to secure Europa League football in 2017-18.

Arsenal playing in Europa League would not be so bad, insists Cech
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Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech does not believe playing in the Europa League next season would be a disaster, though the club still hope to seal a Champions League spot on the Premier League's final day.

Arsenal's Champions League chances slim

Even if the Gunners beat Everton on Sunday, they would need Liverpool to draw against Middlesbrough - or Manchester City to lose at Watford with a goal difference swing of five in their favour - if they are to stand any chance of a top-four finish.

If they do not, finishing fifth will mean Arsenal play in the Europa League for 2017-18, something they have not done for 17 years.

But 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," Cech told reporters after Tuesday's 2-0 victory over relegated Sunderland.

Cech: you want the Champions League

"I have to say you want to have the Champions League one rather than the Europa League one 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."

There is discontent at Arsenal, to the extent that manager Arsene Wenger had to implore the club's fans to attend Tuesday evening's victory over already-relegated Sunderland.