Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has spoken exclusively to CaughtOffside to give us his response to last week’s Europa League semi-final results.
Chadwick’s old club United got past Roma to make it into the final, where they’ll face Villarreal after the Spanish side’s 2-1 aggregate victory over Arsenal.
The Red Devils will now surely be favourites to win the trophy, even against Europa League specialist Unai Emery, who won the competition three times when he was in charge of Sevilla, whilst also reaching the final with Arsenal in 2018/19.
Chadwick expects Man Utd will be the favourites to beat Villarreal in the final, even though they under-achieved in this competition last season.
“I think United will go into the final as favourites,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside. “You’d expect them to win or at least have a pretty good chance. Obviously last season against Sevilla in the semi-final it was a tough game.
“Villarreal have got some really good players, but the strength of La Liga compared to the Premier League … it would be a real disappointment for United if they didn’t come away from this season. I think they deserve it from the season they’ve had.”
Chadwick also responded to Arsenal’s exit, expressing the hope that the Gunners would give Mikel Arteta more time, similarly to United who are now reaping the rewards with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer despite some less convincing moments earlier on in his Old Trafford reign.
Chadwick also warned Arsenal about sacking Arteta given that they might currently struggle to lure in a better manager after the club’s decline in recent years.
“I think Arteta should be given time, it’s been such a strange season with no fans in grounds. He’s a popular figure and I think they’d back him,” Chadwick said.
“It’s a different beast in comparison to Manchester United, you could see the pressure and stick Ole got when he wasn’t getting results but it doesn’t seem quite the same with Arteta. I would imagine Arsenal aren’t the size of club anymore who can attract a top, top manager, so Arteta should be given more time there.
“We shouldn’t forget that he delivered silverware for the club last season by winning the FA Cup. I think it will be interesting to see if they give him the tools to strengthen and see if he can build on what he’s done, but in this industry you never know what’s going to happen next.”