Chelsea have become the first defending European champions that have been eliminated in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League, and the Blues will now have to settle for Europa League nights.
The reigning European champions might have failed to progress through the groups in the Champions League, but the Rafael Benitez men will now be seeded in the last-32 Europa League draw.
Should the Blues perhaps focus on the Europa League?
Chelsea do not have a long history in European competitions—they have never won the Europa League—and every trophy will be welcomed by the fans.
What is more, a Europa League title combined with a domestic cup title—Chelsea are still in the running for both the Carling Cup and the FA Cup—would make this season a relatively successful one.
In addition, the Blues will want to prove that their Champions League win was not a coincidence and that they still have the quality to successfully compete in Europe.
After spending millions on squad reinforcements, Chelsea also have a number of quality back-up players in their squad who could fill in should the first-team regulars need any rest.
With stellar names of Juan Mata, Fernando Torres, Eden Hazard and others possibly starting every match, who would bet against Chelsea winning the competition?
Why would Roman Abramovich want his team to win the Europa League?
First of all, there's no significant award.
Secondly, the players, which are already performing under the standards, will only get even more worn out from playing the insignificant, yet tiring Europa League matches.
Yes, the Blues have plenty of depth in the squad, but would you really rely on the selfish Daniel Sturridge, the incompetent Paulo Ferreira and the inexperienced Marko Marin to win the Premier League?
I thought so.
Finally, Manchester United and Manchester City are not backing down in the title race and Chelsea will need to be on full strength to achieve their main goal—winning the league title—which will not be easy if Benitez opts to waste his players in Europe.
I personally think Chelsea should forget about Europa League and focus on the Premier League. I know their history is not as rich compared to Liverpool's and Manchester United's, but does it really have to be?
What do you think? Should the Blues focus on winning a European trophy?
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