After elimination from the Europa League, the club faces the prospect of no European football for the first time in 25 years
Mikel Arteta has said that Arsenal’s overhaul must be “ruthless” as one of the club’s most disappointing seasons in recent memory nears an end.
Arsenal were eliminated from the Europa League by Villarreal on Thursday, falling in the semi-final to nearly ensure the Gunners will miss out on Europe entirely next season.
Winning the Europa League would have given Arsenal a spot in next season’s Champions League but, sitting in ninth place in the Premier League, European football is now all but out of reach.
- Forget Suarez or Felix: Real Madrid cast-off Llorente the driving force behind Atletico’s title challenge
- ‘We need to become better listeners’ – Man Utd chief Glazer promises fan consultation in response to protest pressure
- How Pele’s ‘five-dimensional’ Santos successor Soteldo ended up at Toronto FC
- Arsenal eye £7m move for Ajax keeper Onana but face wait over doping ban appeal
What was said?
“This year is not year one,” Arsenal boss Arteta said of the club’s project. “I think a project has its phases and I am telling you we are in a much better position today to be where we want to be very soon, if we do what we have to do. But we have to be ruthless.
“We cannot be crying and stuck on what we don’t have. We have to see what we do have and maximise it to get what we want.
“I want to share the pain that we are all feeling. [The fans] have been incredible with the team and incredible with me since I arrived and I have to show my appreciation first of all.
“I know their disappointment. We are here to give them joy, to give them moments where they can feel proud of what we do. We were able to do that last season and we haven’t this season.
“We are the ones who have to give them something to cheer about. I don’t think it is time for us to demand anything from them.”
What’s next for the Gunners?
Arsenal finished eighth in the Premier League last season, their lowest finish since 1995, and this season they sit ninth with just four games remaining.
Barring a miracle turnaround, Arsenal now look certain to miss out on European qualification for the first time in 25 years.
It has left Arteta under a huge amount of pressure as he nears the end of his first full season in charge.
Though Arsenal won the FA Cup last season, they took a big step backwards this term and the Spaniard will have to improve results quickly to stay in his job.
Arteta in firing line as Villarreal leave season in ruins
‘I hope that this is the rock bottom’ – Ljungberg calls for change at Arsenal
‘We are all sad’ – Leno reveals somber mood in Arsenal dressing room