Mikel Arteta has admitted that being out of the Champions League for three seasons has caused ‘really big damage’ to the club which makes you wonder just what a fourth would do…
Fourth, Ha. It wouldn’t be Arsenal if that wasn’t in there somewhere.
Arsenal were knocked out of Europe last week despite going into the second leg tie at home with a 1-0 lead. They lost on away goals for the sixth time in Europe (Arsenal have only won one tie by the away goals rule) and must now try to qualify for the world’s most lucrative competition via the league.
Thankfully, the sides above us are trying to help out with United drawing 1-1 with Everton this weekend and Spurs losing, again, 3-2 at home to Wolves, leaving the table looking like this (with 5th a Champions League spot at present).
As you can see, top five is not unrealistic at this point – win our game in hand and we are just two points behind United in fifth. Of the teams above us, we still have to play Wolves, Leicester, Spurs, Liverpool, and City.
“The damage caused by the club not being in the Champions League for the third season is really big,” admitted Arteta.
“Financially, the impact is enormous because the structure of this club is built to be in the Champions League and you can sustain that for one year or two, but then you have to start making decisions.
“We will have to make decisions one way or the other depending on the scenario we find ourselves in, whether we are in the Champions League, Europa League or nowhere near that.
“And we’ll have a very clear plan of what we want to do. It will be difficult but this is the situation we are in now.
“That is a no-brainer,” he added when asked if being in the Champions League will impact negotiations with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. “Every player in the world wants to play Champions League and, if you talk about having this option on the table, players are in a much more open way to join the club or to renew their contract.
“Without it? There are always ways. If it is not them, it is their wives, that they are really happy in London. We will find a way.”