As Arsenal get ready to take on Manchester City, Mikel Arteta made it clear that if Arsenal stand still this summer it will mean falling even further behind their rivals, especially with Chelsea set to go on a spending spree again.
“The fact that we’ve not been in the Champions League for the past three seasons has put an enormous amount of pressure on the club in financial terms,” Arteta admitted ahead of Wednesday night’s game.
“We know our responsibility and the aims – and how much that would relax the financial position that we are in – but we have to go game by game. It is not achievable in one or two games.
“It’s a process over the 10 games that we have. We know the target, the difficulty of the task because there are a lot of clubs in that fight. We have to give it a go and believe that we can do it.
“We are trying to put a plan together to improve what we have,” he added. “We haven’t been able to achieve the goals we have wanted in the last three years and there is a reason behind it.
“If we stand still that gap will become bigger and bigger. I haven’t come here to accept that.
“The challenge for us is to improve the players we already have and find ways to improve the squad in the right positions to give us the best possible chance to compete at that level. It’s getting higher and higher every year.”
Arteta continued: “The plans I had [for the summer] obviously wasn’t considering the coronavirus and all the side effects that has, but we know what we have to do to improve the team.
“Whether we’ll be able to the way we want will be a different story. My focus right now is just to improve the team, get the results that we need to give us the best chance possible to get into Europe and convince the players this is the right environment for them.”
Arsenal face a tough fight to get into the top four with their game in hand over Tottenham this one against City – hardly a guaranteed jump above our north London rivals.
In all honestly, what Arsenal probably need is a season or two out of Europe altogether so they can sort this whole mess out and get back to rebuilding in a structured fashion the way Liverpool did when they were dumped out of Europe for a few years.
The reality is, however, that the club, once so cash-rich it was common for rivals to make jokes about our bank account, is struggling financially after some absolutely awful decisions. At times, it feels like they spent 10 years saving to buy a house to secure our family’s future and then just went ‘f**k it’ and blew it all in a casino.