Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta commented as one of the club’s most disappointing seasons in recent memory nears an end. With his own job on the line, Arteta said Arsenal’s overhaul must be “ruthless”.
Arsenal were eliminated from the Europa League by Villarreal on Thursday.
This failure in the semi-final has nearly ensured that 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. Instead, they’re sitting in ninth place in the Premier League.
Not only Champions League but even Europa League may be out of reach.
So, Arsenal face the prospect of no European football for the first time in 25 years.
“This year is not year one,” Arsenal boss Arteta said of the club’s project under him. “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.”
Then, though, Arteta said Arsenal’s overhaul must be “ruthless”: “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,” he continued about his regrets this season.
“[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,” he said about fierce Arsenal fans.
“I know their disappointment.”
After the Super League fiasco which garnered widespread fan disapproval and even Arsenal fans’ protest, Arteta is appreciative of fans.
He reiterates that fans supersede all else in football: “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.”