Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta faces an uphill battle next season to return Arsenal back to the Champions League, Europe’s most prestigious club competition.
The Gunners are to miss out on the Champions League for a fourth consecutive season and could miss out on European football for the first time since the 1995/96 season.
With Manchester City’s UEFA ban overturned earlier this week, Arsenal would have to finish at least 7th in the League to qualify for the Europa League which looks unlikely as they are 4 points behind Sheffield United with only 3 matches left.
Arsenal could qualify for the Europa League via winning the FA cup but would have to first beat favourites Manchester City on Saturday to qualify for the finals.
Missing out on European football would affect Arsenal’s transfer budget as well as the big losses caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
It is no doubt Arsenal must strengthen their squad if they are to do any better in the upcoming campaign and Mikel Arteta has sent a clear message to the club’s hierarchy over summer transfers.
In an interview by the DailyMail he was asked how hard it now is for Arsenal to regain their place in at the top table, and he replied: “Harder and harder because that’s obviously something that has to feed each other. If you are not in the Champions League and you say “OK, I don’t invest because I don’t have the financial ability to do it”, but the other clubs invest, then the gap becomes bigger.
‘If I do want to invest and risk, and then I don’t reach it, what happens? So at some stage you have to make a decision, whether I want to aim to make that gap closer and go for it, or I stay where I am.
‘You see many good examples of teams that have done it [risked] and they have come back to their habit [of being in the Champions League].
‘While I am sitting in this chair I’m not [stopping seeing Arsenal as a Champions League club], because that’s the only thing that I think of this football club.’
‘Then, at the end of the season is, OK, see the direction we want to take, agree on the ambition of the football club, realise that where we are the demands are going to be huge it doesn’t matter what we do, that’s never going to change because it’s linked to our history and our success and move from there.
‘Put our plans together where we can achieve that as quick as possible.’
Arteta clearly wants the club ownership[Kroenke’s] and the board to financially back him such that Arsenal can return where they belong among the elite clubs. The gap appears to be widening season after season and Arteta wants to close that gap and bring Arsenal back up.
Arsenal fans will be keen to see the response from the Kroenke’s on whether they act or remain in the dark.