Arteta drops hints over last chance to qualify for Champions League

Arteta drops hints over last chance to qualify for Champions League

The Spaniard says that it will be progress for the Gunners, regardless of which European tier they reach next term

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal should consider a fifth-place Premier League finish an improvement, even if they miss out on qualifying for the Champions League.

The Gunners head into the final day of the season on Sunday needing to defeat Everton and Tottenham to lose to Norwich in order to leapfrog their north London rivals into fourth place.

But with a return to European football secured after a year in the wilderness regardless, the Spaniard says it should be viewed as progress wherever they end up.

What has Arteta said about a fifth-place finish?

“It is because we have created expectations that this club deserves and where this club has to be,” Arteta responded when asked if fifth should be considered progress for the Gunners.

“In the last two months, we haven’t been able to fulfill those expectations but overall, looking back where we were, you have to be clear as well with what we have to do,

“We have had much deeper issues at the club than the league table, in my opinion. Now they have been resolved. Now they look very, very strong and that we have the real strong foundations now to build what we want to do.”

When did Arsenal last reach the Champions League?

The Gunners have not competed in the Champions League since the 2016-17 campaign when a second-place finish the season before – behind Leicester – was enough to book their spot.

Since then, they have failed to reach the competition, coming closest with fifth-place finishes in 2017 and 2019, plus a Europa League final defeat in the latter year to Chelsea.

If results fall their way this time, however, they can end an exodus from the European top table in one fell swoop.

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