Arsenal ended their season with a 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion but failed to secure a ticket to Europe next season. Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Mikel Arteta mentioned how the players need to be critical of themselves.
It was a Nicolas Pepe show at the Emirates as the winger scored two goals to ensure victory for the hosts. But with Tottenham’s win over Leicester City, the Gunners could only finish eighth ultimately missing out on the UEFA Conference League.
This is the first time in more than two decades that the club failed to qualify for any European competition and a lot of questions are being asked about the squad. Speaking after the win, Arteta told Sky Sports:
“Disappointed because we are not in Europe. We made progress last year in terms of points. Sixty-one points last year would have taken us to fifth, but it shows the way the league is developing and the level we need to get to.”
He was then asked about what the north Londoners need to do before next season to which the boss responded:
“We have tried to stick together and do our best, but it’s not been enough, and we have to be very critical of ourselves, and myself, and then next season prepare in the best possible way.”
It is a damaging blow for the Gunners to be in this situation, but they only have themselves to blame. Though their form picked up towards the end of the season, a poor start ensured that they were always trying to catch up with the other teams.
The only possible advantage of not making it to the Conference League, is that Arteta will have only the Premier League to worry about next season. The players should use this as an opportunity to fully focus on this competition and improve their standing in the table.
Arsenal have a chance to regroup and analyse what went wrong in 2020/21 and find possible solutions. If Arteta and the rest of the squad manage to do this, there should be an improvement next time round.
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