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Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal’s Europa League exit is still hurting

Arsenal’s exit from the Europa League on Thursday has created quite an impact on the club. A lot of questions are being asked and many of them are being directed at the manager. Mikel Arteta spoke to BBC via Goal about the deep impact the exit has caused.

Despite the first-leg defeat, the North London club were still in the game and only needed their attack to fire to overturn the tie, but they only managed to draw blanks. It was former boss Unai Emery who left the Emirates a happy man as his side advanced to face Manchester United in the final. This defeat put a lot of pressure on Arteta, and the future of his job was being called into question.

When asked about the impact of being knocked out after the win over West Bromwich Albion, Arteta told BBC via Goal:

“I do take [responsibility], it is still there, still hurting. You can probably see in my body language it is still there. There were very small margins. I still feel very responsible. We have done so many right steps, some you can see and some you can’t. The foundations are there.”

There was some solace to be found for the manager as the North Londoners produced a commanding victory that pushed the Baggies into relegation. When asked about his opinion on the team’s performance at the Emirates, the Spaniard added:

“[Today], the best way to do it is with the right attitude. The three goals were very different but really good individual and collective actions.”

Even if the Gunners win all their remaining games, it will not reduce the pressure on the manager. The team lies close to midtable in the Premier League which is not where they would like to be. There is a slim chance of qualifying for Europe through the league and it would require more performances like the one seen at the weekend.

The Emirates club don’t have any time to relax as they will next be facing Chelsea in a London derby. Thomas Tuchel and his team are riding high on the success of reaching the FA Cup and Champions League final. Defeating them will be a mighty challenge but if the Emirates side can pull it off, it would reflect nicely on the manager.

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