Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has reportedly come to a decision over the future of under-fire manager Mikel Arteta following the Gunners’ calamatous season.
Arteta is on course to lead Arsenal to their worst season in over two-and-half-decades. Yet, despite their struggles, the campaign could still have proved a major success had they won the Europa League and qualified for the Champions League as a result. However, a tepid draw to Villarreal saw Arsenal crash out and serious questions raised of Arteta.
Indeed, Arsene Wenger dropped this accurate truth bomb for the Gunners ahead of the clash with Unai Emery’s side.
Worse could still come for the Gunners if they don’t secure a top-half finish. Indeed, Arteta himself admits he’s been left with a lot of soul-searching to do.
“What I felt Thursday night was a deep pain,” he said.
“The moment the club is in at the moment, I had a feeling that if we could take the team to the final, it could be a great turning point.
“I felt that responsibility and I was so eager to achieve that. I knew it could be a defining moment. Not being able to achieve it, has been really tough personally obviously.
“I know that we have disappointed a lot of people as well, and that really hurts. We want to give the best to everybody but one thing I made clear is that to do what we want to do. I have no doubts that we are going to achieve it. If not, I wouldn’t be sat here.”
However, the facts don’t lie. Now the Gunners face having no European football for the first time in 26 years.
They state that he is prepared to give Arteta the summer window to try and further mould his side. There’s an acceptance behind the scenes that Arsenal’s squad needs major surgery. And while finances will be tight, he will be given a chance to bring in more of the players he wants.
Furthermore, they state Arteta will be given through the early months of next season to see where Arsenal are at. If there’s signs of improvement, he will likely continue.
However, if the club are regressing further, the Spaniard will likely then be sacked.
Quite how the decision will be taken among Arsenal’s supporters remains to be seen. There is already widespread apathy among fans following the failed European Super League project.
Arteta knows situation must chance
Arteta himself is fully aware that Arsenal’s situation is not good enough for a club of their stature.
And while he knows they have no divine right to be in the Champions League, he knows that’s where a club their size aspires to be.
“I understand those concerns. When you are out of the Champions League for five years it is not just a casualty, it’s a trend,” Arteta said.
“There are facts to support that trend and as well defined years how it was achieved the Champions League as well.
“So, there are things to change, that’s for sure because you no one is going to accept that at this football club.
“I am not going to accept that and the fans are not going to accept that. So we all have to push together to achieve something very different.”