Arteta’s “pain” after Arsenal failed to secure UCL qualification

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta spoke to the media on Sunday after a 5-1 thrashing of Everton, but it was not enough to finish fourth. The Gunners, who missed the two previous chances they had to rely on themselves, are out of the Champions League after Tottenham did their job against relegated Norwich.

The Spanish coach wanted to highlight the good season, but the pain prevented him from making an objective analysis: “I can’t evaluate the season now. I’m sorry. I’m still in a lot of pain from what happened on Monday (defeat to Newcastle) and I would like to evaluate properly what we have done. What I can guarantee you is that we have tried it as much as we can.

“I think we all know that. And you can see the reaction of the fans with the team, you can see what we have on the pitch and what this club had 10 or 20 years ago. We know where we have to go and we’re not going to stop,” he reflected on the reduced level of the squad compared to past and better times.

Arteta underlined his disappointment and regretted that “the miracle” did not happen, but recalled that, despite not reaching “the level”, last year the Gunners would have entered the Champions League with this season’s score: “I am extremely disappointed because we generated the expectations we wanted for this club, because it is what it deserves. In the end, we fell short and we have this feeling of guilt. Not reaching that level is painful.

“We did what we had to do. We knew it was out of our hands, we knew we needed a miracle and it didn’t happen. That’s the way it is. The standings don’t lie at the end of the season. It’s true that Chelsea qualified for the Champions League with 67 points, and we have 69 and we are out. But that’s the level and the demand that the Premier League has now,” he concluded.

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