Arteta signals the need for revamp of Arsenal squad
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has welcomed the prospect of a squad overhaul at The Emirates over the summer and expressed confidence in the Kroenke family’s willingness to fund it.
The Gunners crashed out of the Europa League on Thursday night following a 0-0 draw with Villarreal, the side managed by Arteta’s predecessor, Unai Emery. With the club languishing in 10th in the Premier League, eight points adrift of Liverpool in 6th, the result leaves Arsenal with only a slim chance of qualifying for Europe next season.
Should they miss out, it will be the first time in 25 seasons that they’ve been absent from continental competition in what is a huge mark against the name of Arteta, who has come under increasing pressure.
Speaking to The Guardian ahead of Sunday’s clash with West Bromwich Albion, the Spaniard called for action: “The squad needs changing. There were already a lot of changes in December, something that has not been done in years, but it tells us where we were. Things are going to have to change and the owners are going to back it up.
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“Time is catching up right now. It’s a trend, it’s years now that this has been happening. If the distance and the margins with the rest become too big, then it’s almost impossible to do it.
“We are still on time and we have put some very strong pillars and foundations in the last few months to do what we have to do.”
Despite Sunday’s fixture being effectively a dead rubber, with West Brom all but relegated and Arsenal’s campaign crumbling to pieces, Arteta feels he and his players have a point to prove.
When asked whether Arsenal will need to harness the pain from Thursday’s Europa League exit, he replied: “I think you have to leave some of it in some of your system, and use some of it in the right way as an energy driver in the game on Sunday.
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“We have a responsibility and we have to be professional. We know that we have four games to play and the best way is on Sunday to go out there and show how much we care and win the football match.”