Arteta refuses to contemplate...


Arteta refuses to contemplate season with no European football

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is refusing to contemplate the possibility of his club failing to qualify for European competition next season.

Failure to reach the UEFA Champions League or Europa League would see the Gunners miss European competition for the first time since 1995/96, nearly thirty years but Arteta insists he hasn't started to plan for that outcome.

"No, because I don't want to transmit any of that to any of the players or anybody at the club," he said the press conference for their second clash with Slavia Prague.

Their only way of qualifying for the Champions League is by winning the Europa League and their chances of qualifying for the second tier competition are slim as they lie ninth in the Premier League with seven matches to play.

Arsenal go to the capital of the Czech Republic having drawn the home leg of their Europa League quarter-final 1-1 and their opponents have already knocked Rangers and another Premier League club in Leicester City out of the competition this season.

Arteta has been in charge at his old club for 18 months now and he accepts that it is big games like the one on Thursday night that he will be judged upon.

"Tangible is the right word and the only tangible thing is results," said the Spaniad. "Whether you're doing a good job or not, to judge it externally is only going to be judged with results.

"Internally, you know what you are doing and you can have many different ways of judging that but at the end of the day, externally results are the only important thing to give the perception that we are moving forward in the right direction."

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta showed conviction with Aubameyang said Delaney. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta (right) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Arsenal struggled after the international break before bagging a 3-0 win against Sheffield United in the Premier League which came after draws with Slavia Prague and West Ham either side of a defeat to Liverpool.

Before the break they put on an excellent performance to beat Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby, the kind of display Arteta is hoping his players can repeat in Prague.

"We've shown that in big games, big players have to step in and create the magic moments and you need that, so let's hope that we can have them," he added.

"It doesn't matter who it is but someone has to create when the team needs those moments.

"We have moments in the season where it has been the senior players and then other moments where it has been the young players."

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Arsenal Mikel Arteta Slavia Prague UEFA Europa League

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