Date: 23rd May 2017 at 1:04pm
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It goes without saying Arsenal would have preferred Champions League football next season – it would have also helped attract players and give us a better chance of retaining others – but Petr Cech feels the Gunners can come back stronger like Chelsea have this season.

A poor season, missing out of Europe altogether, saw Chelsea take advantage of fewer fixtures by going on to win the Premier League of course, Arsenal aim to win some silverware on Saturday and prevent the Blues from winning the double in the FA Cup.

Cech feels it’s vitally important Arsenal keep the squad in place and go all out to retain Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.

He was quoted by Sky Sports: ‘Alexis has been brilliant, scoring a lot of goals. (Him and Mesut) are both exceptional players and obviously you always want to keep your exceptional players. That’s the main thing is we need to keep the team together and try to strengthen it in the areas where the manager would like to, and then we will be ready to go again.’

It isn’t a problem to have ‘one off year in 20’ as long as Arsenal come back strong from this, which Cech feels we will as all the foundations are in place.

Adding: ‘If you have one odd year in 20 years, it is not a problem. I think the club has a strong foundation, a strong organisation and everything to be one-year out and come straight back in, like Chelsea did last season. Obviously, it helped them not to be involved (in the Champions League) this season because they could keep all their energy for the league.’

There’s still strong opposition to Arsene Wenger remaining as boss and calls for majority shareholder Stan Kroenke to move on to have grown, both were protested against during Sunday’s win over Everton.

But, despite missing out on the top-four, Cech has pointed to the positives from this season.

Cech said: ‘We have four more points than last season, so in a way you would think that we improve by four points and we would be in a similar position like we were last season. But unfortunately the other teams ahead of us had a very good season. They managed to get points and we had a few results which didn’t go our way. It was our mistake.’

A lack of Champions League football, for a year, might not have been as much of an issue for the likes of Alexis and Ozil if they didn’t only have a year on their current deals. This could have a huge impact on their decisions to sign new contracts, which if they didn’t this summer could signal an Arsenal decision to sell?

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