Date: 22nd May 2017 at 10:13pm
Written by:

Manager Arsene Wenger has spoken of his disappointment at not seeing Arsenal manage to clinch that Champions League spot this season.

Having missed out on the top for for the first time in two decades, Arsenal did end the campaign doing all they could to not finish fifth place or lower and in the end it swung on two points.

Speaking to the Official Site following the final day three one victory over Everton, Wenger explained.

‘We have played well, very well. We were down to 10 men for such a long time, so to win the game means we have shown what we have shown recently: strength, togetherness and fighting spirit. We won the game and we knew that`s all we could do before the game. It was very difficult because we were down to 10 men for a long, long time and it was hot too. We stuck together and we could have even scored some more goals at the end. They also had some chances, of course, but we did the job.’

As for the lack of Champions League football next year, he went on to add.

‘I don`t know yet because we have not started the Champions League yet, but it`s very sad. For 20 years we were in it and it`s the first year that we will not be in it. It`s very strange because for 75 points, we are only one point short. Of course you can look everywhere for where we dropped these points, but since January it`s been a very difficult environment for different reasons. Some you know about, and that`s very difficult for a group of players to cope with that. There are some other reasons that we will talk about another day. Psychologically, the environment for this group of players was absolutely horrendous and I`m very proud of what they have done, the way they responded and finished the season.’

With the presumption being that his future will be at least another 12 month contract, if not the two that has been on the table for a number of weeks, Wenger was asked about the nine defeats and what areas we needed to improve upon next year to make a genuine challenge.

‘Look, I would tell you as well we also won 23. In the unbeaten year we won 26, so we are not far away. It`s true that we lost too many games and that`s where we find the points that we missed tonight, but that was down to the period where we were unstable defensively and unsettled mentally as well by the exit that happened against Bayern Munich.’

Adding about the switch to a back three.

‘It helped because we were unstable defensively. I think it helped to redress and to come back with more defensive stability. Of course, maybe we moved to that a fraction too late in the season.’

He remained confident for the future though.

‘Yes, I think this group of players is good enough to come back. They have learned a lot and they have gone through difficult periods this season and they have bounced back in a very strong way. I think that will help them, absolutely, next season. But first I think we have to keep 90 per cent of these players together and find one or two more who strengthen the group but we don`t need a lot. We don`t need many. But we need maybe top quality.’

Arsenal Blogger
Join The Vital Debate