Mikel Arteta says that Arsenal’s absence from the Champions League is a problem when it comes to player retention and recruitment, and squad building in general.

The latest financial results saw the club post a £27.1m loss – the first since 2002 – and a major part of that has been the decline in revenue since we dropped down into the Europa League.

At this point European football of any kind next season is not assured, and with players like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang entering the final year of their contracts and wanting to play Champions League football, it represents a significant challenge for Arteta as he tries to shape his squad.

The wage will is another issue, with players on big money deals from when the Gunners were feasting from Europe’s top table, all of which means there will have to be some clever strategy to cope.

“I think the damage caused by the club not being in the Champions League for the third season is really big,” said Arteta.

“Every player in the world wants to play Champions League and, if you talk about having this option on the table, players are in a much more open way to join this club or to renew their contract or to convince anybody because we want to be in that competition.

“Financially the impact is enormous because the structure of this club is built to be in the Champions League and you can sustain that for one year or two, but then after you have to start making decisions.”

Those decisions will entail selling valuable assets to fund a rebuild, and with Aubameyang highly sought after – with Barcelona in particular keen to bring him to the Camp Nou this summer – there may be some pain in order to put things back together.

“We don’t have margin for error with those decisions, so they have to be very thorough and clear processes of where we have to improve and how we are going to do that, and then go forward with no excuses,” continued the 37 year old.

“I’m very convinced that the way I want to do it is going to work. I don’t know how long it is going to take, or the time and the resources, but we will find a way to do it.”

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Hopeful Gooner

Well hopefully we will get top 5 this year and with city looking like they may miss out. We need to statt that young lad Martinelli on the left with Auba upfront. 1 reason that Auba missed the chance late on is because he is knackered spending all his energy running up and down the wing and he is knackered after playing 120mins unsurprisingly.
Martinelli Auba Pepe

pierre lacapeppe

i’m not convinced with martinelli’s build up play at LW and Auba’s hold up play at CF which is why arteta has fielded his lineup the way it has

mc1892

Were Laca in form then this may hold, but he’s been woeful this season, even his hold up play has been more or less non-existent.

goonero

He’s not done the job well, but he seems the only one of the forwards that even has the capacity to take on the challenge at all. That’s a squad issue.

I think if our midfield wasn’t so limited and we had line breakers like Rosicky, Wilshere or Ramsey the demand on Laca would be less and he’d be free to do what he does, best being a fox in the box type. I thought Ceballos had that in his locker but he’s being instructed to be much more conservative in his positioning.

Skettles

4 thumbs down, from people who think Laca has had a good season…! Lol

Terry Henry

maybe Saka on the left when Tierney is fit

Dom47

I’d put Saka on the right and let him learn the inside forward/inverted winger role in the attack, rptating with Pepe… He could be devastating in that type of Robben role, there are not many talents like that with a stronger left foot.

Mpls

You’re right, there aren’t a ton. But we have one of the most highly rated in Pepe already. Priority 1 on the right is getting the best out of him. Despite ups and downs he’s still putting up solid creative numbers from over there. I think Nelson is his understudy that also offers a different right-footed wing style.

Saka is going great on the left, I’d prefer we keep that going and move him up to wing when the time is right. He and Pepe are the majority of our goal creation right now.

Dom47

Hopeful, I fully agree, think that auba should have been our CF with Laca subbing him or starting less challenging matches, basically rotating auba and laca only on CF. Think this was Mikel’s mistake, if I may say so. We had enough matches to go around and this running auba to the ground with him starting so many matches and mostly running on the wing brought us this embarrassment in the EL. There are some others who are also being run to the ground while others are underused, not always deservedly so.

More rotation, please.

GraeB

We’re just 6 points off that 5th place with 33 to play for. Problem is the number of other teams also in the battle and us having to go to Citeh and Scousers still.

Players need to show they are worthy of CL – or even EL – wages by performing well after the last minute tragedy.

At least let us regain our rightful position ahead of Spuds.

EZD

We’re not far behind in the table, but we’ve got possibly the toughest run-in of any of the clubs fighting for CL to deal with. City, Sp*rs and Wolves away and Liverpool and Leicester at home in our last 11 games.

I’m not going to give up hope for 5th, but realistically Arteta will have to pull off a miracle to do it.

SB Still

Wouldn’t count on 5th place getting CL.

ManC have gone on record saying they will fight with all the might of one of the richest nations. As a minimum, they will have the appeal going next season and participate in CL.

5th will get EL though. Maybe CL if one of the PL clubs win the CL?

Grymelock

No, doesn’t work like that. Top 4 get Champions League, regardless of whether one of them wins the thing or not. The 5th spot goes to the winner of Europa. Chelsea were in third, ergo, 4 teams in Champions League.

yen

Other top 4-5 contenders tough fixtures remaining:

Sheffield: United, Spurs, Wolves, Chelsea, Leicester, Everton

Spurs: United, Sheffield, Everton, ARSENAL, Leicester

Wolves: very favourable: ARSENAL at home, Sheffield away, Everton at home and Chelsea away on the last day of the season

United: City, Tottenham, Sheffield, Leicester

Chelsea: Everton, City, Sheffield, Liverpool, Wolves… and Watford

ARSENAL: City, Leicester, Tottenham, Liverpool, Wolves Also, Watford and other clubs fighting relegation. Good thing we always perform under pressure though!

Olivije Žirod

Don’t know why no one mentions thembut Leicester is also in the top 4 battle based on their current form. They can easily drop up to 15 points in the next 10 games. If we can hypothetically catch Chelsea then imo we will catch Leicester too. I don’t think they will finish in the top 4.

Gunnerali

This is probably meant to prepare us for the loss of a few big players if we don’t achieve top 4/5 this season. That’s still achievable & weekend results were pretty favourable so COYG

laudgunner

Off topic though; but we need to look at Bernd Leno. He seems not to command is area, and quite lazy on coming for crosses. Hope, we can work on him, or try Matinez or Macey. No one should be indispensable.

yen

If there’s something we should look at regarding Leno, it’s his contract situation to make sure we don’t lose our player of the season so far

C.B.

The wage will is another issue,’ – missing ‘b’ or the Kroenkes aren’t willing to pay enough wages?

loose_cannon

It was interesting to see the reaction after Watford ended Liverpool’s unbeaten run. While I did have a little schadenfreude I couldn’t bring myself to celebrate it in the same was as others because Liverpool are, right now, everything we were meant to be – a self-sustaining, CL winning club battling the likes of Bayern Munich. And right now, from the finances to the performances, that is everything we are not. Gazidis said that’s where we’d be back in 2013, at a time when Liverpool were in much the same position as we are right now and we were trying… Read more »

Hantal

The excuses are starting

Dave M

It’s done big damage to the fans too, too many accepting that many of the players in this squad are good enough. 3 wins on the trot and everyone immediately thinks everything is fixed. Newsflash. It’s not and far from it. The fragile mentality of this squad runs deep and Arteta has his work cut out weeding it out. Personnel changes are desperately needed in the summer and without champs league that gets tougher again…

Mpls

I think there is a big difference between voicing hopeful positivity about our direction and thinking everything is A-OK.

We don’t need to be a fountain of negativity to understand we are nowhere near where we want to be.

karl

Most of our big money stars have not been good value, whereas academy players and signings like Martinelli have been brilliant. By the time Arteta has this club in better shape, it will be a new generation anyway.

Anyway, let’s hope they can rally for a run at top 5 at least with a chance of St Totteringham’s Day!

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Except, we will face the same problems with players like Martinelli as we now have with Aubameyang. Clubs in the CL are going to be talking to his agent, his dad, his mad uncle Jose, anybody that can talk him into ditching us for a CL team. If he has any ambition at all he’ll want CL football as soon as he can possibly get it. We will need at least three miracles to give it to him ourselves.

goonero

We’ve spent a lot of money very poorly in the two years leading up to our fall from the top 4. The money spent on Mustafi and Xhaka, Ozils contract, the players we’ve let walk for free. The club took our ability to make top 4 for granted and it’s come back to bite us. Hopefully it’s a lesson they carry forward. I’m still happy we’re not a sugar daddy club, but at this point I feel like the Kroenkes have sat by and allowed the club to be mismanaged, firstly by that charlatan Gazidis and now by the unconvincing… Read more »

Dave M

Seriously. Start singing guys with the right mentality. Guys that fight for the team. His that don’t collapse at the first sign of pressure. It’s really surprising how little the mental side of the sport plays a role in football transfers.

Rich

If we don’t sign any of our three inward loan players? We’ll have a first team squad of 29. That’s 5-6 too many players with European football. Without European football, we’d need to cull 10 or 11 to bring in 3 or 4 players, not just numerically to ensure there was enough games to go around, but also to adjust the wage bill to compensate for decreased revenues. Other clubs can count, clubs with know we’re desperate to downsize, and if we bring players in? Before letting any go? Then we just further decrease our leverage. Clubs will just wait… Read more »

Sean

Posted this in another article but may get more traction here. Anyone know if they’ve ever released a Bluray of the Invincibles season? I’ve got 49 Unbeaten on DVD but the quality is shocking and the aspect ratio is all over the place. The amount of times I’ve wanted to live through that season again, Saturday night being a prime example

Santori

Once upon a time there was a certain chap named Wenger who used to guarantee us the fourth spot pot. But the media derided him for it and many of the so called “faithful” were gullible enough to believe them… So…we are still in the so called “Transition phase”… I mentioned back then as much as it could get better, it could also get much much worse… We are now prey to bigger clubs poaching our better assets. Anyone who thinks we will go out and spend for Arteta needs to get their heads checked. The pattern is clear, we… Read more »

N10

Raise your hand if you’d like the entire management structure of the organization to disappear: the managers like Raul and Edu and Fahmy, the owners of course, the board of directors. Cut the rotten head off and start anew.