Mikel Arteta is now officially a man under pressure, as Arsenal look certain to not be in European competition for the first time in 25 years.
[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]
Arsenal drew 0-0 at home against Villarreal in their UEFA Europa League semifinal second leg on Thursday, but were knocked out 2-1 on aggregate as former boss Unai Emery tasted sweet revenge.
As for his successor, well, Arteta admitted he is feeling the heat.
Speaking to our partners in the UK at Sky Sports, a devastated Arteta said he will fight on and was asked if he could pick his players up.
“I wouldn’t be sitting here if I couldn’t. You will see it. It’s not about talking, it’s about showing it on the pitch. I feel the pressure all the time because I want to do as good as I can for the team, for every support that I have here and for the fans. Today is a big disappointment because we tried everything to be in that final. I think everybody’s job is under scrutiny,” Arteta said.
Where do Arsenal, Arteta go from here?
Not reaching the Europa League final against Manchester United is a huge, huge blow for Arteta’s project at Arsenal.
If Arsenal had won the Europa League to reach the Champions League for next season, it would have been huge both in terms of recruitment this summer and belief in Arteta as a young manager.
Now, he will be fighting against not only having a smaller transfer budget to rebuild his squad, but also against criticism that he hasn’t got the most out of a very talented squad.
When you look at the individuals Arsenal have, they should not be in ninth place in the Premier League table.
But they are. And despite Arteta winning the FA Cup last season and winning the Community Shield at the start of this season, with a few marquee wins scattered throughout this campaign, the consistency just hasn’t been there.
Arteta is now under pressure and Arsenal must rally to win their final four games of the season to try and sneak into the Europa League.