For the first time in Arsene Wenger’s reign at Arsenal, there is no Champions League football to look forward to.
Arsenal’s first season outside of the top four since 1995-96 emphasises two things: just how consistent the club have been under Wenger, but that they aren’t the force they once were.
The Gunners will play in the Europa League next season. Wenger might want to take note of how Jose Mourinho has managed Manchester United this campaign for an idea of just how to oversee the 2017-18 season.
Man United have manoeuvred their way through the Europa League successfully so far this term, but had to sacrifice a place in the top six to get to the final.
An additional eight games were added to Arsenal’s schedule owing to the Champions League this season, and they finished fifth.
That is seven fewer European matches than Man United will have played after they take on Ajax in the final of the Europa League on Wednesday.
Another stat to concern Wenger, provided by the Daily Mail, is that between 2005 and 2015, Premier League sides who played more than six Europa League games finished an average of 2.5 places worse off than they did the previous campaign.
It’s clear that Arsenal must add depth in the summer. It’s vitally important that they keep hold of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, too.
Wenger: 'Atmosphere at Emirates was horrendous'
Wenger said the club’s poor performances were not helped by an “absolutely horrendous” atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium.
"You have been at the games and you cannot say that the environment for the players was especially positive," the 67-year-old said, per Sky Sports.
"We have not to look there as well as an excuse, but I just say it's a fact - it doesn't help.
"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."
Large number of #WengerOut fans
Wenger must know that part of the fans’ frustration comes from the fact that he remains in charge of the team. A large number of supporters believe it’s time for the Frenchman to step aside, with protests being carried out throughout the season.
Fans are bringing up Wenger's comment from 2011
Fans of Arsenal’s rivals have enjoyed mocking the Gunners. A tweet from the club’s official Twitter account from 2011, which quoted Wenger discussing the 2011-12 Europa League, has resurfaced, with some laughing that the Arsenal boss has been preparing for the competition for six years.
"The Europa League will be a very interesting competition quality-wise this season,” Wenger said, not even considering the fact that his team would be playing in it in six years.
How will Arsenal fare in the Europa League? Let us know in the comments section below!
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