Arsenal: Arteta suffers major 'nightmare' at the Emirates

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta in the Premier League against Everton

Arsenal‘s failure to qualify for the Champions League is a “nightmare” outcome, according to transfer insider Dean Jones.

Mikel Arteta’s team looked on course to finish in the top four for the first time since 2015-2016, but a poor end to the season saw Tottenham pip them on the final-day.

How did Arsenal fail to finish fourth?

Following two eighth-place finishes, their worst for more than 20 years in the Premier League era, Arteta appeared to have finally cracked it and got Arsenal back into the big time.

Despite losing three games on the bounce at the beginning of April, four consecutive victories put the north London outfit within one win of Champions League football.

Beating Tottenham would have been enough to see Arsenal return to Europe’s elite competition, and even though they lost 3-0, maximum points from their final two fixtures would have still seen them secure fourth place.

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But defeat to Newcastle in their penultimate game swung the pendulum back Tottenham’s way and although Arsenal thrashed Everton on Sunday, Spurs’ 5-0 win over Norwich saw the Gunners fall two points short.

Arsenal were the only side in the top six that had no European football to contend with this season, which is why Jones described their failed top four bid as a “nightmare”.

What did Jones say about Arsenal?

He told GIVEMESPORT: “It’s a nightmare for Arsenal to not finish in the top four, because this was their chance this season with no European football.

“They had a clear run at finishing as high as they can in the league, and to still fall short when this has been their full focus, it’s a bit of a nightmare.”

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What’s next for Arsenal?

Before the season got underway, not many would have had Arsenal down for fifth, so overall it’s been a progressive nine months for the Gunners, especially on the back of two eighth-place finishes.

But as Jones alluded to, having been the top spenders in the Premier League, while playing just once a week for the majority of the campaign, it does feel like an opportunity missed for Arteta’s men.

Arsenal have still attracted top players in the past without Champions League football; Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Thomas Partey to name a few, which should leave fans optimistic heading into next season.

But following three years without finishing fourth, this does feel like a pivotal summer in Arteta’s reign.

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