Mikel Arteta on ending above Tottenham, Europa Convention League, Joe Willock’s future
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta spoke to the media ahead of the final Premier League game against Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday.
The Gunners have seen another disappointing league campaign but they still have an outside chance to land in the European squares.
The club are currently ninth in the league but could jump to seventh with a win if both Tottenham Hotspur and Everton lose points.
The Gunners haven’t landed over arch-rivals Spurs in the last four seasons but have a chance to end the series this weekend.
When asked about the possibility, Arteta said he would be delighted with the fans if the club ended over his colleague in north London.
He told Arsenal.com: “Anything in our hands to make them happy and help us be in a better place today is all positive.”
With a seventh place, the Gunners would qualify for the inaugural edition of the Europa Conference League, UEFA’s third European competition.
The competition has been downplayed by some critics, but Arteta said the Gunners must be in Europe after doing so for the past 26 seasons.
He added: “I think they have a long history of teams involved in the Europa League and the negative consequences of their positions in the Premier League.
“But we tried to get the best possible result. We came a little short, but this club has to be in Europe.”
Willock’s future was another major theme for the Gunners boss after his impressive loan deal at Newcastle United, where he has scored seven times.
The midfielder recently became the youngest player to score in six straight Premier League games and Arteta said his long-term future lies with the club.
“Yeah, I’m really glad things went so well because of his potential,” he said. “I think it’s great that he went away and had a different experience.
“He took this opportunity in a really positive and remarkable way and he will return to us, we will have a conversation with him and plan the next few years for him.
“Sure, because he has a contract and it will be here. That’s for sure.”
The Gunners will welcome 10,000 fans to the Emirates Stadium for the final game of the top campaign against Brighton on Sunday.
The club had a disappointing league record against the seagulls. You’ve been on the winning side in only one of the last six meetings.
That was the second leg at the Amex Stadium in December. You want to double over Brighton for the first time in four decades.
Statistics from Transfermarkt.com
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