Mikel Arteta admits he is still in ‘a lot of pain’ following Arsenal’s defeat at Newcastle


Despite a 5-1 victory over Everton at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal missed out on Champions League qualification after losing to Newcastle on Monday. Mikel Arteta admitted he was still haunted by the loss.

The Gunners finished the Premier League season in fifth place, with goals from Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah, Cedric Soares, Gabriel Magalhaes, and Martin Odegaard.

Tottenham Hotspur’s 5-0 victory over Norwich City in the last matchday of the season ensured that Arsenal stayed out of the top four.

Arsenal would have finished fourth if Spurs had collapsed at Carrow Road, but Arteta felt the damage had already been done with the 2-0 defeat at St James’ Park, which meant their fate was no longer in their hands.

“We knew we needed a miracle, but it never came. That’s it. At the end of the season, the league table doesn’t lie,” Arteta said.

“It’s true that Chelsea won the Champions League last season with 67 points. We have 69 points and are out, but that is the current level and demands of this league. Today I am unable to assess the season. I’m sorry, but I’m still in a lot of pain from what happened on Monday, and I’d like an honest assessment of how well we did. I can assure you that we have squeezed the lemon as hard as we possibly could to extract every last drop. 

“We’ve arrived at the point where we’ve arrived. We already know where we need to go. The guilt of not reaching that level is excruciating.

When asked how much satisfaction he gets from qualifying for the Europa League, Arteta replied, “To be honest, I don’t get much. I’m still in pain today. That’s why I need the dust to settle and a few days off because I don’t think I’ll be able to reflect on the season as it is today.”

Everton secured their Premier League survival with a stunning comeback win over Crystal Palace on Thursday, and they played like a team on the downhill side of an emotional roller coaster at Emirates Stadium.

Frank Lampard made six changes, and despite Donny van de Beek’s goal, which made it 2-1 at half-time, their manager was content knowing that relegation was avoided.

“My immediate reaction is absolute delight and relief that the club has remained in the league,” Lampard said.

“On Thursday, we put in a lot of effort. On Thursday, we had our big final, which we won. This was a little too far. We were in the game at halftime, but there were concentration issues in the second half, as evidenced by the goals at set-pieces. We weren’t in the right positions and didn’t deal with things.

“This was a difficult game for the players, and Arsenal started the game with a goal in mind. There’s nothing there for me to get too worked up about with the players. The reflections will cover the last three and a half months of my stay.”


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