The manager of Arsenal football club, Mikel Arteta believes his team could finish in the top four despite losing control of the race to Tottenham Hotspur when they lost 2-0 at the hands of Newcastle United on May 16.
Ahead of the club’s last Premier League game of the season which is against Everton, the coach of the 5th placed club noted that the Premier League game between Crystal Palace and Everton has made him believe that anything is possible on the last day of the Premier League campaign.
Recall that Everton fought from behind to defeat in-form Crystal Palace 3-2 at Goodison Park on Thursday. Even though the game was inconsequential to Crystal Palace, Patrick Vieira’s team played the game as if their survival in the league depended on it. Despite that, Everton used Villa to escape relegation.
Mikel Arteta is drawing inspiration from the game in respect to the Premier League game between Arsenal’s rival Tottenham Hotspur and relegated Norwich City. The Spanish tactician noted that the relegated side could play as if they have something at stake when they face Tottenham on May 22 and probably defeat the Champions League-bound team.
Mikel Arteta said: “[The Everton game] gives me more encouragement about what can happen on the last day at Norwich. This only happens in this league, it’s what makes this league so incredible. In many other countries, with nothing to play for you don’t see performances like this [from Crystal Palace] – it makes us hopeful something can happen.
“It’s very possible. Looking back, I’ve been back a few years and seen a few examples of things like this happening at the end of the season. The longer the game is close, the more I am hopeful.
“We are back in Europe, we don’t know where, hopefully, it will be in the Champions League – we’ll do what we have to do and we will be cheering for Norwich.”
💬 "We're going to be cheering for Norwich and after that, we're going to take this club to the next level."— Arsenal (@Arsenal) May 20, 2022
A few words from the boss ahead of our final pre-match press conference of the season 👇 #ARSEVE | @M8Arteta pic.twitter.com/dH3ZTI1ps9
Can Mikel Arteta help Arsenal qualify for the Champions League in the 2021-2022 season?
Mikel Arteta can still help Arsenal to qualify for the 2022-2023 UEFA Champions League by ensuring that his team defeat Everton on May 22.
However, Arsenal’s qualification is 99 percent in the hands of Tottenham Hotspur because if Spurs defeat the relegated Norwich City with any scoreline, the outcome of the Arsenal vs Everton match would be inconsequential.
Note that Tottenham Hotspur are currently occupying the 4th spot with 68 points in 37 games. While Arsenal are sitting on the 5th spot with 66 points in 37 games, two points away from Spurs.
Based on the caliber of the team (bottom-placed Norwich City) Tottenham Hotspur are playing against on Sunday at 16:00, it will be a great miracle if Tottenham draw or lose the league game. Hence, the UEFA Champions League dream is more or less over for Arsenal.
Arteta read out his scorecard at Arsenal for the 2021-2022 season:
Before coach Mikel Arteta began his press conference ahead of Sunday’s clash with Everton, the Spanish coach decided to read out the progress his team has made so far.
In his speech, Arteta who has been the coach of Arsenal since 2019, said the fact that Arsenal which finished 8th in the last two seasons respectively, would finish 4th or 5th this season is a sign that his team is making progress.
“It has been a long journey and a very challenging one this season, but I think we have come a long way as a club”, Mikel Arteta said. “As a team, I think we have transformed the energy, vibe, and expectation of this club again and we have done it together.
“I have hope and expectation to move this club to the place it deserves. We have done it the way we predicted with the project we set a year ago, with a lot of young players, with senior players, and with our crowd in our stadium with a real sense of connection around the place.
“After [the weekend] we will take the club to the next level and that is the ambition. To do that we have to have a very clear plan again about how we want to do it and execute it.
“It is no secret we need resources and we need to increase the quality and depth of the squad, as long as we maintain at the same time who we are as a club and the people we have next to us. That will be the challenge the following season, but hopefully, in front of our people, we have a great day.
“We are going to have certain resources, not unlimited. With those, we have to do what we have to do in the best possible way. We don’t know what the rest of the teams will, obviously it will be challenging, it’s not a top-three but a top eight or 10, but we have to find a way to do again what we did last summer.”