Arsenal’s final four games of the season will have very little riding on them, with the Gunners only realistic hope of European football next season destroyed after they were dumped out of the Europa League by Villarreal.
The defeat stung that little bit extra for the Arsenal faithful after it was at the hands of former manager Unai Emery, who could barely hide his delight at getting one over on his old team come the full-time whistle.
Their elimination means Arsenal stare down the barrel of no European football for the first time in 25 years, which will undoubtedly have serious financial repercussions.
Mikel Arteta’s future at the club has been called into question after the Spaniard has overseen the Gunners worst home form for more than four decades, breaking some unwanted records in the process.
Before the turn of the year, the Gunners endured a particularly horrific run of form which saw them lose four consecutive home games – the first time they have done that since 1959.
All this, tied with a number of questionable tactical decisions, have led the calls for Arteta to be relieved of his duties to grow louder, but Liverpool icon John Barnes thinks the Gunners should hold fire before they think about sacking the 39-year-old.
Barnes has cited his old side as an example, calling on those with the power at Arsenal to back their manager like Liverpool did with Jurgen Klopp.
Barnes said: “Arsenal must learn from Klopp’s first two years at Liverpool and stick with Arteta.
“Arsenal will look at what Arteta is doing and realise that he is building for the future with the young players like Saka and Smit Rowe.
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“They’re looking to promote and play young players so Arsenal can’t demand instant success as they’re not spending hundreds of millions of pounds on players so, therefore, they have to put up with what they’re doing now if they believe in the long-term future of the club.”
The Liverpool legend continued: “It may take two or three years for Arsenal to get where they want to be with Arteta but they have to put up with that and keep positive and support the manager like Liverpool did with Jurgen Klopp during his first two years and Liverpool have benefitted from that.”