Mikael Silvestre has advised Arsenal to forget about their aspirations of Champions League football and to focus on the rebuilding project.
The Gunners have endured three barren years without featuring in Europe’s elite competition, failing to finish in the top four in each of those seasons.
That streak looks extremely unlikely to end this year as Mikel Arteta’s side are eight points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea and have struggled to find momentum at times.
As a result, Silvestre has urged the club to forget about the Champions League credentials they are dreaming about and to push for glory in the Europa League.
“You can’t expect a manager to come in and, in a few months, have a revolution straight away and have things the way that he wants them straight away – he needs time. Clearly, they aren’t where they want to be at the moment,” he told GentingBet.
“He will feel like he can do better and take the team forward but he needs more time. He’s already won trophies at the club so that’s a great start but it’s been difficult getting the squad he wants together.
“There have been young players coming in, some other players leaving, as well as a change in staff, so Arteta needs to deal with that.
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“You almost need to forget that this is Arsenal Football Club who should be challenging for the title and Champions League, as this isn’t going to happen for a little while as Arteta builds up a squad who is capable of this – he needs time to do that!
“The Europa League is a competition they should really go for. They have the squad for it. Winning the Europa League is the joker card.
“Arsenal can have a nice trophy in their cabinet and guarantee Champions League football for the club. So, it is a big, big competition for Arsenal.”