Mikel Arteta says the philosophy of the team is in place and it is time to take it to the next level.
Although we eased past Brighton 2-0 at the Emirates, Spuds win at Leicester ensured they will represent England in the Europa Conference League come August.
Speaking to the press, Arteta reflected:
“We’re disappointed we’re not in Europe. We’ve made progress on last year in terms of points, 61 points last year would have got you fifth. But it shows the level and as well where the league is developing and the level we need to get to.
“I knew what was happening [between Spuds and Leicester] but they were still playing when we came inside from the game. It wasn’t in our hands. We tried to do our best winning the last five games but it wasn’t enough.”
The general consensus is that staying out of Europe will afford the team more time to focus on securing a UCL spot. When the idea was thrown at the boss, he skirted the question about taking positives from the situation.
“I leave the season sad because this club deserves to be delivering trophies and the Champions League and we haven’t managed to do that.
“Under very challenging circumstances we’ve tried to stick together and do our best. It’s not been enough, now we have to be very critical, including myself.
“Then next season we have to prepare the best possible way and take advantage of that. Hopefully, we can have a pre-season and time to work with the players and try to be a better team.”
Speaking about the summer window, he said.
“They’re going to get better and they’re going to strengthen, so we need to get better,” he said.
“First of all, we have to get our players better, more consistent and help them to improve.
“Our way of playing, our philosophy, I think, is in place. They buy into that and now is the moment to take it to the next level, to improve that and improve our consistency because since December to now, we’ve shown that we’re the second or third-best team in the league. It’s not enough. Six months, the level is high, so we need to do that for 10 months.”