Mikel Arteta responds to Lee Dixon’s warning about Arsenal

Arteta's side crashed out of the Europa League at the semi-final stage
Arteta’s side crashed out of the Europa League at the semi-final stage (Picture: Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta has responded to Lee Dixon’s claim that it could take ‘years’ to fix Arsenal’s problems in the wake of their Europa League exit.

The Gunners crashed out of the competition at the hands of Unai Emery’s Villarreal at the semi-final stage after a drab goalless draw in the second leg at the Emirates on Thursday saw them lose the tie 2-1 on aggregate.

Former Arsenal boss Emery got the better of his successor Arteta, who is now under increased pressure given that the north London club are in ninth in the Premier League and facing the prospect of a first season without European football in 25 years.

Unai Emery got the better of his successor
Unai Emery got the better of his successor (Picture: Getty Images)

Arteta has agreed with the sentiment of Dixon’s comment, and admitted the club’s overhaul needs to be ‘ruthless’ in order to get them back challenging with the cream of the crop in England’s top flight.

‘He is right as it has already been years,’ Arteta said. ‘It is not as if this process started six months ago – it started five years ago and you can see this trend.

‘This year is not year one. We have not been competing with the top clubs in this country for five years.

‘We are in a much better position today to be where we want to be very soon, if we do what we have to do. But we have to be ruthless. There is no time to waste.’

‘We cannot be crying and stuck on what we don’t have,’ he added. ‘We have to see what we do have and maximise it to get what we want.”

‘We have some really good examples with teams in this country that have been out of Europe and that was the defining moment in their project to go on and be much stronger.’

MORE : Jack Wilshere ‘feels sorry’ for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after Arsenal’s Europa League exit

MORE : ‘We are just all sad’ – Bernd Leno reveals Arsenal dressing room reaction to Villarreal defeat

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