Mikel Arteta’s project should return Arsenal to the apex of English football again. The Gunners are well ahead of schedule in year three and are in pole position to claim their first Premier League title since 2003/04.
For most of Arsene Wenger’s lengthy tenure, Arsenal were a shoo-in for Champions League football. Even if the Gunners weren’t competing for the title, Wenger always found a way of sneaking his side into the top four. Given the context of a stadium move which tightened the club’s budget, Arsenal’s consistency was mightily impressive.
However, turbulence and toxicity plagued the end of the Frenchman’s reign. The fanbase was divided and the players suffered on the pitch. The club’s fall from grace was drastic, and it’s taken a rookie young coach to rediscover stability.
Once Champions League regulars, Arsenal’s demise means they haven’t appeared in Europe’s premier club competition since 2017. It’s been the Europa League or nothing since then, and supporters have been forced to endure some dark European nights in recent times that epitomised their downfall.
Arsenal’s worst Europa League exits – ranked
Here’s how we rank Arsenal’s worst Europa League exits since their first involvement in 2017/18.
5. Round of 16 vs Sporting CP (2022/23)
This defeat could slide up the ranking should Arsenal’s 2022/23 campaign end without the Premier League title. Nevertheless, many believe that the club’s round of 16 exit has done them a favour in the title race.
Fewer games. More time to rest. Let’s see.
Nevertheless, this was a competition Mikel Arteta took seriously and he would’ve certainly been disappointed by his side’s performance over the two legs. Sporting CP were impressive, and perhaps Arsenal were guilty of taking the Portuguese side lightly. Ruben Amorim’s team advanced into the last eight after Gabriel Martinelli missed in the shootout.
It was a great tie, but the Gunners underperformed. They had a great chance to go all the way, but the Premier League is the overwhelming priority.
Continued on the next slide…