- Martin Keown has told Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to win Europa League title
- He claims that is the only avenue for them to qualify for Champions League next season
- Arsenal have a very slim chance of finishing among top four this season
Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has told Arsene Wenger to prioritize winning the Europa League in a bid to return to Champions League football next season.
The 51-year-old, who spent over a decade at the club believes the Gunners do not have what it take to finish among the top four teams despite the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund last month.
Wenger’s men are currently sixth on the Premier League log and their hopes of a top-four finish at the end of the season seem unachievable with their slim defeat to city rivals Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.
And the club’s legend claims the only realistic option for his former team to play in the Uefa elite tournament would be to replicate Manchester United’s feat by winning the Europa Cup title.
“Arsenal’s season is now the Europa League and the League Cup,” he told the Daily Mail.
“They can still win two trophies and maybe the Europa League will rescue them as it did Manchester United last season.
“Only once these competitions are out of the way at the end of the season can Arsenal start to look at what they do going forwards.
“It is staggering that they are 27 points behind Manchester City. They have won just 13 points away from home — the same as Bournemouth who are 10th in the Premier League.
“With the resources at Arsenal’s disposal, that should not be the case.
“The transfer window was important for Arsenal in attempting to close the gap but on the pitch, where it really matters, some of the results were shocking in January.
“I do not think I have seen a more one-sided North London Derby for years. Petr Cech was by far the best player on the pitch for Arsenal.
“Tottenham’s dominance and the way they were so creative in their play were traits that were once synonymous with Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal. They have now disappeared.
“Alarm bells will be ringing for Wenger. We will see tonight how seriously he takes the challenge of the Europa League.”
Arsenal will battle Ostersunds in the first leg of their Europa League last 32 encounter in Sweden on Thursday evening.
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