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Written by Martin Graham | May 17 2022
Arsenal crashed near the finish line in the race to return to the UEFA Champions League after falling to Newcastle United at St James’ Park in the Premier League match on Monday.
Arsenal have not participated in the first European club championship since 2017 and last season, and have not participated in any European competition for the first time in more than two decades. As they reset time by securing a place in the UEFA Europa League next season, their goal of returning to the Champions League was all but defeated with a loss to a determined Newcastle United side.
The Magpies were playing for nothing but their pride, having lost to Arsenal 17 times out of 19 matches. They have already secured their future in the Premier League after a choppy season most of which was spent in a relegation battle.
While Arsenal showed almost no urgency or lack of motivation to win, the Magpies, in front of their new owners, enthusiastic fans and celebrity supporters, did everything they could to show their growth under new coach Eddie Howe, who described the match as the best he managed since taking the role.
On the other hand, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta cut a confused figure for more than half of the match as he had no plans on how to launch his team.
Speaking after the game to Sky SportsThe former Manchester City assistant manager said: “It was a really tough night. Newcastle deserved to win the game comfortably, they were much better than us from the start to the last minute. We had nothing in the game.
“They were much better in every department. We were poor with the ball. A lot of things happened during the night, with the substitutions we had to make through injuries, but that’s no excuse. Newcastle deserved to win the match.”
Arteta admitted his fears from the first minute
The Spaniard also admitted that he could see mistakes from the start of the match but his men were unable to implement the in-game changes he tried to make. also said Sky Sports He expressed his disappointment with his team, while clearly stating that his team selection may also have contributed to the problem.
“[I told my players] “I am very disappointed,” he said. “Newcastle were 10 times better than us and they totally deserved the match. The performance was not close to the level if we wanted to play in the Champions League.
“When you see the team we have at the moment, there are a lot of question marks in a lot of different situations, because of the injuries and suspensions we’ve had. But it’s not an excuse. Today we weren’t at the races.”
He continued, “We tried to change some things, but the execution was very bad and the goals we gave were very bad. This is what we should think about. It is true that we could not deal with the match that we had to play here.”
Like every coach in such situations, Arteta also tried to rally his team and the fans to get behind them ahead of the last game against Everton. However, their north London rival Tottenham Hotspur, with whom they are racing in the first four races, secured Norwich City on the final day making it unlikely they will reclaim fourth place.