Mikel Arteta anticipates Arsenal’s Europa return.


Mikel Arteta has admitted that he’s looking forward to competing with Arsenal in this season’s Europa League.

The Gunners missed out on European football last season for the first time since 1995/96, shortly before Arsene Wenger took charge.

Arsenal became regular fixtures in the Champions League under Wenger, qualifying for the competition for 19 consecutive seasons, before they dropped down into the Europa League for the 2017/18 campaign.

Three seasons of European football at that level followed before Arsenal missed out on European qualification altogether – Arteta leading the club to an eighth-place Premier League finish in his first season in charge.

But after coming fifth last season, Arteta’s Arsenal are now back in the Europa League, and the Spaniard admitted to the club’s official website that he’s looking forward to their group games against PSV Eindhoven, Bodo/Glimt and FC Zurich

“We missed it last year so much: those nights at the Emirates, the atmosphere, playing against European teams. The preparation is very different, and it’s great,” Arteta said.

“We have to maintain the level of performance we are at right now and the demand will be to do it every three days, which is what you are hoping for when you are at this club,” he added about the need for squad rotation.

“Rotation depends on the level of the opposition, the state of our squad and where everybody is. Let’s take it game by game, see how the fitness of the team is and we’ll make the best possible decisions.

“Does rotation mean we rotate two players, three or 10? You have to weigh up the amount of minutes they have spent together [on the pitch] and find a strategy to get the best out of the team and get the right balance without dropping the level of performance. You need to win today and play a team who is going to get you there.”

Arsenal currently top the Premier League table after winning their first four games, the last of which was a 2-1 comeback win over Fulham at the Emirates Stadium





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