Two years have not been completed yet and during this time Arsenal, under Mikel Arteta, experienced a couple of false dawns. Meanwhile, the sacked coach of Arsenal, back in 2019, Unai Emery joined Villarreal and helped them improve. Right now, Arteta discovers himself in the wilderness while Unai Emery would travel to Poland for the finals of the UEFA Europa League.
"See you in Poland." ??
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) May 6, 2021
The Gunners would have to spend time in the Premier League next season because any realistic hopes of European football in 2021-22 are thin – Arteta is left in the cold and after last night, surely, he even lost the support from those who kept faith in him despite the failures.
In the first leg of the semifinal, Arteta highlighted the way goal and tried to motivate everyone, but in the Emirates, his plans and its application lacked the edge to get past Unai Emery’s astuteness. When it was required for the Gunners to stand tall and attack, they fired blanks.
After 17 successive seasons in the Champions League, the Gunners dropped into Europe’s second-tier competition four years ago, and right now, since 1996 they will be confined to the domestic game for the first time – what a disgrace for such an elite club!
Arteta was outdone over two legs by Unai Emery.
Arteta had overcomplicated the matters in Spain and went for broke at the Emirates with an attack-minded lineup that, on paper, promised a lot.
Instead, his players produced nothing and struggled hugely in terms of correlation with each other and play as a unit.
— Villarreal CF English (@Eng_Villarreal) May 6, 2021
Despite having the better of the ball and having more chances, the Gunners were unable to find a way past Geronimo Rulli.
It was Villarreal who had the first opportunity of the night though and former Arsenal player Francis Coquelin saw a shot turned behind for a corner within five minutes. The hosts did then press, but it was Dani Parejo who came closest to the opener when his freekick dipped just over the crossbar.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck the woodwork after Villarreal failed to clear a corner, and Emile Smith Rowe teed him up again but he was denied by Rulli.
Arsenal really sacked Arsene Wenger cause he couldn't win the league & only made Champions League.
Hired Unai Emery & sacked him cause he couldn't get Champions League and only made Europa League.
Hired Mikel Arteta, lost to the guy he replaced & can't make Europa League
— JAKE BUCKLEY ?? (@TheMasterBucks) May 6, 2021
Arsenal came out flying after the break though. Nicolas Pepe volleyed a Kieran Tierney cross off target, and Smith Rowe then did similarly after Hector Bellerin had a cross find its way to him.
Paco Alcacer made the most of a Thomas Partey error and set Gerard Moreno up, but the forward missed a chance that he would have expected to make the net bulge with.
Pepe and Bellerin would cause more problems though, combining to tee up Aubameyang once more, only for Gabon forward to strike the post before Raul Albiol cleared.
There was no quality, tempo, and spark. It was a team of individuals hoping for some sort of inspiration, but it never came – Arteta is in a total mess and maybe the Gunners might stick to him in the next season, still, one can expect them to ponder hard about the reconstruction of this elite unit from top to the bottom.