SportsCL Qualification: Arteta Agrees with Wenger amid Rule Changes

CL Qualification: Arteta Agrees with Wenger amid Rule Changes


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Amid the new Champions League’s qualification rule changes, Mikel Arteta and Arsene Wenger seem to be on the same template of thoughts.

Amid the new Champions League's qualification rule changes, Mikel Arteta and Arsene Wenger seem to be on the same template of thoughts.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has previously suggested that the Gunners ‘have to be’ in the Champions League as major changes to the competition’s format are set to be introduced.


The north London side are currently embroiled in a battle to return to Europe’s top table ahead of next season.

Having not qualified for the Champions League since the 2016/17 season – and having had no European football of any kind this term – Arsenal are well placed to seal their place in the competition.

Mikel Arteta’s men currently sit fourth in the Premier League and hold a three point advantage over their nearest rivals Tottenham Hotspur, as well as a game in-hand.

Qualifying for the Champions League might well be set to become easier sooner rather than later, with UEFA set to adopt the ‘Swiss-model’. Whilst qualification will still be awarded to performance from the previous season, extra spots could well be handed out because of historical performance should a side finish outside of the Champions League places, with further routes available.

With as many as two extra slots potentially available to Premier League sides, that could see added security in the future for the Gunners as they attempt to remain in the competition. That will be welcome news to Arteta, who has already emphasised the importance of top-level European football.

He said: “We have to be there, we should be there. Our history obliges to be there but we are not there yet and there are still a lot of games to play.

“We have an excellent group of people at the club who believe in what we do and then you have to put performance into results.”

That verdict is a view that is shared by legendary Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. During his time in north London, the Frenchman accumulated an incredible record of qualifying for the competition in 19 consecutive seasons and was continually aware of how pivotal a place in the Champions League could be.

As a matter of fact, Wenger even prioritised a second-placed finish in the Premier League for the 2004/05 campaign ahead of potential silverware.

He said: “That will be our target of course. I must say, it’s even a bigger target than the FA Cup final [against Manchester United] because that is a guaranteed place in the Champions League, it’s not a qualifying game in the Champions League.

“Let’s say I would rather achieve my first target first and the first target and then the second target. The first target is to get in the Champions League.”

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