Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal bottle the league following their 3-0 defeat to Brighton. Image: twitter @Arsenal Buzz

Mikel Arteta acknowledges Champions League challenge

Mikel Arteta acknowledges the significance of leading his team into the knockout stages of the Champions League.


Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal bottle the league following their 3-0 defeat to Brighton. Image: twitter @Arsenal Buzz

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta admits he must prove he deserves to be ranked among the Champions League’s elite managers by leading his team deep into the knockout stages.

Arteta’s side will qualify for the last 16 if Sevilla beat PSV Eindhoven in Wednesday’s early kick-off or if the Gunners avoid defeat against Lens later in the evening at the Emirates Stadium.

ALSO READ: Arsenal easily handle Sevilla as Trossard, Saka shine brighter


That would be a significant moment for Arteta, who established himself as a Premier League force last season by leading Arsenal to a second place finish but is competing in the Champions League as a manager for the first time.

Arsenal are back in Europe’s elite club competition after a seven-year absence, with Arteta unable to win the Europa League in three attempts during his tenure with the north Londoners.

ALSO READ: Sevilla’s Alonso urges redemption against Arsenal

Asked on Tuesday if he has something to prove in Europe, Arteta said: “For sure. We had to come back into Europe being the club we want to be, have that presence and the results that tell them we are back in a strong way.

“We haven’t done that yet and it needs to be done.”

Arsenal have won three of their four Group B matches, beating Sevilla twice and PSV, with their lone defeat coming at Lens.

ALSO READ: WATCH: “I feel sick to be part of this” – Arteta after Arsenal defeat

Arteta’s men would seal top spot in the group with a revenge victory on Wednesday, an achievement the Spaniard would not take for granted.

“100 per cent not. You have to sweat, dig in a lot and play well in games to deserve to win them. We are playing against really tough opponents,” he said.

“Tomorrow is going to be a really difficult game but hopefully we can be better than them.

“I am enjoying it, it’s a great feeling. It makes you proud, it makes you feel that it is the level the club should be at and we are competing really well so let’s continue to do so.”

Fabio Vieira

Arteta revealed Fabio Vieira has had an operation on a groin injury that will sideline the midfielder until the end of the year.

ALSO READ: Manchester United, Arsenal slump out of League Cup

“Yes, we’ve got a problem with him,” he said. “He’s been having some discomfort. We tried to have some conservative treatment with him.

“It wasn’t improving so we sent him to see a specialist and the advice was to have an operation in his groin.

“We expect him to be out for weeks now. We don’t expect him to (be back before January).”

© Agence France-Presse