Soccer-Under-fire Arteta says Arsenal squad needs changes


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Sheffield United v Arsenal - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - April 11, 2021 Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta Pool via REUTERS/Tim Keeton

(Reuters) - Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said the north London club needed changes in the squad to turn their fortunes around after a disappointing season, and added that he was confident the club owners would back him.

Arsenal were knocked out of the second-tier Europa League on Thursday and sit 10th in the Premier League, facing the prospect of no European football for the first time in 25 years.

"The squad needs changing," the Spaniard was quoted as saying in British media before Sunday's home game against West Bromwich Albion.

"There were already a lot of changes in December, something that has not been done in years, but it tells us where we were. Things are going to have to change and the owners are going to back it up."

Arteta, who guided Arsenal to the FA Cup last season, has come under fire following the team's poor display but when asked if he believed he could still manage a top side, he said: "Yes."

"We know what has been going on inside here for the last 18 months. We know. We only know, the ones that are here. How we have built that is incredible."

Arsenal, who finished eighth last season, are 14 points behind fourth-placed Leicester City and 31 points behind league leaders Manchester City, with both teams having played a game more than the Londoners.

"Time is catching up right now," Arteta added. "It's a trend, it's years now that this has been happening. If the distance and the margins with the rest become too big, then it's almost impossible to do it."

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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