Arteta – We have the expectation to move forward

Mikel Arteta began his final pre-match press conference of the season with a message about stability, progress and togetherness.

The manager took the opportunity to summarise the season as a whole, while acknowledging that Champions League qualification is still possible on Sunday as the Premier League campaign draws to a close.

Here’s what he said to the assembled media at our London Colney training ground on Friday.

“Well, first of all, thank you all,” he said. “And probably this is the last day that I'm going to see you after Sunday and then we are going to holiday, so just a quick reflection.

“I think it's been a long journey again and a very challenging one this season, but I think that we have come a long way as a club and as a team. I think we have transformed the energy, the vibe and expectation of this football club again.

“We've done it together, showing incredible unity between the staff, the players, everybody in the club, and especially with our people, which has been incredibly supportive throughout the season, especially in difficult moments.

“And now I can sense that we have the hope and expectations to move this club to the place that it deserves. We've done it the way we predicted with the project we set a year ago. With a lot of young players, with the senior players helping and with our crowds again in our stadium and with a real sense of connection around the place.

“So we are back in Europe. We don't know where, it will be decided. Hopefully, it will be Champions League. I believe that we're going to do what we have to do. We are going to be cheering for Norwich to do what they can do, for sure, and after that, we want to take the club to the next level.

“That's the ambition. In order to do that we have a very clear plan again, how we want to do it and execute it, and there are no secrets. We need resources and we need to increase the quality and the depth of the squad as long we maintain in the same way who we are as a club and the people that we have next to us.

“That's going to be the challenge the following season, but hopefully in front of our people, we can live another great day.”

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