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Arsenal boss Unai Emery gives one reason why Gunners may miss out on top four

UNAI EMERY seemed to be offering up his first potential excuses if he fails to get Arsenal back in the Champions League this season.


Unai Emery has said that Arsenal could miss out on the top four (Image: GETTY )

Apparently, it is because the Premier League is “difficult”.


“Getting to the Champions League is our demand,” Emery admitted. “We want to play in the Champions League but also we know or process needs to be with patience because there are another five very strong teams with very good players and very big performances.

“The Premier League is the most difficult championship in all the world. There is not another country with this difficulty to take the top four places and play in the Champions League.

“Maybe now in Spain, they have something similar – Valencia are struggling for the top four also. But here the biggest teams in the world play in one championship.”

The message when he arrived last summer was simple – Arsenal need to get back into regular Champions League football to give their model of financial sustainability chance to succeed if they are ever going to challenge for top honours.


Emery does not shy away from that ambition but when asked whether the job he is doing should be considered a success or a failure depending on where Arsenal end up by the end of the season, he skirted the issue.

“We want to get with this club to point where we the best club in England and the world,” he said. “But it is a long process. Sometimes, like today, we need to talk about patience.”

Unfortunately, with his Spanish accent still heavy approaching a year in England, the final words sounds like “passions” – something that seemed completely missing from Arsenal’s 3-1 midweek defeat at Wolves.

Unai Emery has said that the Premier League is 'difficult' (Image: GETTY )

It puts extra pressure on Sunday’s trip to Leicester – but Arsenal are hoping to have back striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the calculated decision to leave him out of the trip to Molineux evidently backfired.


Emery revealed that club doctors ruled that the procedure on his sinuses that the striker underwent this week could not wait until the end of the season.

So the management team were forced to pick a game in the past two weeks that in which to try to cope without him.

“We decided two weeks ago to do it for Wednesday’s game,” he said. “Otherwise it would have had to be for this game on Sunday.

“It was not possible for him to miss the matches next week against Valencia or Brighton instead.

Aubameyang could return to action after a sinus opersation (Image: GETTY )

“We also decided not to do it against Crystal Palace or Napoli. But the doctor said to do it as quickly as possible because he needed it done. We decided this match was the best in those weeks.”


He was back in training yesterday and Emery will assess him today to see if he is in contention to start Sunday’s game.

“He trained today and if he can train tomorrow, I think we can think he’s ready for Sunday,” Emery said.

“If he can train normally tomorrow, starting is even a possibility.”

ARSENAL PROBABLE XI: Leno; Sokratis Koscielny, Monreal; Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Kolasinac; Lacazette, Ozil, Aubameyang

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