Ian Wright has echoed Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta's sentiments, saying that Gunners not making the top four should not be seen as a failure. The Gunners legend believes the progress made by the club is visible, and it's time to build on from there.
Arteta's side need a few things to go their way on the final day of the season to qualify for the UEFA Champions League. They need to beat Everton at home and hope Norwich City beat Tottenham Hotspur, as Spurs need just a draw to finish fourth.
Speaking to Premier League Productions (via The Metro), Wright highlighted that no Gunners fan expected the club to finish in the top four at the start of the season. So missing out on the top four will be a disappointment but not a failure. He said:
"It's progress. At the start of the season, no Arsenal fan would have had them in the top four at this stage. You get in there, and you raise the hopes of the people. With a young inexperienced team, they will be inconsistent. It's twice now where we've had results where they've lost three on the spin. I said if Arsenal can finish sixth because they finished eighth last season and eighth the previous season as well, that is good progress and steady progress."
"This season gave people a little look into what it might have been like to finish fourth and what market they could shop in. They flew close to the sun, and the fans went with them with their eyes wide open. What we've seen that when right when it really matters, the players didn't respond in a pressurised situation.Against Newcastle and Tottenham, it just didn't happen, and you have to say this is where we are. It was disappointment but not failure."
Arsenal have big summer ahead
Arsenal have a thin squad at the moment, with more players expected to leave in the summer.
Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are expect to depart on free transfers. They are yet to sign a replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who left in January on a free transfer to join Barcelona.