rsenal boss Mikel Arteta says the club’s decline has been ongoing for five years.
Arteta has warned it was always going to be a long term rebuilding job because they started falling behind from when they started finishing outside of the Champions League places under previous boss Arsene Wenger.
Gunners manager Arteta said: “We have not been competing with the top clubs in this country for five years.
“It is not as if this process started six months ago – it started five years ago and you can see this trend.
“I understand those concerns because when you are out of the Champions League for five years it is not just a casualty, it’s a trend.
“This year is not year one. I think a project has its phases and I am telling you we are in a much better position today to be where we want to be very soon, if we do what we have to do.
“But we have to be ruthless. There is no time to waste and there is a lot to do.
“What I felt was a deep pain because where this club is at the moment, with everything it has been through over the last months, I had a feeling that if we could take the team to the final, it could be a great turning point.
“I know that we have disappointed a lot of people as well, and that really hurts because we want to give the best to everybody, but one thing I made clear is that to do what we want to do, I have no doubts that we are going to achieve it.
“If not, I wouldn’t be sat here.”