MIKEL ARTETA's Arsenal will look to put their Euro disappointment behind them against Portsmouth tonight.
The Gunners crashed out of the Europa League on Thursday in a disastrous defeat to the Greeks – which could ultimately lead to the departure of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Follow all the latest updates from the Emirates below…
CHANGE OF ART
Mikel Arteta is worried top players are “cracking and cracking” due to the intense strain of the football calendar.
The Arsenal boss suggested the possibility of bigger squads in the Premier League and more players allowed on the bench than the current total of seven.
He said: “I think there are a lot of ways around it. We’re not going to please everyone with the decisions that have to be made.
“What is for sure is that, for players, it’s an enormous amount of games. The intensity is raising every single year, the level of pressure too, and sometimes it’s too much for them.
“If [there is no change], we have to be allowed to have 26 or 28 squad players, which we are not allowed to do, and even more players on the bench.
“But something has to be done, because you can see players are cracking and cracking every season.
“You can sustain that for one season, two seasons, but after three or four seasons you end up paying the price and I think the quality at some stage will drop.
“But we have a history, a massive culture, here with the cup games and to go against that is difficult.”
Dayot Upamecano says he will not decide on his future until the end of the season.
Arsenal reportedly lead the £52m race for the RB Leipzig star.
However, the French defender was quoted by Football.London as saying: “I feel very comfortable in Leipzig. I love my teammates, the staff and my club.
“At the moment I am still under contract until 2021. It is my duty to continue to train well and play my games.
“Even if I know that there are clubs that want me, I stay on the ground with both feet, that's for sure.
“We will discuss my future with my advisors and my family at the end of the season.
“Naturally [I am honoured to be linked to clubs like Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Arsenal].
“But as I said, I'm in Leipzig and I want to achieve my goals with the club.
“I don't feel like talking about anything else right now. I want to end the season with Leipzig in the best possible way and nothing else.”
MORNING GUNNERS FANS
Arsenal are getting ready to play Portsmouth in the FA Cup tonight.
Mikel Arteta’s men were originally scheduled to play Manchester City at the Etihad on Sunday.
But that game was postponed as City reached the Carabao Cup final, which they won 2-1 against Aston Villa.
It means Portsmouth will be the first team to face Arsenal since Thursday’s shock Europa League exit to Olympiacos.
Fans are still talking about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s incredible last-second miss which sealed Arsenal’s fate.
And Arteta’s men will be looking to unleash their rage on Portsmouth, who hold the advantage of playing the tie at Fratton Park.
Back in the Premier League, Arsenal are eight points off the top four with 11 games remaining.
It makes their Europa League exit even more painful.
And the Gunners know they can’t afford to lose Saturday’s clash against West Ham at the Emirates if they want to keep dreaming of Champions League football next season.
But the lack of elite continental football could force Arteta to sell some of his biggest names.
The Spaniard admits the likes of Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette will be hard to keep this summer.
But it could mean new starring roles for Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah, while also raising funds to sign Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey in a £42m swoop.
Mikel Arteta warned that Arsenal face a summer firesale if they miss out on the Champions League for a FOURTH consecutive season.
He said: “The damage caused by the club not being in the Champions League is really big.
“The financial impact is enormous because Arsenal is structured to be in the Champions League.
“While you can sustain being out of it for one year or two years, after that you have to start making big decisions.
“We will have to make decisions about players depending on the scenario we find ourselves in, whether we are in the Champions League, the Europa League or nowhere near either.
“The planning has started and we’ll have a very clear idea of what we want to do, depending on where we finish the season.
“It’s a no-brainer it will be easier to get players to sign contracts with us if we are in the Champions League.
“Everyone knows we want to be in that competition but even without it there are ways to convince players.
“If it’s not them, it’s their wives who want to live in London. We’ll find a way, don’t worry.”
ARSENAL'S RECORD REMAINS
Arsenal's record which saw them go undefeated for a whole Premier League campaign will remain.
They are the only team in Premier League history to lift the golden version of the Premier League.
Arsenal won 26 times and drew 12 in the legendary 2003/04 Premier League campaign.
The record was looking increasingly likely it would be matched by current league leaders Liverpool.
But to Arsenal's relief, Watford stepped up to the plate and defeated the run-away leaders 3-0 at Vicarage Road.
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