Wenger 'very sad' to leave Arsenal with Europa League heartbreak

Saturday, 05 May, 2018

Steve Sidwell, who came through the Arsenal youth system, told Sky Sports: "Of late, their big players haven't turned up on big occasions, when they should do".

The success of Sean McVay, the 32-year-old coach of the NFL's Los Angeles Rams, has prompted strong backing for a similar appointment at the Emirates, sources said.

It means Arsenal's season is effectively over, as the three remaining Premier League games will only determine whether the team finishes sixth or seventh - their worst-ever campaign under Wenger.

Wenger's final season at Arsenal will end without a trophy after they were knocked out of the Europa League by Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals on Thursday.

'I feel sad because I love this club and what it represents and you don't leave 22 years of your life and walk away easy. "I'm like the team, very sad and very disappointed".

Atletico was demoted to the Europa League after failing to get past the group stage of the Champions League for the first time in five seasons. "When you go out of the competition it is very hard to take. I think there are some good ingredients in our team and they will bounce back", he said.

Atletico have reached four European finals since Simeone took over in 2012 but this was the first time they had won a semi-final at their new 68,000-capacity stadium, which they moved into a year ago after 51 seasons at the Vicente Calderon.

Simeone was sent off just 12 minutes into the first leg of the semi-final tie last week after insulting a match official, as well as for improper conduct. I've seen this a lot this season and it needs to be said because it needs to be dug out because we expect better from him. "Looking at the chances over the two games, the least we could say is we are very frustrated", Wenger added.

Salzburg produced a rousing second-half performance to wipe out a 2-0 first-leg deficit, but Marseille became the first French side to reach a European final since 2004 despite a 2-1 defeat on the night.