LUCAS TORREIRA has told his Arsenal team-mates a club of the Gunners’ size should be playing in the Champions League.
Arsenal have failed to qualify for Europe’s elite club competition for the past two seasons and are currently off the pace in their bid for a Premier League top-four finish.
Unai Emery’s side sit sixth on the back of Sunday’s 3-1 loss at champions Manchester City, a point below Manchester United and three behind fourth-placed Chelsea.
Summer-signing Torreira admits his team must improve recent form, which has seen them gain only ten points from the last 21 on offer, if they are to achieve their aim.
‘Just a few weeks ago, (Manchester) United were obviously behind us but it’s happened and it’s something we have to deal with,’ said the 22-year-old Uruguay midfielder. ‘We obviously don’t want that form to happen again.
‘As players, you always need to be fighting for an objective when you walk out onto the pitch and for us that means qualifying for the Champions League.
‘We know it’s not going to be easy because we are up against some great teams such as Chelsea and Manchester United, but we need to stand firm and battle in every game.
‘The squad is focused on qualifying for the Champions League. A big club like Arsenal deserves to be playing in that competition.’
■ CASEY STONEY’S Manchester United are relishing the challenge of beating Arsenal tonight and reaching the League Cup final in their first season back in the women’s game. Women’s Super League sides Liverpool, Everton and West Ham have all been defeated en route to a semi-final trip to Arsenal, a club United head coach Stoney helped win trophies during two spells. ‘History tells you they are the biggest club in women’s football,’ Stoney said.