Edu says Arsenal ‘have to win’ as Champions League target is thrown out in search for silverware

There has been a consistent tone about Arsenal over the past six years that the necessity to return to the Champions League is the number one priority. However, it is, and should, not be this binary for a club this size.

Sure, returning to the Champions League for Arsenal is an important factor but if that is the goal, that is not good enough in the context of Arsenal football club. From the mistakes of the past ten years to the work that has been done to change the Gunners’ direction, the UCL cannot be the end game.

Therefore, to hear Arsenal technical director Edu answer a question about the Champions League being a necessity for the club and to answer it as he did encourages me, and hopefully you, immensely. It is the mindset we should have.

“Here [points to head] we have to, in mind, win things. That’s the most important thing for us. I think we have to be in our mind, we have to win, win. And The Champions League is a consequence to something, but I like to think a little bit bigger.”

Yes. This is what I want to see and hear from the club. Not that qualifying for the Champions League is their aim but getting the club back to winning the biggest titles is. This does not mean that the parameters of success for next season change, far from it, it suggests that progress toward that ultimate goal continues as the measure

For me, and as I argued with former Arsenal defender William Gallas, next season’s progression is the expectation. Qualifying for the Champions League is a good measure of progress because it is the only way up from what was achieved in 2021/22.

However, Gallas’ expectation is for Arsenal to win the Premier League. Could I see the Arsenal of five years ago achieving that? No. Can I see the trajectory of this side, with this coach and the decisions made in the past two years on a track toward that goal? Yes, definitely.

There will be disagreements amongst fans, pundits and commentators about the ‘process’, however much I have grown to dislike that word, but ultimately Arsenal need to keep moving forward. Stand still on a slope and eventually you’ll start to move backwards and that is what occurred during the end of Arsene Wenger’s tenure.

The investment, the development and the improvement over the past two years are bearing fruit. This season will be an incredibly intriguing one that will hopefully provide plenty of answers to the questions of what this side can achieve.

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