President Paul Kagame has called for fundamental change at Arsenal FC following their disappointing exit in the 2018 Europa League.
Arsenal was knocked out of the Europa League by Atletico Madrid in Arsene Wenger’s last European match in charge on Thursday night.
The Gunners lost 1-0 in the Wanda Metropolitano stadium courtesy of a goal from ex-Chelsea striker Diego Costa in first-half stoppage time, a week after they were held to a 1-1 draw in north London.
Kagame, an ardent Arsenal fan didn’t mince his words following the disappointing exit. He said on his twitter account, @PaulKagame, said, “As I had said way back and just as a good observer…something fundamental needed to change at/about the club. But if anything changed it was not the right one. All the best to all involved! We still need Arsenal to go back where it belongs- up there among the best in the game!
“My take on my beloved Club Arsenal- a very good one at the game and a very good coach like Arsenal Wenger, this should not have been the kind of ending of an era. The coach is leaving and club trophy-less it was long coming! I am still a committed fan going forward, Blame the owners.
Arsenal’s luck appeared to be out early on as they lost captain Laurent Koscielny to injury, with the France international now a potential doubt for the World Cup as a result.
After the match, Kagame attributed the club’s failures to issues with the owners but pledged to remain a loyal fan.
Arsenal missed a whole host of chances to put themselves in a commanding position in the tie in the first leg, with Diego Simeone’s side a man down after just 10 minutes.
Arsenal went into the second leg in Madrid knowing they had to score due to the away goals rule, but an attack spearheaded by Alexandre Lacazette managed just seven shots.
Failure to win the Europa League also means Arsenal will endure a second consecutive season without Champions League football, with the club already confirmed to have missed out on a top-four finish.
The final will be contested by Atletico and Marseille after the French side snatched a dramatic extra-time goal in the second leg of their tie against RB Salzburg to win 3-2 on aggregate.
Despite his domestic achievements, Wenger has never won a European trophy with Arsenal.