Mikel Arteta has been warned he could be sacked as Arsenal manager if they fail to win the Europa League this season.
The London side are struggling to qualify for Europe through their domestic form as they sit ninth in the table and four points behind Spurs.
However, a big chance has opened up in front of them to qualify for the competition again by winning it outright, providing they can find their way to the final.
And former Tottenham striker Darren Bent believes that is the only outcome that can make Arteta remain at Arsenal if they do not achieve a place in Europe though the league.
“When Arsenal were looking for a manager there was two people up for grabs: Arteta and Ancelotti,” Bent told talkSPORT . “I thought Ancelotti should have been the one to go to Arsenal and Arteta to go to Everton.
“The early signs were really good in terms of look how quickly he [Arteta] picked up a trophy. Yes, this season has been really inconsistent but I don’t want Arsenal to turn into a club where they keep sacking managers – at some stage you’ve got to give someone a little bit of time.
“The FA Cup papers over a lot of cracks and if Arsenal go out of the Europa League and finish tenth or eleventh, I think he could be out of a job.”
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Despite the disappointing draw in the first leg against Slavia Prague, Arsenal are still favourites to progress to the semi-finals when the two teams meet on Thursday.
Arteta is fully aware of the challenge and expectations on him and the team. He said: “It is not pressure – it is our responsibility [to qualify].”
“The club we represent has high demands and that is the minimum we can ask for and we have to, over time, work to deliver those goals because it is what we get asked for.
“We go back to what we used to say when those teams were in a position not to qualify for Europe we are talking about similar things.
“It is true there are some really good examples of teams that were rebuilding their teams and it helped them in their project, but I would rather be in Europe.”