Unai Emery has asked Arsenal’s supporters to trust him as he embarks on a long-term rebuilding process in North London.
The game represented their last chance to qualify for next season’s Champions League, after a fifth-place finish in the Premier League.
Emery acknowledged that a place in Europe’s premier club competition was an ambition he hadn’t achieved, but said that the Gunners had progressed in his first season.
“We knew it would be difficult, and we are in our process. I want to say to all the supporters we are in this process,” he told a press conference.
“Really the first target has not been achieved this year, but I think we are closer, firstly in the Premier League, and second in this competition, playing the final.
“Next year is a big challenge for us to take one more step on our way, in our will with the young players.
“We are disappointed today, but in general, I think we made a new step improving and being competitive. We’ll have to take one more step next year.”
Failure to qualify for the Champions League will certainly affect Arsenal in the transfer market, but Emery again asked for patience.
He hoped Arsenal’s status would attract players, but also believes they have the players in place to achieve their ambitions.
“I think Arsenal is a big name in the football world, and a lot of players want to play here. We are in one process and we need in this process, to be strong,” the 47-year-old continued.
“The transfers, I don’t know for next year, but the club is working to improve and to get all we need to go on our way.
“Also, we have a lot of players with the possibility to improve. We are playing a lot of young players who were experiencing a final for the first time.
“I am positive for the future, creating our way with young players, and getting better as we go.”