Arsenal boss hoping to avoid another Besiktas situation

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has stated that he wants to avoid finishing the Premier League season in fourth place and qualifying for the Champions League via the playoff route again.

“Last year for example we played against Besiktas and Mesut Özil was still on holiday and Per Mertesacker, because they were on their holidays,” Wenger was quoted as saying in the Daily Star.

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The Gunners were held to a goalless draw against Beşiktaş at the Atatürk Olympic stadium in the first leg of the Champions League playoff tie at the start of the season and only narrowly scraped past with a 1-0 win in the return leg.

Arsenal are currently third in the Premier League and are guaranteed entry into the Champions League next season but face the risk of being overtaken by fourth placed Manchester United.

Wenger revealed that his side would have their summer break cut short were they to end up finishing fourth.

“The players have to come back a bit earlier – a few days perhaps, sometimes a week. Especially it means less holidays for the international players,” he added.

Arsenal could alternatively take over second placed Manchester City depending on the results over the next two games.

The North London based club take on United at Old Trafford on Sunday 17 May.