This season will certainly go down as a missed opportunity for Arsenal. Playing without the distraction of European football and with many of their rivals underperforming for much of the campaign, a top four finish seemed to be well within their grasp with a few league games left to play.
However, a late season collapse would see them pipped to the Champions League places by Spurs. Missing out on a place in Europe's top club competition is bad enough, but to do so because of your biggest rivals is an altogether different matter.
This summer's transfer window will now become all the more difficult for Mikel Arteta, with their place in the Europa League meaning less funds will be available and players will be less keen on a move to The Emirates.
Despite this, Paul Merson feels that Arsenal will not be too bothered by seeing Spurs compete amongst the European elite next season.
Paul Merson not bothered By Spurs making Champions League
Writing in the Daily Star, the Sky Sports pundit said Spurs qualifying for the Champions League makes little difference as the club have 'no chance' of winning it. He also backed Mikel Arteta to continue to improve Arsenal in the seasons ahead.
Conte beat Arteta to a top four spot. But it won't hurt Arsenal watching Tottenham in the Champions League. This game is all about winning stuff. And let's face it Spurs have no chance of winning that competition. Zilcho.
Get third in your group and try and win the Europa League. All it is, is a money spinner, the Champions League. Fair play to them though. Spurs did what they had to do. Played well. And got over the line. But they've got an elite manager. They're very fortunate.
How many clubs who aren't winning the Premier League title, or at challenging for it, have an elite manager? It's very rare. Arteta is not an elite manager. You only become an elite manager over time. And he will be given time at Arsenal. So he has a chance...
They got it so wrong in January. I don't know anybody who thinks that was a success.
The season has been disappointing because they've punched above their weight. They started with three straight defeats remember. But if they get it right this time I think they're in for a good season, I really do. The kids will be a year older. They should have a stronger side if they buy well.
Arsenal could find that the end to their campaign will put their rebuild back quite a long way.
Securing Champions League would have gone a long way in attracting a higher calibre player with the club, while they will also have to deal with the dreaded Thursday-Sunday schedule next season.
Mikel Arteta could improve them going forward, but they may well find that this season was their best opportunity to break end their Champions League drought.