Arsenal missing Champions League is chance to start afresh - Frimpong

ESKILSTUNA, Sweden -- Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong has told ESPN FC that he believes the disappointment of missing out on next season's Champions League might be the push the London side need.

The 25-year-old, who now plays for Swedish side AFC Eskilstuna, said he didn't think the season had gone well for his boyhood club but missing out on a place in Europe's top club competition could be a catalyst for positive change.

Frimpong told ESPN FC during an interview about life at his new club: "Not qualifying for the Champions League is a big miss but I think Arsenal needed that to be fair because over the years we are used to getting into the Champions League and everything going rosy but, in a way, I'm glad that we didn't because as a club we need to make some changes and start afresh."

The Ghana international would not be drawn on whether that fresh start should be without Arsene Wenger in charge but he did have some supportive words about his former manager.

"I honestly don't feel it's the manager's fault," Frimpong said. "I feel like obviously the season just didn't go according to plan. If you look at the squad they're good enough to qualify for the Champions League or win the Premier League, but it's the same stories I guess and we just missed out."

Wenger has come under increasing pressure from fans during the season to leave the position he was appointed to more than 20 years ago.

Arsenal Fan TV, which has seen some of the most vocal dissent against the manager, has been criticised by some but Frimpong defended the fans' right to have their say.

"To be fair I like it," he said. "I like the fact that the fans go out there and express how they really feel and stuff like that, I like it. There's nothing wrong with that at all."

Arsenal missed out on a Champions League place for the first time in 20 years, despite beating Everton on the final day of the season with 10 men.

Wenger has said he will not make a statement about his own future until after Saturday's FA Cup Final against league winners Chelsea.