The former head coach of the United States took the blame for his team’s inability to secure a spot in the 2018 World Cup.
Ex-United States national team manager Bruce Arena insisted that the level of CONCACAF has improved a lot, but also admitted that there is nobody else to blame for USA’s failure but themselves.
Arena’s men entered the final day of the qualifiers, needing just a point against Trinidad and Tobago to guarantee a spot in the 2018 showcase tournament, but a shocking 2-1 defeat denied the U.S. entry to the competition.
Despite a good start of his managerial career, Arena could not get his players to achieve results in September and October, winning only four points from four games, which proved costly for the U.S. squad.
“2017 was going to be a challenging year,” Arena said on Fox Sports 1. “We knew qualification would likely go down to the last day and it did.
“We did some good things in the year — we had a 14-game unbeaten streak, we won the Gold Cup. Then it came down to games seven, eight, nine and 10 in the Hex. We got four points and went to Trinidad on the last day and we failed. And there’s no excuses.”
Apart from the U.S., a number of high profile nations failed to make it to the 2018 World Cup such as Chile, the Netherlands, Italy and Ghana, with Arena believing that it just proves nobody has a secure spot in the competition.
“As you look around the world, qualifying for the World Cup isn’t a given.,” Arena added. “You saw yesterday with Italy not qualifying as well.
“It’s challenging and CONCACAF has gotten a lot more difficult.”