Mikel Arteta says the struggles of Arsenal’s rivals suggest there will be a few more Premier League twists and turns in the coming months as a raft of clubs battle it out for places in Europe.
Given our awful run of form this season, the Gunners chances of a top-four finish should be dead and buried by now but ridiculously, we’re still just five points off Manchester United who sit in fifth.
While our chances of catching fourth-placed Chelsea are minuscule – the Blues are 10 points ahead of us – it’s surprising that we’re not further adrift of other big-hitters. As things stand, we’re just five points shy of Manchester United, currently in fifth, and just two behind Sp*rs. It’s been a very weird season.
While Arteta might have a target league position in the back of his mind that could well depend on how we fair in the Europa League in the coming months. For the moment, his focus is on building foundations for a successful team in seasons to come.
Reflecting on the table ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Stamford Bridge, the Spaniard noted: “Everyone is having a lot of problems to put together back-to-back wins, he league has been very competitive this season and that is why the gaps aren’t that big.
“There are still four months to play and a lot of things can happen, a lot of games between the top teams as well so I think that will change.”
Asked if Europe might be our best way back to Europe’s top table, he continued: “We don’t know at the moment, for me the only way to do it is to work every single day to improve those players and to make them feel comfortable on the pitch and with the ideas that we are putting together.
“Get every performance as good as we can, and that will take us as closer to every game. To look further than that is difficult and unrealistic.”