Mikel Arteta says a win against West Ham will keep alive Arsenal’s faint hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
The Gunners may be languishing in 10th place in the Premier League table but with the gap to fourth place Chelsea now ‘only’ eight points, there’s still a chance we could nip ahead of other misfiring rivals.
That next week’s opponents Manchester City are staring down the barrel of a ban from Europe next season makes things all the more intriguing.
It. Is. The. Hope. That. Kills. You.
Anyway, for the time being, sensible chap that he is, Mikel Arteta is urging the club to take things one game at a time.
“Beat West Ham on Saturday and we are closer,” the Spaniard told his weekly press conference.
“That’s all I am thinking because a few weeks ago it looked impossible and if we beat West Ham it will look more likely. So that’s the only aim.
“If game-by-game we go and start grabbing three points and three points and three points, and then we’ll have a chance in the last three or four games of the season.”
Saturday’s clash with the Hammers will see Arteta go head-to-head with former boss David Moyes.
The steely-eyed Scot coached our man during several sort-of-successful years at Everton and has since been the top dog at Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland.
Arteta is looking forward to the occasion. “The thing that I admire the person, who he is, his values, how he deals with people, who he is, how he treats people, how he treated the players when they were there.
“How well he deals with creating a culture around a club, a chemistry between the players and a belief that we could do something as a team. And then he works really hard.
“He is extremely demanding, he’s got character, Scottish character that is impulsive and I really enjoyed my time playing under him.
“I think he had a lot, obviously the Manchester United situation, I think what happened there was very harsh on him. I know how he is as a manager and my opinion hasn’t changed at all.”