Having bounced back from a difficult opening to the Premier League season, Arsenal find themselves well and truly in the race for a top four spot with 16 games left to play.
If the Gunners win their games in hand, they would overtake fourth placed Man United and give themselves a five point point cushion in the process.
However, Mikel Arteta is very much in one game at a time territory as he prepares his side to face Brentford at the Emirates on Saturday.
Asked how he viewed the team’s chances of a return to the Champions League places, the Arsenal boss said, “We go game by game. We have to win tomorrow and then we will be closer to that objective.
“It’s true that we have some games in hand and there’s still a long way to go and a lot of things are going to happen, a lot of turnarounds and we have to be ready to play within the context that this is going to happen because there are a lot of teams involved there.
For some observers, this is perhaps a little more than the expectations held at the start of the campaign, but expectations shift based on performance, and Arteta is looking for a collective effort from his players and the fans to maintain this push.
“It’s where we are,” he said.
“We have earned the right to be where we are right now, credit to the players, credit to the club and everybody, especially our supporters, because we talk about the club needing support, but I think it’s very important how our fans reacted and how they understood the necessity to stand behind these young players.
“The mentality has been incredible and that’s what we need, that every time we play in front of them and when we play away that we feel their support because we become a much better team.
“Now we have earned the right to be there and now we need to go game by game to maximise the position that we’re in, and that’s what we’re going to be trying to do.”
The potential return of Takehiro Tomiyasu for the Brentford showdown is a boost, as the Gunners will have Bernd Leno available again after he recovered from Covid-19.