Mikel Arteta has insisted that his Arsenal side will need to take things on a step-by-step basis and tighten up at the back in order to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League over the coming months. The Gunners will be looking to pip the likes of Manchester United and bitter rivals Tottenham to a place in next season’s Champions League by picking up plenty of points in their remaining matches, starting with a win over Brentford at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
Arsenal have enjoyed a largely impressive campaign since recovering from their lacklustre start to the season and currently occupy sixth place in the Premier League table.
They sit four points adrift of fourth-placed United, though, meaning there will be little room for error in the matches they should be winning between now and the end of the season.
The north Londoners will be desperate to claim all three points against cross-city rivals Brentford on Saturday in order to keep the pressure on United and stay clear of seventh-placed Tottenham before facing Wolves at home next week.
When quizzed on what Arsenal need to do to clinch a top-four berth at the end of the campaign, Arteta told reporters in Friday’s press conference that his players will simply be taking each game as it comes in order to maintain their positive momentum over the next few months.
“[We have to take it] game by game,” said the Arsenal boss.
“We have to win tomorrow and then we’ll be closer to that objective. There’s still a long way to go, lots of things are going to change and we have to be ready to play within the context that this is going to happen.”
Arteta also highlighted the need for his side to be stronger in defence when coming up against the Premier League’s big hitters after shipping 25 goals in 22 matches since the beginning of the season.
“[For] the best teams that win and play in the Champions League, that’s a non-negotiable,” added the Spaniard.
“Our creative attacking play has improved but has more to improve, our efficiency in front of goal must improve.”
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