Arsenal must take one game at a time if they are to make the Premier League top four, manager Mikel Arteta said on Friday (Feb 18), adding there was still a long way to go in the season.
The London side currently sit in sixth place on 39 points, four behind Manchester United in fourth but with three games in hand.
Speaking ahead of the Saturday’s home game against Brentford, Arteta told reporters: “Game by game.
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.
Former Arsenal players Thierry Henry and William Gallas have both suggested that this season would be considered a failure if the team falls short of the top four given they are already out of both the domestic cup competitions.
“Everybody’s free to say whatever they want. For us, the target is to play as well as we can tomorrow and win the match, added Arteta.
Right back Takehiro Tomiyasu is set to return to the side after almost a month following a calf problem, with goalkeeper Bernd Leno also available after recovering from COVID-19.
We are all good. The doubt was Tomi which is still not perfect. But he’s trained the last few days so he’s in contention and we can use him so that’s good, said Arteta.
The Spaniard added that his team had improved their creative play but there was still work to be done in defence and in front of goal.
Asked about the importance of clean sheets, Arteta said the best teams that win and play in the Champions League that’s a non-negotiable. Our creative attacking play has improved but has more to improve, our efficiency in front of goal must improve.
Arsenal face a promoted Brentford team that are winless in their last seven games in all competitions, occupying 14th place in the standings with 24 points after 25 games.