Mikel Arteta is refusing to look too far ahead and insists ‘a lot of things could happen’ in Arsenal’s pursuit of a top four finish and Champions League football.
Arsenal are fourth in the Premier League at present as the Gunners seek to secure Champions League qualification for the first time since the 2016/17 season, with the North Londoners currently one point ahead of Manchester United with two games in hand on the chasing Red Devils.
Arteta’s side travel to face Aston Villa in the Premier League this weekend, looking to bounce back from a midweek defeat to Liverpool at the Emirates.
Ahead of the clash, the Spaniard admitted that it was too soon to discuss the potential impact of securing Champions League football.
“When we do it I will tell you! Because it still hasn’t happened,” he said at his pre-match press conference. “There are still 11 games left for us to play and a lot of things could happen, and that’s what we are playing for.”
Arsenal’s clash with Villa is the start of a testing run of fixtures for the Gunners, who have four away fixtures in their next five Premier League games.
Arteta is expecting a tough run of games for Arsenal, but is confident his side can secure positive results.
“Every game in the Premier League is extremely difficult to win. We are going to be playing very difficult matches, like the rest of the teams,” he said.
“The thing is that we have some games in hand still. It’s not (simple) again, but performing like we did against Liverpool for the majority of the game. If we do that we will be close to winning (those) four matches.”
Villa come into tomorrow’s clash in a strong run of form, having won three of their past four fixtures as the club continue their adaptation under Steven Gerrard.
Arteta has been impressed with this weekend’s opponents and believes Gerrard’s appointment has had a galvanising effect on the side.
“They have had some positive results in the last few games. He’s changed the shape, he’s changed a few things that the team is doing. He’s brought a different energy again to that stadium I think. I’m impressed with what he’s doing.
“I think he’s got on very, very well so far and what he did at Rangers I think it’s remarkable and I don’t know if he gets the credit that he should do because I’ve played there, I know how that club goes and how he turned it around and what he’s done at Villa, so I think so far he’s done really well.”
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