Mikel Arteta insists it is ‘too early’ to rule out Arsenal finishing in the top four this season following the club’s upturn in results.
Arteta’s position came under increasing scrutiny earlier in the season after Arsenal endured their worst-ever start to a Premier League season, though the Gunners’ improved performances in recent weeks have raised hopes the club can challenge for Champions League football.
Arsenal are unbeaten in their last seven league fixtures and have won five times during that run, an improved defensive record seeing the north London side concede just twice across those fixtures.
Arteta’s side are currently seven points adrift of fourth-placed Leicester ahead of this evening’s clash with struggling Wolves and the Gunners’ boss believes it is ‘too early’ to rule his side out of the running to secure Champions League qualification.
“I think it’s too early because there are a lot of points, you have to be consistent,” said Arteta at his pre-match press conference.
“You don’t just depend on yourselves so let’s stick to what we can do, what we can do better and the better we do that the bigger chance at the end of the season there will be to fight for that.
“There are things that are not really in our control at the moment, but many of them are and that’s the things that we have to do as well as possible.
“You see the results every weekend and you go: ‘Wow, very surprised’. And most of the time it’s not one or two, it’s more than that.
“It tells you how difficult the season has been for everybody and how much things can change.
“Look for example at Man City, where they were two-and-a-half months ago and where they are right now and you cannot believe it, but that’s the reality in this league.
“I think it’s the case of the competition in this league and the amount of mistakes that we make for ourselves in crucial moments of games that leads to the team losing those games.
“The moment we corrected that we were much stronger. I think confidence is a big factor and if you’re losing games and cannot explain why then players tend to have bad fears sometimes, or not be that convinced that they can actually win every single game.
“But when you get into a good run of form then it’s completely the opposite and it’s what is happening at the moment.”