- Premier League
Arteta: Top-four not enough for Arsenal
Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta has insisted a top four finish is not enough for the club after another season of frustration in the hunt for a trophy.
Stand-in Arsenal skipper Arteta was forced to lead the guard of honour for newly crowned Premier League champions Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on Sunday and now he is urging his team-mates to ensure they are receiving such plaudits by taking the club back to winning ways in the near future.
"Next season we have to improve on this current gap," Arteta told the Arsenal website. "United deserved it (the guard of honour). They won the league with four games to go so they deserved the clapping. When someone does the job you have to congratulate them. This is the respectful thing to do.
"You want to be in that situation to walk on the pitch and the other teams show respect because you are the winners. Hopefully, along with our young players, we will have the chance to do it."
With Chelsea now holding an advantage in third position in the Premier League after last weekend's Premier League action, Arteta suspects the race for a top-four finish may well be decided in the final round of fixtures on May 19.
"We are in the same situation as we were beforehand," added Arteta, as he prepares for the Gunners' final three Premier League games against QPR, Wigan and Newcastle.
"We have tough games to play. It will be very close and will go to the last game. Yes it will be about who is the most clinical at the right moments. When it gets to the last games the teams who are the most clinical win the games. We have seen that over the last few weeks. It will be a difficult battle for everyone.
"You want to do well when you go for challenges or make a mistake. There is pressure on us like there is for the other teams. Every team we face in the Premier League is playing for something, relegation or Europe. It will be interesting.
"I believe in our players but we have to show we can do it. It is easy saying we have a better chance but it is up to us to do it on the pitch. Every game is difficult and anything can happen. We have to play for that."