Mikel Arteta’s response when asked if Arsenal can finish in the top four

Mikel Arteta says he's focused on improving the Arsenal team rather than setting his sights on a top-four finish

Mikel Arteta (Photo: Arsenal Media / Screengrab)
Mikel Arteta (Photo: Arsenal Media / Screengrab)

Mikel Arteta says his “ultimate target” is to improve the Arsenal team rather than finish in the top four.

The Gunners boss oversaw his second Premier League victory on Sunday evening since taking over the reins of the north London side.

Arsenal notched up a 4-0 win over Newcastle United thanks to goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette.

However, Arteta’s men remained rooted to 10th position in the Premier League table level on points with Burnley after Sean Dyche’s side beat Southampton.

Arsenal have failed to qualify for the Champions League in the last three seasons under Arsene Wenger and then Unai Emery.

The Gunners are six points adrift of bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur after Spurs were dramatic 3-2 winners against Aston Villa on Sunday.

Speaking at his post-match media conference about Arsenal’s hopes of securing a top-four finish, Arteta said:

“The ultimate target now is to improve as a team and win against Olympiacos on Thursday and improve on today’s performance.”

On whether Manchester City’s Champions League ban made it more likely, Arteta added:

“I don’t know. A week ago before we went to Dubai and we drew at Burnley everything looked like it was too far and it’s going to take an incredible run to do it, but it feels a little bit closer. But it’s going to depend on us and we need to improve as a team and be more consistent over 90 minutes.

“If we’re able to do that, performances will lead to much better results and if that’s the case, we will be in the mix for the last few games of the season.”

Arteta signed Flamengo defender Pablo Mari and Southampton full-back Cedric Soares on loan deals in the January transfer window.

The Gunners will make the trip to Greece to face Olympiacos in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie on Thursday night.

Arsenal will have two full days to recover before the Gunners take on Everton at The Emirates on Sunday.

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