Arsenal have quality to challenge for titles insists Wojciech Szczesny
Wojciech Szczesny claims "the quality is there" for Arsenal to challenge for Europe's top honours again next season.
The Gunners still have some work to do over the final three games of the Barclays Premier League to make sure of third place ahead of Newcastle, starting at Stoke this weekend.
Nevertheless, just to be in this position is an achievement in itself given the appalling start to the campaign, which saw Arsene Wenger's men slump as low as 17th after four defeats in the opening seven matches.
The Gunners put together a run of seven straight wins to drag themselves back up into the top four, and Szczesny accepts it will take similar performances on a weekly basis if Arsenal are to match the achievements of Chelsea by reaching the Champions League final again and also mount a sustained assault on the domestic title.
"I think the quality is there. We all know it - we have the quality to fight for trophies in Europe and this country," the Poland goalkeeper said.
"It is just consistency that has been a bit of a problem for us this year.
"But the team is getting more experienced and hopefully we have got the experience to win trophies next year."
Szczesny added: "If you look over the last couple of months we are probably one of the best teams in the Premier League.
"We have got three games to go and we need to win all three and we will finish third."
Arsenal have been hit by injuries in the past couple of games, with Theo Walcott joining Mikel Arteta in the treatment room after hobbling out of last Saturday's goalless draw against Chelsea because of a hamstring problem.
Initially Wenger had ruled the England winger out of the remainder of the season, but it is understood scans have revealed the problem is not major and Walcott could even be in contention for the final Premier League game on May 13.
As well as aiming to finalise a new deal for captain Robin van Persie this summer, Wenger is expected to be busy in the transfer market.
A £10million move for German striker Lukas Podolski from Cologne is expected to be rubber-stamped soon after the end of the season.
Arsenal also have to decide on the futures of several fringe players, like goalkeeper Manuel Almunia, Denilson as well as strikers Nicklas Bendtner and Carlos Vela, while Yossi Benayoun's loan from Chelsea could be made permanent.
Midfielder Denilson has been on loan at former club Sao Paulo, but reports in Brazil suggest he will return to Emirates Stadium, while a decision must also be made about Mexican Vela, who has been in decent form at Real Sociedad.
Bendtner, however, has indicated he does not want to play for Arsenal again when his temporary switch to Sunderland comes to an end.
Speaking to Sporten.tv2.dk, the Denmark forward said: "Never say never about Sunderland, but it is not certain I will be there even if the opportunity arises.
"About Arsenal. Of course I will have to have a talk with the club about it [my future], but it is not where my first priority is going to be. I think I have been pretty clear about it."
"I am not concentrating too much on my future just yet.
"I play the Euros first and so I will think about my future after that."
Latest in Sport
With the top nine players in the men’s world tennis rankings all missing this tournament to prepare ...
by Gareth Purnell
21 May 2013 02:01 AM
When cyclists look back on their careers spanning many hundreds (and in some cases possibly thousand...
by Martin Ayres
20 May 2013 06:12 PM
As England’s new football strip – made by Nike – is revealed today, new research shows the English F...
by Alex Miller
20 May 2013 04:52 PM
Why Spurs will break the bank to keep Gareth Bale this summer
Jose Mourinho clear to rejoin Chelsea as departure clears the way for Real Madrid to move for Gareth Bale to become Cristiano Ronaldo's successor
Tottenham to smash pay scale with £150,000-a-week contract in attempt to tie Gareth Bale to club
Why Arsène Wenger must spend to put icing on the cake and buy likes of Stevan Jovetic for Arsenal
Sam Wallace: As he leaves Real Madrid, make no mistake - Jose Mourinho's return to Chelsea will only end in tears
- 1 'He was lucky he didn't die' - George Michael fell out of speeding car onto M1 motorway, according to eye witness
- 2 Austerity has hardened the nation's heart
- 3 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 4 Why Arsène Wenger must spend to put icing on the cake and buy likes of Stevan Jovetic for Arsenal
- 5 'It was just like the movie Twister': Man survives Oklahoma tornado by taking refuge in horse stall
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.