Mikel Arteta warns Arsenal against complacency in Champions League hunt

 

Mikel Arteta has warned his Arsenal team-mates that there is still plenty of work to do before they can be assured of a place in next year's Champions League.

Arsenal stretched their Barclays Premier League winning streak to seven matches on Saturday when they beat Aston Villa 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium.

The win, which came courtesy of strikes from Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs and Arteta, means the north London club are eight points ahead of fifth place Chelsea and three points above local rivals Tottenham, who sit in fourth.

Arsenal have to play the Blues, and title-chasing Manchester City in their remaining eight games but they also have winnable fixtures against QPR, Wolves, Wigan and Norwich.

Arteta has been delighted with the way in which his team have dragged themselves back in to the top three after their erratic early-season form, but he also knows that any complacency that creeps in to their play could prove costly.

"If anyone thinks it's all done now, then they are making a big mistake," Arteta told Arsenal Player.

"We can't take our foot off the pedal now.

"We have won seven in a row now, which is very difficult in the Premier League nowadays, and we have done it well, playing some high-tempo football, but there are some tough, tough games coming up in our last eight matches."

Arsenal looked as if they would be nowhere near the top of the table at the start of the season when they won one of their opening five league games and another bad patch at the turn of the year left some questioning whether Arsene Wenger was still the right man to lead the club forward.

The Gunners squad are now brimming with confidence after their recent displays, however, and Arteta is happy that the Arsenal support have something to cheer about after the club's woes.

"When you are winning, life is good and you can see that the fans are enjoying it at the moment. They deserve it as well because they were behind us when things weren't going right," he said.

"Hopefully we can finish the season strongly because we have a group of players and staff who really mean business."

Arteta, a £10million signing from Everton last summer, insists Arsenal have always maintained a strong team spirit throughout their season, even when it was at its lowest ebb.

"To be honest I was really surprised with the spirit when I came here - even when we were down it was so good," the Spanish midfielder said.

"It is something you rely on because if you start blaming each other and shouting at each other it is not good.

"This group has always been positive, the manager has always been positive with the players and we have kept at it. We have the talent, we know we have the ability to win games and sometimes it is just about the balance in confidence. We have it all together now."

Arsenal will look to maintain their grip on third place when they take on strugglers QPR at Loftus Road on Saturday.

They received a boost today with the news that defender Laurent Koscielny is likely to figure in the London derby despite having to pull out of Saturday's win against Villa in the warm-up.

"It was tendonitis," Wenger said.

"I don't think it's very bad. He woke up with big pain. We tried to push him to play but in the warm up he couldn't move.

"For the next game he should be all right."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
glastonbury
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Shock of the news: Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Nightcrawler’
filmReview: Gyllenhaal, in one of his finest performances, is funny, engaging and sinister all at once
Arts and Entertainment
Shelley Duvall stars in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining
filmCritic Kaleem Aftab picks his favourites for Halloween
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington has been given a huge pay rise to extend his contract as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones
tv
Life and Style
Taste the difference: Nell Frizzell tucks into a fry-up in Jesse's cafe in east London
food + drinkHow a bike accident left one woman living in a distorted world in which spices smell of old socks and muesli tastes like pork fat
Sport
Luke Shaw’s performance in the derby will be key to how his Manchester United side get on
footballBeating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Life and Style
Google's doodle celebrating Halloween 2014
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Don’t send in the clowns: masks and make-up conceal true facial expressions, thwarting our instinct to read people’s minds through their faces, as seen in ‘It’
filmThis Halloween, we ask what makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?
News
peopleFarage challenges 'liberally biased' comedians to 'call him a narcissist'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes