Mikel Arteta has used Manchester City’s resurgence as evidence why it is wrong to write off Arsenal ’s chances of a Champions League place.
TV pundit Jamie Carragher claimed “there’s no way they’re going to get top four” after Arsenal’s draw with Manchester United left them eight points behind Leicester in fourth.
But Arteta insists the unpredictable nature of the season – which has seen Arsenal move up the table with four wins and two draws from their last six games – means it is too early to suggest they cannot make it.
Gunners boss Arteta said: “I think it’s too early because there are a lot of points.
“You have to be consistent, 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 there 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.”
Arsenal’s upturn in form and fortunes has also been mirrored by Alexandre Lacazette’s goals as the France striker has got five goals since the club’s post-Christmas revival.
Lacazette, 29, was struggling badly for form and confidence during Arsenal’s poor run and Arteta admitted even his body language on the pitch was bad but now the ex-Lyon forward could be heading for a new deal.
Arteta added: “The moment he transformed a little bit his confidence, he became a different player.
“I think it is linked to confidence, and that is linked to playing more regular minutes and scoring more goals. He finds himself in better form. And then it is about supporting our players.
“A lot of things relate to the game, things he needs to read better about his movement, sometimes about his body language. A lot of things are important to visually see yourself and then you try to correct them.
“We will talk certainly about his contract situation. At the moment what I want is that he keeps performing the way he is at the moment until the end of the season and then it will be the right time to talk about it.”