Mikel Arteta has downplayed any worries that his Arsenal side are slipping behind in the title race, emphasising the importance of not focusing on their rivals’ position in the table.
After dropping points against Newcastle last week, Arsenal are now three points off leaders Manchester City and two behind North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
At this stage last season, Arsenal had four fewer points compared to this season and ended up having one of their best seasons in recent years as they fell short to eventual title winners City.
The current predicament Arsenal find themselves in doesn’t exactly signal a crisis and Arteta has displayed a figure of composure despite being slightly off the pace this campaign.
He said: “We cannot be looking at other teams when we have played 11 games.
“This is a long marathon and things are going to change and momentum is going to shift. But in this league, you’re going to need 96 to 100 points to win it.
“When you’re going to get them is a different story, but this is the target. In order to do that we’re going to have to play so well and win a lot of matches, more matches than no one has ever won at this club, that’s for sure, to win it.”
Arteta is more than aware of the challenge that Pep Guardiola’s side pose and knows that any dropped points is hugely detrimental to Arsenal’s title ambitions.
“You drop one and the other team wins three, it’s a big difference,” he said.
“That’s why those matches are so important and in the end can have such a big influence on the course of the season.
“We know that we have to win it. But you cannot focus on the outcome, you have to focus on the process and how we‘re going to prepare to give our best and deserve to win the game. Then the result will take care of itself.”