LONDON — Mikel Arteta says “everything is still to play for” as he prepares his title-chasing Arsenal team to host Brighton in the Premier League on Sunday.
The Gunners, seeking to win the title for the first time since 2004, are one point behind leaders Manchester City with just three games to play.
Treble-chasing City, closing in on their fifth league crown in six years, also have a game in hand.
When asked at Arsenal’s pre-match press conference on Friday whether the players still believe they can win the title, Arteta said: “That’s what we’re here for.
“It starts on Sunday again, there’s three games to go, this is the crucial one and right now we want to beat them and elevate our hopes and enthusiasm to keep going because everything is still to play for.”
Arsenal have won their past two matches after a damaging string of results that allowed defending champions City to leapfrog them.
Arteta said his men had recovered their confidence “by playing well, by being on top of the game and individually raising the level — that has been something critical and really important when you get to this stage of the season”.
He added: “Once you’ve done that, that has a huge impact on the team’s performance. The team has been playing well, scoring goals and winning matches, so it’s a good mixture.”
Arteta, whose team wrap up their season with games against Nottingham Forest and Wolves, said he had told the players to put talk about their future on the back-burner.
Arsenal’s England pair Aaron Ramsdale and Bukayo Saka are believed to be close to signing new deals, while Reiss Nelson is out of contract and Granit Xhaka has this week been linked with a move back to Germany.
“We have communicated to each of them what the intentions are and we are trying to get that done as quickly as possible but respecting and not losing any focus on what is the real deal right now,” Arteta said. — AFP