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The Gunners coach now faces competition on two fronts as he looks to secure European football next season.
Mikel Arteta says Arsenal have little room for error going forward as the Gunners are heading for a “crucial” point in their season.
The Spanish manager has set his sights on securing European football for next season, with Arsenal currently ranked 11th in the Premier League.
Furthermore, the Gunners are preparing to begin the knockout phase of the Europa League next week when they face Benfica.
What did Arteta have to say?
“Yes, it is going to be crucial. “We have no margin now in the League and in the Europa League, they are knockout matches,” said the Arsenal manager.
“So the moment you don’t do what you have to do, you are out.
“The level of care and the level of performance will be really high and demanding, and we have to meet the challenge and overcome it.”
He added: “First of all, we have to improve our position in the league, dramatically.
“To do that we have to win a lot of football matches. How many will depend on what the opponents do because at the moment it is not in our hands.
“We need to get into Europe, and in a situation where we can compete for those places, because that will decide which competition we will participate in next season.
“Things could change very quickly. If you had asked me this question after winning the last two games, I would say we had options in both.
“Now it will depend on how consistent we are week after week.”
What’s next for Arsenal?
Heading into this weekend’s clash with Leeds, the Gunners are 11th, nine points out of the top four and 22 points behind league leaders Manchester City.
As things are, Arteta and company. They are one point behind their rivals this weekend, and Leeds have also played one game less.
On the European front, the Gunners qualified for the Europa League knockout rounds after emerging from a group that included Molde, Rapid Wien and Dundalk, with the Premier League team winning all six of their group stage matches.
Next up, however, will be Benfica, who finished second in their group with 12 points, two behind Group-winner Rangers.
Arsenal are winless in their last three matches, having earned just one win in their last five matches in all competitions.