Arsenal are well placed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 2016. But even if they fall short, Mikel Arteta will have plenty of room for optimism heading forward into the coming campaigns.
Arsenal moved above Manchester United into fourth following Sunday’s 3-2 win over Watford at Vicarage Road.
The Gunners were sublime at times in Hertfordshire, with goals from Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.
Defensively they were opened up at times and had a nervy end to the game.
But they held out for an important three points against Roy Hodgson’s side.
TOP STORY: Roy Keane claims six Man Utd stars should never play for club again in post-Man City rant
United’s defeat at Manchester City on Sunday helps Arteta’s cause.
Arsenal are a point clear of the Red Devils with three games in hand.
Arteta knows the importance of finishing in the top four.
“It is very pleasing; we know how difficult it is to be in this position in this league,” he told Sky Sports.
“We’ve earned it; we have come a long way as a team.”
Saka also outlined the team’s desire to reach the Champions League this season.
“This is the dream this year to be in the top four and qualify for Champions League football,” Saka said.
“We have to stay humble and focus on ourselves.”
However, if Arsenal’s young side do end up faltering in the closing stages of the season, it won’t be all doom and gloom for the north Londoners.