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Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus and Jorginho during the lap of appreciation after the Premier League match against Everton at Emirates Stadium, London, on May 19. Picture: REUTERS/ACTION IMAGES
Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus and Jorginho during the lap of appreciation after the Premier League match against Everton at Emirates Stadium, London, on May 19. Picture: REUTERS/ACTION IMAGES

London — Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said his side should not be satisfied with second place in the Premier League and vowed the Gunners would keep pushing until they win the title.

Arsenal chased Manchester City to the finishing line but for the second consecutive season had to make do with the runners-up spot despite a 2-1 home win over Everton on Sunday.

They would have had to become the first team in the Premier League era to grab the title on the final day after not starting it as leaders but Arteta said the club should not be content despite being proud of his players for running City so close.

“They [Arsenal’s players] have done an incredible job and they have pushed every limit, every margin that we could find to try to win this Premier League,” the Spaniard told reporters.

“Unfortunately it was a bit short and we could not deliver the big prize that we wanted because you can feel that they are desperate for it.”

Speaking to the crowd after the Everton game at The Emirates, Arteta, who was City boss Pep Guardiola’s deputy for four years before taking charge at his former club Arsenal, vowed they would keep pushing and win the title.

Later he told reporters he could not say when that might come but there was a fierce desire.

“We are on the right trajectory now so we need to put the teeth and bite into it because we really want more.”

Arteta said his team should also be proud because they were battling with City, who he described as “the best team in the history of the Premier League by far”.

To come out on top next season Arteta said his key players would need to be available in all the crucial moments and that performance levels would have to ratchet even higher.

This year’s push had been one of extremely fine margins too.

He pointed to how Arsenal were well on top in the first half of a fixture they lost to Aston Villa in April and that London rivals Tottenham Hotspur spurned a golden chance to equalise when they were 1-0 down late in the game with City on Tuesday.

To win the title, however, Arsenal would not have to rely on others.

“If we do what we have to do we are going to be closer and at the end, we will win it,” Arteta said.

“When, I don’t know, but if we keep knocking and come that close, in the end, it will happen.”

Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard also said the team were deflated not to have grabbed the title this term and stressed the desire to make amends next season.

“We’re all a little disappointed … we’ve been fighting so long for the big dream,” he explained.

“But at the same time, I am so proud. We are in a good way, we were closer than last year, but now we have to use the break and come back stronger and more hungry and we are going to push and win everything”.

Reuters

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