Mikel Arteta knows a top-four finish is in Arsenal's hands
Mikel Arteta says securing Champions League football is a must and knows a top-four finish is in Arsenal's hands.
Last Updated: 16/04/13 7:09pm
The Gunners are on course to book a spot in Europe's top club competition, currently sitting third in the table, a point clear of Chelsea and Tottenham and four ahead of sixth-placed Everton.
They host the Toffees on Tuesday night knowing they cannot afford to allow their visitors to close the gap as the race for European football heats up.
Spaniard Arteta feels Arsenal have been unlucky at times this season, drawing on their FA Cup exit to Blackburn in the fifth round as an example, when Colin Kazim-Richards' late winner stunned the hosts.
After seeing their hopes of silverware ended for an eighth successive season, Arteta knows a Champions League place is all they have left to play for and is determined to succeed - starting against his old club Everton.
He told Sky Sports: "We have been unlucky in some games because we haven't deserved to lose the games as we've done.
"When we got knocked out of the FA Cup, out of 100 games, you'd only lose that game the way it happened. But it happened.
"But the only thing we have to fight for now is that (a Champions League place). Now it's in our hands so we can't miss it."
Arteta, who spent six seasons at Goodison Park before joining Arsenal on transfer deadline day in August 2011, feels he owes a lot to Everton manager David Moyes as he prepares to face his old club at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.
He added: "I have to be very grateful to David for everything he's done for me on the professional part and in my personal life as well because he's been very close to everything I've been through."
The 31-year-old midfielder also expressed his gratitude to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger for taking a chance on signing him.
He added: "Arsene took a really difficult decision when he had to sign me on the last day. He took a risk and hopefully he's happy with it."