Arsenal must improve their Premier League form between now and the end of the or they risk a second successive season out of the lucrative Champions League, goalkeeper Petr Cech has warned.
The Gunners finished fifth in the Premier League in 2016-17 and they are in danger of having to settle for Europa League action again as they sit sixth this time around, five points outside the top four.
Arsenal have only won one of their last four league games, although last week they beat Chelsea 2-1 to book a date with Manchester City in the EFL Cup final, and Cech called for his side to focus on the battle for the top four.
“We are a club that belongs in the Champions League,” Cech said ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Swansea City.
“You don’t want to spend years outside of the Champions League spots.
“But every year the fight for the top four spots becomes harder and harder because the league is very competitive.
“Regardless of that, this season we have had so many games where we were not up to the standard we needed to be and this is something we need to address for the rest of the season.
“We should have far more points than we have at this moment.”
Cech is also in line to achieve a certain milestone, the next clean sheet being his 200th in the Premier League, but the 35-year-old does not believe he is coming towards the end of his career.
“I think being a goalkeeper you feel lonely all the time, but it is a special position on the pitch and that is why I love it,” the former Chelsea man said.
“It is a big challenge and usually you are the one to blame for everything and the one who never takes the credit if someone scores a goal, but that is how it goes.
“I enjoy the challenge and I love being in that position where you make important saves, regardless of whether people notice or not, you know you have made an important save and you give yourself and your team a chance to win and it makes me happy.”