Mikel Arteta: 'Arsenal will close gap this season'

Arteta: 'Arsenal will close gap this season'
© PA Photos
Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta insists that his side will finish closer to their title rivals this season.

Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta has insisted that the Gunners are confident of closing the gap on their traditional title rivals, while pleading for patience in the search for new recruits.

The Gunners finished 16 points behind champions Manchester United in the Premier League last season, despite claiming fourth place by finishing the campaign with a 10-match unbeaten run.

Arteta thinks that a fast start is imperative to help establish the Gunners as genuine title contenders, with the Spaniard also "convinced" that boss Arsene Wenger will strengthen the squad this month.

He told The Mirror: "We need to close the gap with the teams that are trying to win the titles. We have been too far in the last few seasons. We will start and see how it goes. We won't be as far this season.

"We can't afford to drop points as we have done at the start of the last couple of seasons. We will start by hitting the ground running. But I think we can be better this season. We know each other better and the things we are doing right in the games we seem very comfortable and compact.

"I think we are going to start the season with new faces. That is what we are all hoping for. That will give us a big boost and everyone is very positive. It will happen, I am very convinced. I have no doubts about it. It takes time but I know the boss is working really hard on it, and the board as well. It will happen for sure."

Wenger's side continue their pre-season preparations with a friendly against Manchester City in Helsinki on Saturday.

Mikel Arteta celebrates after converting a penalty to score his team's fourth against Reading on March 30, 2013
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