Mikel Arteta says all the elements are in place for Arsenal to retain the FA Cup and then challenge for the biggest prizes next season.
The Gunners finished third in the Premier League for the first time in three seasons, and will face Aston Villa at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
Arteta says the team has made significant progress over the past 12 months and believes that winning the cup would act as a further springboard to success.
"The base, the squad, the quality we have is better than last year. I think the club is in a strong position to push"
“The club is in a different position now,” the captain said. “We qualified directly for the Champions League. You can sense a different atmosphere around the club. The ambitions I think are going to be different for next season.
“The base, the squad, the quality we have is better than last year. I think the club is in a strong position as well to push, because financially it's in a very good position as well. I think it's the right moment.
“We have all the elements to move forward, to be challenging. I think we need to be demanding, because we have the ability and what it takes to go ahead and set bigger targets.”
Arteta is proud of the way the team have dealt with some difficult moments this season and says their response speaks volumes about their character.
“We have had some critical moments and taken a lot of criticism, but they haven't found a way to break the togetherness that we have. And they try hard, some of them, they try really hard. And they haven't done it,” he said.
“I think the response has been good. It's very difficult in this country, there's only one winner. Next season you're going to have three or four massive clubs who are going to be really disappointed because they haven't won the Premier League.
“We know the challenge is there but I think we have all the elements to progress again.”
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