Spaniard says this season has not been good enough but believes club can return to greatness.
Mikel Arteta says Arsenal’s season has been unacceptable but stressed that a top four finish is still within the club’s grasp.
The Gunners are facing an eighth successive campaign without a trophy, after being dumped out of both domestic cups by Football League opposition.
The club are also staring Champions League elimination in the face, after the losing the first-leg of their last-16 clash with Bayern Munich 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal sit fifth in the Premier League but trail third-placed Tottenham by seven points, albeit with a game in hand.
Arteta admits that the situation is unacceptable but believes the club are not far off a new era of success.
“After winning, it’s hard to go to not winning,” the Spaniard is quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.
“There’s only a few trophies: after the championship, the FA Cup, the Champions League. There are so many clubs, so much competition, it’s tough.
“But with 10 games to go it’s an impossible catch and that, for me, is not acceptable.
“We can’t be in that position, because we have the best basic structure I’ve ever seen at a football club, great philosophy, good players, we’ve got financial backing to do whatever we want, unbelievable crowds for the stadium. Let’s go for it!”
Arteta was appointed the Gunners vice-captain after Robin van Persie’s departure in the summer and the 30-year-old has taken on new responsibility this season, often playing in defensive midfield role behind compatriot Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere.
The ex-Barcelona youngster accepts that criticism is part of the job but, with the Gunners currently 24 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester United, Arteta says no-one is hurting more than the players.
“Criticism is part of being at a club like Arsenal,” said the former Everton playmaker. “You always have to win and when you’re not winning you have to be prepared for that. It’s part of your job.
“We want to win silverware a lot. That’s why the FA Cup exit (to Blackburn) was crazy. It was hard to get out of my head. Because the way we threw it away was unbelievable. And then you see the draw.
“It’s very frustrating. It was a very straight line from that game to being there in the final. To throw it away like that is unacceptable.
Despite the gap, Arteta insists that Arsenal are not far off a return to greatness.
“I’d like to put a note at the end of the season to say it’s been a weird season. With big disappointments. We have played some fantastic games but lost points in games where we didn’t have to.
“The gap is not that big. We have not been battered this season. We’ve not had many occasions where we’ve said, ‘They are much better than Arsenal.’
“Maybe the first half at Man United and for 25 minutes against Bayern Munich in the first half when they looked really comfortable.
“Apart from that, I haven’t felt like I have had to say, ‘Wow, they are much better than us.’ For me, that’s the most frustrating thing.”