Mikel Arteta has expressed his hope that his Arsenal players show a desire to reach the “next level” after their FA Cup triumph.

The Gunners finished the 2019-20 campaign in eighth, their lowest top-flight position for 25 years, missing out on a European spot in the process. A disastrous start to the season saw Unai Emery relieved of his managerial duties in November, with Arteta appointed as his permanent successor a month later.

The former club captain managed to galvanise a squad devoid of confidence while implementing his own unique philosophy at Emirates Stadium, and although he was ultimately unable to turn fortunes around in the Premier League, he did deliver success in the form of a major trophy.

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Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup final on August 1 thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s double at Wembley, which saw them qualify for next season’s Europa League and set up up a Community Shield meeting with Liverpool.

Arteta has challenged his squad to build on that platform in his first full season in charge, as he told the club’s official website when asked where he expects the team to be in a year’s time: “It’s an impossible question.

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“I don’t even know where we are going to be on day one of pre-season. I have to look at the players, how they come from holidays, how they come after winning, I want to see that reaction.

“You know, are they going to be a little more relaxed because we’ve done something or are they going to come with ‘Okay, this is nothing that we’ve done. We have to go to the next level, we have to apply ourselves better, we have to improve in a lot of areas and we have to dominate many other aspects of the game that at the moment we cannot control’.

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“If that is the mindset, then I am very positive that we will be sitting here in a year’s time really happy, but I hope we take that road straight away.”

Arteta added on how far the Gunners have come during his first few months at the helm: “I am very positive about where we are. I don’t know if we are ahead of schedule, obviously if you had told me that we were going to win the cup before we joined then I probably would be happy with that.

“What I am very positive and very passionate and encouraged about is what we can do in the future and if we make the right decisions I am super confident that we can bring the club back to the top.”

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