Shkodran Mustafi has told his Arsenal team-mates to not concern themselves with looking at the Premier League table right now, but instead focus on laying the foundations for long-term success under Mikel Arteta.
The Gunners have improved since Arteta was appointed last month and they have lost just once following the Spaniard’s arrival.
That defeat came against Chelsea, who they play on Tuesday, but despite the upturn in performances Arsenal are still 10th in the Premier League.
They are also 10 points off the top four, however Mustafi has said right now the team need to focus on the long term.
“It is a game [against Chelsea on Tuesday] that you can come a little bit closer with or you go even further away from them,” said the defender.
“I think now obviously when you are first or second in the League, you always want to look at the table and you enjoy looking at the table, but I think at the moment it is not important to look at the table.
“For us, it is important to just work, try to put on the training ground and in games the things we get told from the boss.
“I feel that everyone is trusting him and the idea that he has, which is that he wants to play football.
“That is something that is very important and now it is all about trying to do it for 90 minutes on the pitch at the weekend.”
Mustafi’s own future has also been up in the air this season and he was told he could leave by former head coach Unai Emery in the summer.
Arteta has vowed to give everyone a clean slate, though, and Mustafi played the whole 90 minutes of Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Sheffield United.
The German, however, is not thinking about his future now and is instead putting the team’s needs first.
“I have never been a player that puts himself in front of the team,” said Mustafi.
“I think at the moment it is not about my future, about anyone’s future.
“I think at the moment it is about the team, it is about getting results to get on the winning way because I think, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how your future is when you live in a dressing room where everyone is happy and you win games.
“I think everything is so much easier [when that is the case]. So, at the moment, everything is about helping the team, trying to be there when needed and that’s it.”