Mikel Arteta says Arsenal need to earn the right to become Premier League champions, rather than rely on any possible sanctions imposed on title rivals Manchester City.
Arsenal are five points clear of champions City heading into this weekend’s fixtures — with the two teams meeting at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.
The game will take place with a cloud hanging over City, who have been accused of more than 100 alleged breaches of financial rules.
City have denied wrongdoing but could face tough sanctions, including points deductions and even expulsion, if they are found to have broken regulations by an independent commission.
But Arteta, who was previously Pep Guardiola’s assistant at City, said his team had to “look after our own garden”.
“Let’s focus on what we have to do and win enough football matches for that to happen (win the league),” the Arsenal manager said on Friday.
“We have to earn the right to win it, that’s for sure.”
Arsenal, hunting their first Premier League title for 19 years, host Brentford on Saturday after losing their past two games.
A narrow FA Cup exit against City was followed by a shock 1-0 loss at Everton — just a second league defeat of the campaign.
Arteta said his players’ reaction to the defeat at Goodison Park had been “really positive”.
“They are very different matches we lost against City and Everton, but losing brings a lot of opportunities to look at other things and see the reaction of the team,” he said.
“The reaction of the team has been superb this week. Tomorrow we’re going to put a great performance in, in front of our crowd to try to win the game.”