Arsenal's Arteta: Top four finish tougher than ever
Arsenal have finished in the top four spots an incredible 15 seasons in a row.
But a 16th successive qualification for the Gunners is in jeopardy with Arsene Wenger's men four points off fourth-placed Tottenham.
Arteta said: "I think that 10 seasons ago it was not as difficult to get into the top four as it is now.
"At the moment there are six or seven teams who can get there and that says a lot about the improvement of English football.
"For me, no other league in Europe has the level of the top five or six teams in England. Every ground is hard; places like Sunderland, Stoke.
"But qualification is massive for us. We can't be out of the Champions League because it is the best competition.
"This is the month where everything can look brighter or look really bad for the end of the season. But we are looking OK now and we have players hitting top form."