Theo Walcott says there will be "no excuse" for Arsenal if they don't mount a Premier League title challenge next season, but admits there is a chance he could leave the club this summer.
The Gunners, who finished fourth last season, now only need one point from their final two games to seal third place after drawing 1-1 with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
And Walcott said: "It is a step forward from where we finished last year. But we want to -- and need to -- be pushing on now and trying to challenge for the title."
Arsene Wenger's made a slow start to the season before winning 14 of their last 19 league games, but have trailed champions Chelsea since the second week of the campaign.
"There was an opportunity in the season when we were getting close to Chelsea and people were taking about us competing, but I sensed throughout the dressing room that we were never quite up there with Chelsea," the winger continued.
"But looking at the squad, the manager [Wenger] has an absolute headache to try and pick his best team and we want that going into next season.
"We are looking very strong and you never know, he might add a few extra players but we need to be pushing for the Premier League now. There is no excuse."
Walcott provided Arsenal's equaliser at Old Trafford with a cross-shot that deflected in off defender Tyler Blackett.
But he was a substitute once again in a season in which he has started just three league games, albeit having been sidelined for much of the campaign through injury.
"Of course [it's been frustrating]," he said. "Any player wants to play. I want to play. I have been out for a long time.
"The manager was patient, I have been patient myself. I haven't expected to be where I was before I got injured.
"But when given the opportunity, I need to be ready and focused at all times because it is not just about the starting line-up, it is about the whole squad.
"It worked for me yesterday -- it was a bit of a break and I am very happy. I have been training very well and that's the best I can do to impress the manager.
"When given the opportunity in a big game and a massive arena like Old Trafford, it is not going to do you any harm."
Walcott's current deal expires in 2016 and he is yet to agree a new deal with Arsenal, prompting speculation about his future.
"I can't give you an update on the contract situation," he added. "I just want to continue playing my football and we will see where it takes me at the end of the season."