Mikel Arteta says ‘the next two games are crucial’ in determining Arsenal’s ‘direction’ this season as the club look to continue their mini-revival.
Arsenal have secured three consecutive league victories to raise optimism following the Gunners’ worst-ever start to a Premier League season, whilst the north Londoners booked their place in the FA Cup’s fourth round with a 2-0 extra-time victory over Newcastle on Saturday.
Arteta’s side host Crystal Palace in the league on Thursday before another meeting with the Magpies at the weekend, and the Spaniard is keen for his side to continue their recent momentum, incredibly, the Gunners currently just six points adrift of the Champions League places in a tightly-contested top half.
“I think the next two games are crucial to see the direction that we are taking and to reinforce all the things that we have improved on and the results that we are having recently,” he said at his pre-match press conference. “We will know much more I think after the next two games.
“We want to keep that consistency and having the belief that we can go into every game with the feeling that we are going to win it. The more games we are able to win the better that feeling is going to be.
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“Obviously, to start thinking more about the table in a different direction, if you are able to win these matches your mind starts to look in a much more positive way.
“[Crystal Palace] are a really dangerous side and they have shown that against big teams. They are a really compact and organised team and you know what you’re going to expect.
“They have players with a big individual talent that just need moments to win games, to create actions that can unbalance the game so we have to be very careful with that. Then, we have to play to be dominant again in the game.
“We go from the first minute to try to win the game, to attack them and be cautious as well of the strengths that they have and try to control them as much as possible.”