Mikel Arteta says Arsenal’s next three fixtures could define their season

Arteta led Arsenal to victory in the FA Cup last season

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says the next week is going to be crucial in ensuring his side is not dragged into an unexpected relegation battle. The Gunners have managed one victory in their past 10 Premier League games, a run which has seen them slide down the Premier League table to 15th position.

“I don’t make any excuses,” said Arteta, who succeeded the sacked Unai Emery in December 2019. The 38-year-old Spaniard retains the backing of the Arsenal hierarchy. The Gunners host Chelsea on Saturday and then face trips to two of the sides below them – Brighton, whose only home win in 2020 came against Arsenal last season, and West Brom.

Asked whether the next week is important if his side are to avoid becoming serious relegation candidates, Arteta said: “Yes, absolutely. The next seven to eight days are going to be crucial to see where we’re going to be heading to in the Premier League.”

After ending last season by winning the FA Cup, then beginning this one by lifting the Community Shield, winning three of the opening four league games and beating Leicester and Liverpool away from home in the Carabao Cup, Arsenal’s campaign has nosedived.


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