Arsenal midfielder Arteta says the upcoming fortnight will determine the club's season

Arsenal's Mikel Arteta believes the next two fixtures are vital for the Gunners if they wish to get their season back on track.

Having endured a difficult start to the new season, Arsenal currently sit sixth in the Premier League table, 12 points adrift of Chelsea. Even at this early stage, however, Mikel Arteta feels that the next fortnight could decide the success of the club's campaign.

The Gunners face Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday, before welcoming Borussia Dortmund in a top of the table clash as the Champions League returns in midweek.

“We have two games against Manchester United and Dortmund at home and if we get the crowd with us from the start and get the results then it will be a very different story again," the Spaniard said.

"A week ago, after three wins in a row, the place was getting back to normal with everyone looking happy. Then after two disappointing results, [it is down]."

Before the international break, Arsene Wenger's side let a three-goal lead slip at home to Anderlecht as they drew 3-3 in the Champions League and they then lost 2-1 at Swansea City in the league despite taking the lead at the Liberty Stadium.

Morale is low at present, but success in the club's upcoming fixtures could easily change that. 

"It is a rollercoaster at the moment," he continued, "but we need to manage the emotion because this is a long-term situation and we need to be where we want to be in April and May, so let’s be patient."

The veteran midfielder is hoping to lead by example as his teammates look to recapture their previous form.

Arteta has made just six appearances this season, and while he has been contributing less on the pitch, his experience around the dressing room will prove just as vital, especially considering the youthful nature of Arsene Wenger's side. 

He added, “For me, the most important thing is to lead with confidence and remind the players how good they are."

“When you see some faces with disappointment and doubts, it is not good. They are players of the top level and after one, two or three performances it is natural – you get doubts, you are not happy with yourself, you get a bit down."

“But we cannot allow that to happen here. It is very demanding to play three or four times in 10 days and bad periods are going to affect the team. So you need everyone on their toes and ready to fight.”

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