Arteta told of defining date in Arsenal calendar following ‘talk of losing job’

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Mikel Arteta has been told that next month's north London derby with Tottenham could be his defining fixture as Arsenal boss.

The Spaniard was appointed manager at the Emirates in December 2019 and led the Gunners to victory in last season's FA Cup.

But it hasn't been all plain sailing for Arteta in north London and a horror run of form earlier in this campaign almost cost him his job.

Arsenal went on a run of one win in nine matches in the Premier League and were languishing 15th in the table on Christmas Day.

Things have picked up since then, though, even if Sunday's 1-0 defeat to Man City made it three defeats in four in the top-flight.

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp thinks Arteta has steadied the ship, but warned that the next month, and in particular Arsenal's match against rivals Tottenham, would be a crucial time for the Gunners.

He said: "It [Christmas] felt like a real low point for the manager, there was talk about how he might lose his job. He has stabilised it a bit since then and there's been a few good results.

"This is an important time for this team, the club and the manager right now. March 14 is a huge date when they play Tottenham.

"That is the sort of game that can turn both ways, because Tottenham need something. I know it's a long way away, but you look at those games as a player."

Arsenal are just one point behind Spurs in the table after Jose Mourinho's men suffered a 2-1 defeat to West Ham United.

Both sides are stuck in mid-table and face a huge task if they want to make the top-four and qualify for the Champions League.

The Gunners are 11 points adrift of West Ham in fourth, while Tottenham are eight points shy of the Hammers with a game in hand.

  • Premier League
  • Arsenal FC
  • Tottenham Hotspur FC

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