Arteta: We can pass next test
Midfielder Mikel Arteta says Arsenal have the required mentality to come through a first test of their renewed character at Everton on Sunday.
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Arsenal travel to Merseyside on the back of a morale-boosting 1-1 draw with Manchester City, which went some way to exorcising the ghost of the nightmare 6-0 trashing at Chelsea which ruined manager Arsene Wenger's 1,000th match in charge.
The Gunners also suffered the disappointment of conceding a last-minute own-goal in their 2-2 draw with Swansea.
Arsenal are, however, only four points ahead of fifth-placed Everton, who have a game in hand - and with the small matter of an FA Cup semi-final against Wigan on the horizon, Arteta knows how important building momentum will be.
"Mentally, it will be a big boost if we win, and hard to take if you don't so it will be important," Arteta said.
"Some of the performances we have put in away from home in the big games have touched in a bad way the season we have had so far.
"We made mistakes and did not perform when we should have done, but we have to take it.
"Overall we have been really consistent and considering the injuries we have had, things have gone well and we have stepped up a long way from last season."
Arteta added on Sky Sports: "Since I have been here we have always reacted to bad moments and we did put things right against Man City.
"Our objective is to win every game, and if we can do that, then we are going to finish very close to the top.
"That has to be our aim and we have to start on Sunday.
"We have the FA Cup (semi-final) coming up as well, so it is a crucial moment in the season."
Arteta, 32, left Everton for Arsenal in August 2011, the former Rangers man having become an integral part of the David Moyes' squad following his move from Real Sociedad.
The Spaniard slotted home a penalty in the 4-1 FA Cup quarter-final win over his old club last month - the celebration of which did not go down well with some of the travelling Toffees faithful.
Arteta, though, retains the utmost respect for everyone at Everton.
"It was my home for almost seven years and I have great memories from being there and am very grateful for the treatment I got, but now I am playing for Arsenal and have to do my best, and it will be needed there," he said.
"After I scored the penalty against Everton at home, some of the (Everton fans) were a bit upset with my reaction, but sometimes you cannot manage your feelings and you cannot make everyone happy.
"I just try to behave myself the best way I can, and (do) what I think is fair."
Gunners boss Wenger believes the manner of the response against City strong performance against Manchester City has helped his side get back on course.
"We were a bit flat after the Swansea and Chelsea games, and what was vital for us was not to lose against City and if possible to win, and at least (we had) to come out with a strong performance," he said.
"We feel we have done that so I think we have turned the corner and we have an opportunity to show that against Everton," said Wenger, his side some seven points behind leaders Liverpool.
"We have not given up on (the title) - as long as there is a mathematical chance we want to fight.
"It is disappointing to have dropped off top of course and we have to give absolutely everything to come back into it.
"We are certainly still outsiders, but if you don't fight and you then have results like Crystal Palace versus Chelsea and you have given up because you didn't believe, you would be absolutely 100 per cent guilty.
"We have a small percentage (of a chance) to do it, but with this small percentage you have to give absolutely everything to make it possible."