Two Arsenal stars have been playing with injuries during recent slump
Posted by  badge Boss on Jan 03
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side have lost their last two games (Picture: Getty)

’s recent slump has coincided with two of their key men being forced to play through injuries.

, but consecutive defeats against and Fulham have derailed their title bid.

Overall, Arsenal have won just one of their last five Premier League games and have slipped to fourth place ahead of the winter break.

where his side looked tired and lethargic.

Full-back Ben White appeared off the pace in particular and it has emerged that the England international has, according to the , been playing through the pain barrier in recent weeks.

, while Takehiro Tomiyasu only made his return after nearly a month out against Fulham as a second half substitute.

Bukayo Saka did at least end a five game run without a goal but he, too, is said to be nursing a persistent calf injury which could explain his indifferent form of late.

Arsenal face Liverpool again in the FA Cup third round this weekend but then enjoy a 13-day break before they are back in domestic action against Crystal Palace.

Arteta is planning to take his squad on a warm-weather training camp to Dubai and use that time to galvinise a jaded group of players who still have much to play for in the second half of the season.

‘No, we weren’t efficient enough,’ said Arteta after the defeat to Fulham when asked if his team were tired. ‘We didn’t have enough ball speed, enough movement, enough threat, and when we did that, we gave too many balls away.

Bukayo Saka scored against Fulham but has looked short of form in recent weeks (Picture: Getty)

‘Not only when we were playing, but after regaining it straight away, which is the most dangerous moment to give away.

‘When you do that, and you don’t have consistent momentum, we never got set in the final third in the right moments, and you concede two goals like we’ve done, then it becomes very difficult to win the game. Today we didn’t deserve to win the game, and that’s very clear and simple.

‘We certainly need a reset after today because that’s going to be in our tummy for a few days. The game against West Ham felt very different because you can move on, it can happen.

‘What happened today cannot happen again. If you do that, you’re never going to have the chance to be where we want to be. Today it could have been a beautiful way to finish the year top of the league.

‘These are the margins and you have to find the balance. It could have been the best day and it can be even the worst day because you have lost a game but we have to look at ourselves in the mirror because today is the worst game that we had this season, that’s for sure.’

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