Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has blamed his side’s involvement in Champions League qualifiers for his side’s staggering injury crisis this season.
The Gunners have had a huge 42 injuries since the start of the season, including to top stars like Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud and Mathieu Debuchy, all for extended periods of time.
Arsenal’s defence has been left in tatters as a result of injuries suffered by Debuchy and Laurent Koscielny, with the north London side having entered the season with few options at the back.
Their midfield has also been impacted by injury, and they had to start the game against Liverpool with a central midfield three of Mathieu Flamini, Santi Cazorla and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, with only one of the three a recognised deep central midfielder.
The absence of Giroud also hit Arsenal hard, as evidenced by his goalscoring record since his return.
Wenger has revealed his thoughts behind the crisis, telling the press: “Let’s not forget we played eight Champions League games since start of season.
“When bodies are not really prepared you go from Besiktas to Everton. Is it the only explanation (for some of the injuries), otherwise I don’t know.
“I believe 2015 can be very exciting if we get injured players back and have a good run. Top four is always the minimum required but we have Champions League, FA Cup, and the Premier League, where we want to come back to a stronger position and I think we will.”