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Injuries to blame, Wenger cries

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WENGER-ARMSLONDON, England, April 10- Arsene Wenger has blamed Arsenal’s injury woes for their shortcomings in the Premier League title race this season.

The Gunners have gone from title contenders to having their top-four finish jeopardised by a poor run of form, especially following a 3-0 defeat to Everton at the weekend.

The north Londoners have been hit by a spate of injuries, with Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Mesut Ozil, Tomas Rosicky, Kieran Gibbs, Laurent Koscielny, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini spending spells on the sidelines.

Arsenal’s next big test is an FA Cup semi-final against Wigan Athletic at Wembley on Saturday, and Wenger feels that lack of quality depth in his squad is the main reason for their downturn in form towards the end of the season.

“I feel this season we lost key players at a big important moment of the season,” Wenger was quoted as telling ESPN.

“At the moment we have too many players out and it’s important we get them back. We know that at this period of the season to have this number of players out is too many.

“Our main task [next summer] will be to keep the team together and think where did we go wrong. There are a lot of positives in our season as well, but we have dropped off when we lost our players at an important moment of the season. That is what we don’t want to repeat.”

The Gunners have been at the end of several drubbings at the hands of Liverpool, Chelsea and most recently Everton, but Wenger is confident his side can bounce back at Wembley this weekend.

“We know that we didn’t turn up with the performance we wanted [at Everton],” he added.

“After the huge disappointment, we analysed what didn’t go right and where want to improve.

“I said after the game, we want to go back to basics. First of all the team has to defend better and of course that was not right in the Everton game.”

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