Arsene Wenger admitted Arsenal missed Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud during Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough at the Emirates Stadium.
The midfielder missed the game due to an injury picked up against Ludogorets in midweek with Mohamed Elneny coming in for the Spaniard while Giroud is still to return following a toe injury.
Alexis Sanchez continued up front but could not add to his tally of six goals for the season and Wenger explained why his side had toiled up front.
“Look, we didn’t make enough from our set-pieces today and from our crosses, so of course the first thing that comes to mind is a guy with a bit more size in the box and more physical presence could have helped, yes,” he told the official Arsenal website.
“But we’ve just come out of six straight wins you know and we still would not like to jump on this kind of excuse. We have to deal with what we face and unfortunately we are used to scoring, we are an offensive team. We have five or six offensive players on the pitch in the end, we didn’t manage to score so it’s a bit frustrating but it’s part of the Premier League.
“You know, the other day Man City had a similar possession against Everton and didn’t win. We have to find a way to be efficient even when the games are like that.”
Wenger also admitted Cazorla’s absence had hurt his team and admitted he was unsure when he would be fit enough to return to action.
“Yes, of course. You miss always, of course, Cazorla. At home he is from deep midfield into the final third, his pass is always quick and accurate. And, yes,” he explained.
“Cazorla – I don’t really know because we have to see how he recovers on Monday and Giroud could be in the squad on Tuesday night. We have a game on Tuesday night here, so maybe he will be available to be in the squad on Tuesday.”
Cazorla’s creativity was certainly missed against Middlesbrough while Sanchez cut a frustrated figure up front in a rare off-day for the Chile international.