Premier League – Arshavin: We’re not very good

Arsenal‘s Andrei Arshavin has bemoaned his team’s physical limitations as the main reason for why they are “not very good” this season.

The Gunners have fallen 11 points behind leaders Chelsea in the Premier League after the 3-0 defeat the Blues meted out to them at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

That result was their second league loss on the spin following the 1-0 defeat at Sunderland the previous week.

Arsenal have also lost to both Manchester United and City in the league this season, and their young side went down at City again in midweek in the Carling Cup.

Russia international Arshavin, who stands at 5ft 8in, believes it is a lack of height and strength that has seen them suffer against the top sides this term.

He said: “The fact that we have lost against our direct rivals this season signifies that we are not very good.

“We are not very good on set pieces because we don’t have many tall players – every other team has an advantage over us in this area.

“(Chelsea) were much stronger than us when it came to physical power. Had we possessed a tall player then things would have been better for us. We had nobody capable of holding on to the ball.”

Arsenal lost in-form striker Robin van Persie to a long-term ankle injury during the international break and their very next match, the defeat at Sunderland, was the first game all season in which they failed to score.

In their subsequent four matches without the Dutch forward Arsenal have scored just twice, in the 2-0 win over Standard Liege in the Champions League.

“We played good football against all these top teams but that is not enough. We score a lot of goals, but we always let in one or more,” Arshavin added.

The Russian, who has scored five times this season for the Gunners, has backed his manager Arsene Wenger to turn things around, but hopes that the French boss will add to his squad once the January transfer window opens.

He said: “What we can change only Arsene Wenger knows. He has been at the club for 13 years and knows the problems better than anyone.

“All the Arsenal players are behind him – and if he leaves they will all leave. It would be good if the club could sign some great players.

“It is up to the manager whether he will sign a new striker in January – I have my own ideas but I won’t say what they are.”

Tony Mabert / Eurosport

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