Injuries only obstacle for Arsenal says Mikel Arteta

 

Midfielder Mikel Arteta would love to see what a fully-fit Arsenal squad could achieve.

The Gunners head into their final eight Barclays Premier League matches having rediscovered their form and put together seven straight wins which have lifted them above Tottenham into third place.

While captain Robin van Persie has enjoyed a largely injury-free campaign to score 33 goals, manager Arsene Wenger has not been able to call upon England midfielder Jack Wilshere all season because of a niggling ankle problem, while several other key men, including defenders Thomas Vermaelen and Bacary Sagna, have all spent a frustrating time in the London Colney treatment room.

Arteta, who has started 25 Premier League games, feels with everyone firing on all cylinders, Arsenal would be more than a match for any side.

"We have been hit with important, long-term injuries the whole season that really, really affect the team," Arteta said in Sport Magazine.

"I would like to see this team playing with the same XI for 10-15 games - then we could talk about if we were good enough or not.

"Now we are starting to do it and we are starting to get really good results, so for me the biggest concern is to stop the injuries."

Arsenal are understood to have now agreed the formalities of an £11million deal to bring in Germany striker Lukas Podolski from Cologne, but a public announcement has been delayed at the request of the Bundesliga club, who are fighting against relegation.

Wenger is expected to further bolster the playing staff over the summer, but Arteta feels Arsenal already have enough within the group, if they could only all stay fit.

The Spaniard, 30, added: "Obviously if you spend a lot of money to bring in top players you have a better chance because you have a bigger squad and you can change the team around but, for me, a key thing with our squad is the injuries."

Arsenal are hopeful centre-half Laurent Koscielny will be available at QPR tomorrow having pulled out of the Aston Villa game last weekend during the warm-up with a knee problem.

With their lead over Spurs only three points, Wenger accepts there can be little room for complacency.

"This is the period where what we do matters the most, so we just want to keep our focus on this and not worry about anybody else's results," the Arsenal manager said.

"We have shown both footballing and mental qualities in recent weeks and now we need to continue our development."

Wenger, meanwhile, could be handed a European touchline ban should UEFA announce the decision to their disciplinary case following a confrontation with referee Damir Skomina in the wake of Arsenal's Champions League exit against AC Milan last month, which came despite a 3-0 win at Emirates Stadium.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence