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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's injury a fresh blow for struggling Arsenal

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is out for two weeks with an injury, increasing pressure on manager Mikel Arteta after a horror start

Soccer Football - Premier League - Arsenal v Southampton - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - December 16, 2020 Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Pool via REUTERS/Adrian Dennis EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details. (Pool via REUTERS)

As if Arsenal's terrible start to the Premier League season wasn't bad enough, the London giants have been handed an injury blow ahead of a packed festive schedule. Captain and talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is facing up to two weeks on the sidelines due to a calf strain.

The Gabon striker missed Saturday's 2-1 defeat by Everton in the league and is also a doubt for Tuesday's League Cup tie against Manchester City. He will also miss further games, such as the Boxing Day fixture against Chelsea and also Brighton, three days later on 29 December.

"We want him back as quickly as possible but he has a small strain," Arteta said. "We need a few days, I don't know if it's a week or two weeks. It will depend on how the injury evolves."

Saturday's debacle meant that Arsenal have lost five of their last seven league games and lie in 15th place with 14 points, four points clear of the relegation zone. On this form, shocking as it may seen, Arsenal are in risk of relegation.

This is the Gunners' worst start to a season since 1974-75, and manager Arteta is feeling the heat. The Spaniard took charge of the club in December last year amidst much fanfare. When Arsenal won the FA Cup earlier this year, it seemed like the misfiring team had turned a corner. However, since the league began, the club's fortunes have taken a nosedive.

"There is no question, the results are not good enough and not acceptable for the standards of this club and this is the challenge and the fight that we are against," Arteta said.

"It's a really complicated situation, but I am very encouraged from what I see from the players to continue doing what we are trying to do."

Former England captain Alan Shearer said Arteta should be worried about his future.

"I wouldn't be sure [if they will stay up]. Not with that starting team and the attitude of some of those players," Shearer told the BBC. "Arteta should be a worried man relying on that group of players."

Some fans are also clamouring for the return of Mesut Özil, who has been frozen out of the squad by Arteta.

(With inputs from Reuters)


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