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Arsenal boss rues injury nightmare

Thursday April 15th 2010

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted his side is all but out of the title race following the 2-1 defeat to fierce rivals Spurs on Wednesday night.

The loss, the first against Spurs in the league for 11 years, leaves the Gunners six points behind leaders Chelsea with four games to go.

But Wenger said the table would look very different if his side had not been decimated by injuries this season.

The team went into the match at White Hart Lane without inspirational captain Cesc Fabregas, along with other first team players William Gallas, Andrei Arshavin, Alex Song and Aaron Ramsey.

And the club may well think about turning to its sports injury insurance policy after watching central defender Thomas Vermaelen join the ranks on the sidelines.

The Belgian defender pulled up with a calf injury just 19 minutes into the match. Wenger estimated he will be out for "two to three weeks".

The manager did welcome back Dutch striker Robin Van Persie following his own five month injury lay-off.

And for Wenger it is a case of what might have been.

He said: "He has not kicked a ball for five months in a football team. You could see straight away when he came on that he could give us something different and something special.

"The bad luck we have this year is that we go into the final sprint of the season with many good players out. You could see tonight that it is too much."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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