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Arsenal news: Injury crisis hits new extreme as Mikel Arteta ‘lost the plot’

Arsenal icon Paul Merson has accused Mikel Arteta of ‘losing the plot’ in the north London derby defeat to Tottenham as the Gunners have had to cancel a friendly due to injuries

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Mikel Arteta reviews Spurs defeat

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Arsenal’s injury crisis runs so deep throughout their squad that the club has been forced to cancel a friendly for their Under-23s at late notice.

A number of players have been forced into the treatment room in recent weeks – and it’s come at the worst possible time with their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League hanging by a thread. Bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur drew to within one point of the Gunners on Thursday night thanks to a thumping 3-0 win in the north London derby.

And Arsenal icon Paul Merson has accused Gunners boss Mikel Arteta of “losing the plot” during the Premier League encounter. While Marseille have gone public with their desire to keep hold of William Saliba next season.

Here are Mirror Football’s latest Arsenal headlines.

Join the debate!What did you think of Arsenal’s performance against Tottenham?Let us know what you think here.

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Paul Merson gave a brutal assessment of Mikel Arteta’s tactics during the north London derby loss to Tottenham (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Injury crisis hits new extreme

Arsenal have had to cancel a friendly fixture for their Under-23s side at short notice after Mikel Arteta’s squad were hit by even more injuries.

Ben White and Kieran Tierney sat out the embarrassing 3-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday night, during which Rob Holding picked up a red card and Gabriel Magalhaes limped off with an injury. It means the Gunners could be short of options heading into their next match against Newcastle United on Monday.

And the Gunners have now cancelled a friendly for their U23’s against Farnborough, with the Hampshire club confirming Arsenal had to pull out “at short notice”.

Read the full story here.

Arteta ‘lost the plot’

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has accused Mikel Arteta of “losing the plot” in the north London derby defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

Spurs kept their Champions League hopes alive as they put 10-man Arsenal to the sword with a 3-0 victory in the crunch Premier League tie. Two goals from Harry Kane and a smart finish from Son Heung-min ensured the top four race will go down to the wire.

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Arsenal also had centre-back Rob Holding sent off in just the 33rd minute, and Merson thinks Arteta’s tactics didn’t do the defender any favours. The pundit says Arteta should have “given him a chance” by not playing such a high line against Son when he “hasn’t got the pace”.

Read the full story here.

Marseille make Saliba desire clear

William Saliba has “grown up as a player” during his loan spell at Marseille this season according to manager Jorge Sampaoli, who hopes to keep hold of the defender for a little while longer.

The Frenchman is yet to make a competitive appearance for Arsenal following his arrival from Saint-Ettiene in 2019. He has spent spells back in France on loan at his former club, Nice and Marseille.

Saliba has been in impressive form under Sampaoli this season, earning a call-up to the French national side. And the Marseille boss has now said he “hopes that there is a possibility for us to retain a player like him”.

Read the full story here.

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