According to Arsenal head coach, this season’s fixture has really harmed his squad.
revealed his fear regarding his players feeling burnt out following the hectic schedule which left little time off between the games.
After seeing Arteta lead the FA Cup victory and Community Shield last season, this campaign is not going as productive as it should have.
The Gunners are sitting 11th on thePremier League
table after playing 18 games, falling 13 points behind the current titleholdersManchester United
Should they beatNewcastle
on Monday, Arsenal may be able to further close that gap; however, Arteta may lack two of his key players for that important battle.
In the draw againstCrystal Palace
, Arsenal was without injured Keiran Tierney and Pablo Mari. Gabriel Martinelli, however, came back from an ankle sprain and ready for selection and Arteta is worried his side will encounter more fitness problems as the campaign goes on.
When asked whether his squad is burnt out due to the hectic fixture, Arteta responded: "
Yes. We have been trying to manage it, but the reality is that the fixtures are what they are and we didn't have a pre-season, which is why - and we've talked about it many, many times - one of the reasons we wanted the five subs.
"It was exactly that, but this is just the consequences and this will happen more and more, I think, and to more clubs."
He also commented on whether it is possible to make some changes: "Y
es, but when you are winning, you want to be in the team.
"When someone is doing well then you don't want to take him out because you get asked: 'why are you taking him out?'
"The players also want to continue to play because they can't see the bigger picture but it's our responsibility to protect them.
"We could have taken a big risk with Kieran against Palace and it wasn't the right one to take because we could have exposed him big time."
Arsenal are getting ready for the fourth round of FA Cup fighting either Southampton or Shrewsbury late this month.