Football

Alan Shearer warns Mikel Arteta about future as more woes hit Arsenal

Arsenal have been handed an injury blow ahead of a packed festive schedule, with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang facing up to two weeks on the sidelines due to a calf strain.

Gabon striker Aubameyang missed the Gunners' 2-1 defeat by Everton in the English Premier League yesterday morning (Singapore time) and is set to be ruled out of their League Cup quarter-final against Manchester City on Wednesday morning, and upcoming EPL games against Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion.

The 31-year-old had just re-found his scoring touch with a first goal from open play in the EPL since September in a 1-1 draw at home to Southampton last Wednesday.

"We need a few days," said Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.

"I don't know if it's a week or two weeks. It will depend on how the injury evolves."

The Gunners' defeat at Goodison Park means that they have lost five of their last seven league games, leaving Arteta's men in 15th place, just four points above the relegation zone.

It is their worst start to a season since 1974-75, raising the pressure on Arteta, who admitted that it is simply not acceptable for a club of Arsenal's standards.

Former England captain Alan Shearer told the BBC that 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. Arteta should be a worried man relying on that group," Shearer said.

After red cards undid Arsenal in their previous two games, much of the damage was again self-inflicted as Rob Holding's own goal opened the scoring.

Former Arsenal winger Alex Iwobi's cross was headed towards goal by Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but his effort was going off target until it was turned in by Holding's thigh.

Nicolas Pepe's penalty briefly levelled the scores, but Yerry Mina's header on the stroke of half-time secured a third consecutive win as Carlo Ancelotti's men moved five points behind league leaders Liverpool.

"It is a long season, we want to compete until the end and I think we can," said Ancelotti, whose side host Manchester United in their League Cup quarter-final on Thursday morning. - AFP, REUTERS

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