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Cech - Where the difference was made

Petr Cech believes a "lack of energy" in Arsenal’s stretched squad in February and March made the difference to their title bid.

The Gunners lost the likes of Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck, Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin to lengthy injuries during the campaign.

It left Arsene Wenger struggling to rotate his team at times, and Cech says that eventually caught up with the players during a crucial time.

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Cech's masterclass

“It was a very strange season in a way,” he told Arsenal Player. “If you look at the number of injuries we had, it is not a big number compared to previous years or compared to other clubs. It’s not a big difference but unfortunately for us, every time we’ve had an injury, it’s been long-term.

“We had a great squad at the start of the season. Danny was coming back, Jack was coming back, and it was a very strong group. Unfortunately Jack got injured right before the start of the campaign, Danny had the same problem, Tomas had the same problem, and these were all long-term injuries. Santi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain became long-term injuries too.

“If you have so many important players out with long-term injuries, it does give a chance to everybody else, but it can hurt you at certain times. If you have seven games in 21 days and your opponent has had six days off to prepare, you don’t have the advantage of rotating players.

“I thought we did so well most of the time to be able to cope with that, but unfortunately in the end we lacked a bit of energy in February and March when we dropped points. This is where the difference was made.

“Overall, it’s been a good season, not one you would look back on and call a brilliant season, but there were a lot of positives and things to build on. Hopefully we can step up and have a great season next year.”

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