By Emma Sanders
Arsenal sorely missed the influence of Santi Cazorla during their 0-0 draw against Middlesbrough on Saturday, according to a report.
The Sky Sports website has claimed Arsenal were not creative enough without their star Spanish midfielder.
Cazorla was forced to miss the league clash due to an Achilles problem despite starting in every one of Arsenal’s league victories.
The Gunners had scored in each of their opening ten games prior to the goalless draw on Saturday and Bate says Arsene Wenger needed Cazorla’s influence to break down the Boro defence.
“Wenger pointed to the amount of possession his side had but much of it left Middlesbrough untroubled. Penetration was lacking,” Bate wrote in a piece for Sky Sports’ website.
“He may as well have screamed out the name of Santi Cazorla. His accuracy and ambition was missing.”
“It was the first time Cazorla had not been in Wenger’s starting line-up since the opening weekend defeat to Liverpool. Even then, the team had scored twice in 15 minutes following his introduction as a substitute.
Arsenal have scored 29 goals so far this season and currently sit joint top of the Premier League table, with only goal difference separating them, Liverpool and Manchester City.
Wenger’s side have not been shy of goals, with Theo Walcott scoring five and Alexis Sanchez netting four in their first nine league games.
However, Arsenal were lacking a cutting edge on Saturday and much like Liverpool against Manchester United, where they seemed to miss Adam Lallana, the Gunners suffered the same fate in Cazorla’s absence.
Arsenal hope to have Cazorla for their next Premier League clash against Sunderland on the weekend but he’s unlikely to feature in the EFL Cup against Reading on Tuesday evening.
In other Arsenal news, they are handed a boost ahead of their clash with Championship side, Reading.