By Alex Taylor
Arsene Wenger has made the staggering revelation that he kept Aaron Ramsey on the pitch against Liverpool despite knowing the midfielder had suffered a hamstring injury.
Arsenal lost the game 4-3 after the Gunners boss was forced to substitute Ramsey when he broke down 15 minutes into the second half.
Wenger has stated that he knew his team were “disturbed” by injury problems at half-time before the Wales international and fellow starter Alex Iwobi were subbed early in the second half.
Wenger allowed Ramsey to stay on the pitch for an hour even though he had four top-class alternative options on the bench in the shape of Granit Xhaka, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Santi Carzola.
Ramsey was eventually replaced by Cazorla after 61 minutes.
“Mentally, we took a blow at half-time and we did not have the same drive we had in the first half,” Wenger told Arsenal Player, as quoted by the Express. “It’s due to two reasons especially. One was that Aaron Ramsey came back on to the pitch not exactly the same.
“We knew he had a hamstring problem and our half-time was disturbed by injury problems.
“We got caught cold in the first 15 minutes of the second half physically because Aaron was injured and Alex Iwobi was injured, so we were very diminished.”
The 25-year-old has had an ongoing issue with the injury, and his latest blow represents his fourth hamstring problem since September 2014.
Ramsey only returned to training with the north London outfit at the beginning of August after enjoying a sensational European Championship campaign for his country.
Wales reached the semi-final of Euro 2016 but were dumped out of the tournament by the eventual winners Portugal 2-0.
In other Arsenal team news, Paul Merson has predicted the Gunners will have to wait for their first win of the 2016-17 season, as he identified the Londoners defensive frailties, ahead of their visit to Leicester on Saturday.