Petr Cech feels Arsenal's large amount of long-term injuries cost them the Premier League title.
Arsene Wenger's men sit third in the table heading into the final matchday, trailing second-placed Tottenham by two points, with champions Leicester City 12 points clear.
However, Cech feels things could have gone differently for Arsenal had they had a bit more luck on the injury front, with the likes of Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all missing a large number of games due to physical problems.
"It was a very strange season in a way. 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," Cech told Arsenal Player.
"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 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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