Laurent Koscielny understands fans' anger, blames poor form on this uncontrollable factor

The Arsenal defender says supporters have every right to be frustrated but claims injuries are to blame for the club's decline in recent weeks.

Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny has admitted to the Sun that the club's fans have every right to be angry at their collapse this season, but claims that decline is a result of injuries taking their toll.

The Gunners were competing on three fronts just a few weeks ago and were hot on the heels of Leicester City at the top of the Premier League table earlier in 2016.

However, since then Arsene Wenger's side have been knocked out of the FA Cup at the quarter-final stage with a home defeat to Watford and suffered a 5-1 aggregate defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League last 16.

That would be forgivable for fans if the Gunners were in line to win a first Premier League title in 12 years; instead, a run of just three wins from the last 10 league matches since 2 January has seen them fall to 11 points behind the Foxes, albeit with a game in hand.

Koscielny admits he can understand any anger from fans at the club's collapse, but insists that injuries to important players have played their part in the drop in form.

The French defender told the Sun: "I can understand the frustration of supporters — the club hasn’t won the title for a long time. But we’re doing our best every season to lift this trophy. There are ups and downs in the season with injuries and lack of form.

"It’s complicated. We had a good first part of the season, where we were first or second but when we reached February we had a few injuries.

"When you don’t have Santi Cazorla for practically four months, when Danny Welbeck comes back after ten months out, it’s complicated to challenge certain teams."

Using injuries as a way to try to mitigate the club's decline may not sit well with Gunners fans who have had to watch their team blow a promising season not for the first time.

Koscielny and many of his teammates are away on international duty this week, something which may serve as an escape of sorts, but they face a rematch of the FA Cup quarter-final defeat against Watford at the start of April as they desperately try to get their title challenge back on track.

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