After beating Tottenham and earning an impressive 3-3 draw against West Ham, Arsenal returned to their old ways and suffered a 3-0 home loss to Liverpool at the weekend.
The Gunners had entered the international break with some momentum and their fans hoped their players would return in good spirits to finish off the season well.
But they were forced to be without their teenage stars–Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe.
In the absence of the duo, Mikel Arteta’s team looked devoid of substance and watched as Liverpool scored three times to condemn them to another defeat.
This performance shows how reliant the team is on their younger players and Mail Sports’ Dan Ripley highlighted that while reviewing the weekend’s games.
He says the absence of their key youngsters exposed the Gunners in the game and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was especially poor, once again.
He writes: “The home 3-0 loss by Liverpool was most concerning considering the ease at which they capitulated to a team who have been vulnerable in the second half of this season.
“It was notable however that among those absent from Mikel Arteta’s starting XI were key stars who have been major contributors towards the Gunners’ winter revival, following a very poor start to the Premier League season.
“Youngsters including Bakayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe have been sensational for Arsenal this term – but their injury-influenced absence was felt in the miserable defeat by the Reds on Saturday.
“On top of that, striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s poor season continues and this might be one poor performance too many for Arteta, given his only goal against a side in the top half of the table was a penalty at Manchester United in November.”