Per Mertesacker has admitted that fatigue played a major part in Arsenal's under-par showing against Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend.

The Gunners were overrun for the vast majority of the North London derby, before fighting back to claim a 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium.

Boss Arsene Wenger has been restricted with his team selection in recent weeks due to a number of injury problems, and on the back of a 5-1 thrashing at Bayern Munich four days beforehand, Mertesacker believes that a lack of energy in the squad was ultimately to blame.

"It was fun to play but we all looked a bit knackered, especially in the first half and we gave absolutely everything to get a draw here and we will enjoy next weekend off, a few of us, then back to duty the next week," he is quoted as saying by The Telegraph.

"We stayed with the same lineup as against Munich apart from Gabriel [Paulista]. It is very important to get players back. Over a short period you can replace a couple of players but with two games a week, and the intensity will not lessen, you need a lot of players who can replace each other and come and give energy.

"With players coming back we will gain some more energy. You could see how great it was to have Kieran Gibbs on the bench. He gave us a big lift we he came on, he was fresh and gave everyone a lift with the goal. We need game-changers.

That is why, with injuries, we suffer a bit but I'm convinced that after the international break we will have more options and therefore more confidence."


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