Wenger blames fatigue for Arsenal's 'lack of fluency' in Aston Villa stalemate

Following a disappointing goalless draw at Villa Park on Saturday, the Gunners manager pinpointed tiredness as the main reason behind their lack of chances in the match
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has cited fatigue as the main reason behind their below-par performance following a goalless draw with Aston Villa.

The Gunners failed to create chances against a determined Villa side as they struggle to keep pace with the top four - this point leaving them four short of Chelsea in fourth.

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The midweek victory over Montpellier appeared to take its toll on the Londoners as Jack Wilshere, Bacary Sagna and Thomas Vermaelen were all rested for the clash.

Wenger felt that their midweek fixture had a part to play in their inability to break down the resolute opposition, but refused to criticise his side in spite of the performance.

"No [complaints] because we tried, we had the right attitude, we lacked a little bit of fluency and accuracy in the final third," he told BBC Sport.

"We couldn't create chances and when we had the opportunity to be dangerous, we didn't use them well. But I think it's down to fatigue and we had not completely recovered from Wednesday night."

Arsenal have now scored just one goal in their last three away Premier League games, a barren run that confuses Wenger, given their goalscoring form at the Emirates.

"It's true. I don't really know why because we have a very offensive team, we have three offensive players in midfield. We have three strikers basically," he continued.

"It can happen, it happened before and, in the Premier League, it's different away from home."

The Gunners boss also hit back at critics after his decision to substitute Olivier Giroud for Francis Coquelin minutes before the end was met with chants of 'You don't know what you're doing' from sections of the away support.

He added: "I don't want to comment on that. I do my job and do my best for the club.

"I leave it to you to judge. I try to be as good as I can be. Is it hurtful? Look, I have managed for 30 years at the top level and I have to convince you I can manage the team?

"How many games have you managed? I promise you if you manage one I will sit in the stands and chant 'you know what you are doing!'

"You can discuss every substitution. You think what you want. I do my job and I let people judge it. I do that every day and I do my best every day. I know why I do it.

"What is the thinking behind the substitution? I will not explain every decision I make, you judge the game and I sit here and explain to you our game.

"You are all great managers! I read the newspapers every day and I can tell you that you are always great managers."