Arsenal slumped to back-to-back defeats between Christmas and New Year, running out of steam and sliding from top to fourth in the Premier League table ahead of the winter break.

The Gunners lost 2-0 at home to West Ham last Thursday, despite having 30 shots in the game and conceding just three chances. 

The performance was enough to win the game, with several chances squandered by Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka, but a tired Arsenal weren’t able to convert.

At the other end, West Ham capitalised on a mishit clearance and a corner to punish Arsenal’s misses, promoting questions over the Gunners' forward line. 

In need of a bounceback, Arsenal followed up the West Ham loss with a 2-1 defeat at Fulham on New Year’s Eve, with arguably their worst performance of the season. 

Even in the prior losses this season, to Newcastle, Aston Villa and West Ham, Arsenal were arguably the better side and, on another day, could have come away with the points. But against Fulham all of the players looked exhausted and got overrun.

Arsenal have been struggling with injuries to rotation players for a lot of the season, and while it hasn’t caused many of their stars to miss time, it’s meant that those starters have had to play almost every single minute and two games a week.

Part of the problem has also been Mikel Arteta’s use of the players that have been available, and it was evident against Fulham that Arsenal had no back-up plan to change the game as Arteta just threw forwards at the problem with no clear plan.

While the transfer window is now open, Arteta first needs to work out how to get the best out of the group he’s got, especially in the attacking areas to get Arsenal back on track.

Arsenal host new league leaders Liverpool in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday (4.30pm), ahead of a two-week winter break. 

As the most successful club in FA Cup history, Arteta will likely take the competition seriously and given the recent league struggles, a win in the cup ahead of a break could be just what the Gunners need.