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Jan 31, 2013

Gibbs out for three weeks

Arsene Wenger has revealed Arsenal will be shorn of the services of defender Kieran Gibbs for three weeks due to a thigh injury.

• Limbert: Deals can't hide holes in

Gibbs limped out of Wednesday night's 2-2 draw with Liverpool after 37 minutes and an assessment from the club's medical team painted a disappointing picture.

"Of course it is a big blow because Gibbs was an important player for us going forward and the game we want to play," Wenger said of the defender. "It's a shame he's out for the next three weeks."

Wenger also confirmed that any bid for Barcelona striker David Villa was dead, but will not be too concerned if there are no new signings on the final day of the transfer window.

"I believe the squad is top, top level," he said. "We have to learn to trust these players and keep faith with them."

Wenger acknowledged his side have defensive problems to face, but urged the club's fans to have faith in his players as they pursue a Champions League spot.

A catalogue of errors saw the Gunners fall behind to Luis Suarez's fifth-minute opener and Jordan Henderson's second-half strike, only for the home side to suddenly click into gear and level thanks to Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott.

That highlighted perfectly the situation Arsenal find themselves in, with an often scintillating attack hamstrung by a leaky defence.

Bacary Sagna, Thomas Vermaelen and Aaron Ramsey were all culpable for the Suarez goal, while Andre Santos was muscled off the ball by Henderson as he scored.

Fortunately for Arsenal, they did not lose too much ground on their fellow Champions League hopefuls as Chelsea and Tottenham drew at Reading and Norwich respectively, and Wenger thinks they have a lot to look forward to if they can remove their defensive nervousness.

"It was a great football game where both teams went for it," Wenger said. "It was entertainment. We could honestly have lost the game but could have won it by three or four goals difference.

"It shows we created many chances going forward but were nervous defensively. The goals we have conceded show we were nervous from the start. Overall we showed great quality in the offensive period."

It is not the first time Arsenal's defenders have had fingers pointed at them this season and Wenger added: "I believe recent history has an impact on the way we started the game.

"I believe we have to get that out of our minds and focus on playing football and what we want to do to the opposition.

"I believe the quality is there and we have to trust it and forget what happened in the past. What happened in the past, you could see it played in our heads at the start of the game."

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