Petr Cech is unable to explain Arsenal’s struggles on the road which have delivered just three Premier League away victories all season.
Only Everton, Burnley and Crystal Palace have been seen off by the Gunners on their travels in 2017-18, with the last of those successes coming on December 28.
They have fared a little better in Europe, en route to the semi-final stage of the Europa League, but an inability to collect a single win away from Emirates Stadium in the current calendar year has contributed significantly to another failed top-four bid in the Premier League.
Five successive away defeats have been suffered for the first time since 1984 – with Newcastle the latest team to pick apart Arsene Wenger’s side – and Cech admits efforts have not been good enough for a club of Arsenal’s ambition and stature.
The experienced goalkeeper said in the wake of a 2-1 reversal at St James’ Park: “It is very difficult to explain why because until last season we were one of the best teams in terms of the away record but somehow it has completely reversed this season and we don’t seem to find the answer for it.
“When you commit so many team mistakes, away or home, you get punished and Sunday proved that. Of course, you try to address that but clearly the same things are happening. We don’t do these mistakes — the team mistakes — when we play at home. Unfortunately, it has affected our results.
“Having gone 1-0 up, we were pretty much in control. The continuation of errors for the second goal kind of sums up our season. It devalues the good things we have done with errors.”
Wenger made six changes to his starting XI at Newcastle, from the side which had drawn 2-2 against CSKA Moscow a few days earlier, but Cech insists tactical tweaks cannot be blamed for abject defensive showings.
He added: “We played with this defence many times, so the players this far into the season know what to expect from each other.
“But when you make mistakes, you have to find the reason. We gave them the second goal which decided the game.
“We are in the two competitions, so we need to keep switching between them and do our best. We are in a position where we must win all our remaining games and hope it lifts us in the table.
“We are in a very difficult moment because everybody else has a big advantage. In the Europa League we have a semi-final to play so we need to make sure we are ready.
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“It is not the first time we were 1-0 up away and we didn’t get anything in the game.”
Arsenal have lost 18 points from winning positions this season and now find themselves battling with surprise package Burnley for a sixth-place finish.