While Arsenal’s Champions League dream remains in their own hands, the manner of Thursday night’s defeat at Tottenham has ramped up the pressure.
Spurs are now just one point behind and could even move in-front of Arteta’s side by beating relegation-threatened Burnley at home on Sunday.
The injury problems had already been mounting for Arteta with Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey ruled out for the rest of the season and the situation got worse at Spurs.
Ben White was only fit enough for the bench after missing the wins over West Ham and Leeds and Rob Holding was sent off just half an hour into the north London derby.
To make matters worse, Gabriel was taken off injured and replaced by Nuno Tavares, leaving Arsenal’s defence depleted ahead of a trip to a Newcastle side to have recently welcomed back top scorer Callum Wilson.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Arteta said: “To take that risk [of bringing on Ben White] in the situation of the game made no sense. Our focus is Newcastle. This game is history. He felt something so hopefully Ben will be fit and Gabriel will recover as we do not have enough players in the backline.”