Despite making an incredibly promising start to life as Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta goes into the resumption of the Premier League season with a real point to prove.
The Gunners suffered an embarrassing defeat in their most recent game. And the performance provided a reminder of the amount of work Arteta still has to do at the Emirates.
Of course, the obvious concern stems from the three goals they conceded. But a quick look at the top flight table highlights another major problem Arteta has to address as soon as possible.
Arsenal are one of just six sides to have not reached double figures for goals. Wolves are the only other team outside the bottom four to be in the same boat.
The most common front three has been made up of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Willian. Meanwhile, Eddie Nketiah has featured in all of their league games – although he has started just once.
Unfortunately, the quartet have managed just one league goal between them since the end of September. And that came when Arsenal were awarded a penalty at Manchester United.
The most under-pressure member of the group is surely Willian. But playing Lacazette through the middle is doing Arsenal few favours right now. And Nketiah is not staking a particularly strong claim to start in the Frenchman’s place either.
So perhaps it is fair to say that Arteta can no longer afford to stick with using Aubameyang out on the left.
On his day, the Gabon international is one of the best players in the Premier League. And a lot of his best football has come while he has played in a slightly wider role.
However, with neither Lacazette and Nketiah scoring, Arteta surely has to consider moving Aubameyang into the middle.
Of course, that could cause other issues. But Bukayo Saka has shown enormous promise in that wide position.
Lacazette and Nketiah will get back amongst the goals in the near future. But while they are struggling, Arteta surely needs to turn to Aubameyang to lead the line.
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