For all of the plaudits Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has received in what must be remembered is his first managerial job, the Spaniard has one glaring weakness.
When Arteta arrived he set out to organise the defence which had been leaking too many goals and he accomplished this, improving the likes of David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi.
Under Arsene Wenger, Arsenal were always the team to watch with their brand of pace, skill and flair but that has long gone and the players available to Arteta lack the technical quality, freedom and confidence to break teams down.
Arteta looked miserable on the touchline as Aston Villa, led by Jack Grealish, Ross Barkley and Ollie Watkins, scythed through Arsenal while his own players were slow, lethargic and out of ideas.
Starsport takes a look at Arteta’s problems and proposes some ideas to fix Arsenal’s issues.
Play Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up front
Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a shoddy game against Aston Villa
Drenched in the rain, Arsenal’s captain was a forlorn figure as he struggled once again to make a meaningful impact.
There’s no doubt Arteta’s decision to play Aubameyang from the left has proven to work but with just nine goals in eight league, Arsenal need to get their best player in more goalscoring positions.
The 31-year-old is spending for too much time chasing back opposition attackers.
He needs to be in the box where he can be the match-winner that’s demonstrated in the past.
Drop Willian to the bench
But Arteta has chosen to stick with Willian, who has only made two assists this season – both on the first day against Fulham
(Image: 2020 Marc Atkins)
Even at this early stage in his Arsenal career, it appears Chelsea made the right call in not giving Willian a three-year contract.
Blues boss Frank Lampard may have wanted to keep the Brazilian but he is ill-suited to the pacey, free-flowing attacking unit being…