The Chalkboard: Despite star quality, attack remains a problem for Arsenal

In the likes of Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Aaron Ramsey, amongst others, Arsenal boast a wealth of attacking talent that most other clubs in the world would be envious of.

The quality of these individuals is unquestionable, their usefulness to the Gunners ought to be examined by Unai Emery though.

On the chalkboard

Without balance and cohesion, Arsenal’s attacking contingent will resemble less of a unit and more of a collection of individuals. As things stand, since taking over at the Emirates Stadium in the summer, Emery has yet to strike this balance.

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Against Bournemouth on Sunday, Ramsey and Ozil were benched, whilst Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi were deployed in support of Aubameyang. Despite grinding out a victory, the Gunners failed to perform fluidly in attack and all too often the individuals in their frontline looked to be operating on different wavelengths.

This is exemplified by the fact that only the Armenian managed to achieve a pass accuracy rating of above 80%. 

It is not only with this trio that issues have arisen. With Aubameyang forced onto the left flank to accommodate Lacazette centrally, the 29-year-old former Borussia Dortmund man has been stifled. It has proved difficult, too, for Ozil to be integrated into the side without leaving the team defensively vulnerable. Ramsey, for his part, has been little more than a bit-part player in the Premier League so far.

Deadwood out

It is vital that Emery discovers a functional and expressive configuration of his attacking talents soon. He may also have to countenance thinning his ranks in order to maintain squad harmony and discipline. 

With Ramsey and Danny Welbeck’s contracts set to expire at the end of the season, and Mkhitaryan failing to perform, those ought be the ones that make way in order to allow for Emery to restructure his forward ranks in his image.

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