Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has pinpointed midfielder Mathieu Flamini’s desire to join attacks as a weakness for Arsene Wenger’s side.
As seen in the clip above, the Frenchman ventured forward in a particular attack which ended with Aaron Ramsey’s effort on goal. While Arsenal certainly need bodies in the box at times, it remains to be seen how long it takes for them to be punished for their offensive thinking.
Having lost both Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla to long-term injuries, Wenger has been forced into personnel changes in a crucial part of the pitch.
The pair had built a strong relationship as the midfield duo, with Coquelin holding and providing a defensive screen for the defenders, which in turn gave Cazorla the freedom to build play from the back and be a creative influence.
Based on the example provided above, it doesn’t appear as though Flamini and Ramsey have found that understanding, as the Gunners will need a solid presence in midfield to ensure that they aren’t punished on the counter attack.
Naturally, given Ramsey’s eye for goal, as displayed in the 3-1 win over Sunderland at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon, the Welshman will likely be asked to support his attackers by making runs into the final third with or without the ball.
In turn, that should see Flamini remain in a defensive position to afford the likes of Per Mertesacker some help, and that should ensure that Arsenal remain difficult to beat as well as continuing to be a threat offensively.
If Wenger can replicate the success that he had with Coquelin and Cazorla with Flamini and Ramsey, then the Gunners will be confident of their chances of closing in on Premier League leaders Leicester City who hold a two-point advantage over them after 15 games.