Arsenal played out a 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium yesterday in the eighth game-week of the new Premier League season.
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring in the 8th minute of the game before Christian Benteke equalised in the 50th minute. Crystal Palace then took the lead when Odsonne Edouard fired a shot past Aaron Ramsdale in the 73rd minute.
The game was heading to a defeat for the Gunners but Alexandre Lacazette scored a last gasp equaliser in the 95th minute to salvage a point for Arsenal. The game was a lively one for neutral fans but a nerve-wracking one for fans of both clubs.
Arsenal had a bright start to the game but after taking the lead, the players lost composure and control of the game. While the blame will undoubtedly go to the manager, the game revealed some squad positions Arsenal needs to focus on during the next transfer window.
1. Central Midfield: Granit Xhaka has always been a divisive player among the fanbase but those who feared the worst when the Swiss midfielder went down injured during the North London Derby against Tottenham Hotspur were right to.
Against Brighton and Crystal Palace, the midfield was unable to sustain the early control for long periods and the team suffered. Arsenal needs to sign another midfield option especially if Mohamed Elneny leaves in January.
2. Left Wing: Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pepe are better off playing on the right-wing. Seeing either of them playing on the left-wing looks awkward and it limits their influence on the game because they are both left-footed.
Gabriel Martinelli is right-footed but injuries have reduced his game-time drastically. Arsenal needs another right-footed option on the flank.
3. Striker: Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette have polarising qualities. The Frenchman is good with his feet but aerially poor due to his height and not quite clinical. The Gabonese striker is clinical but average with his feet and poor aerially despite his good height.
That is why Arsenal's attack improved against Crystal Palace when both strikers were on the pitch. But sadly, there is room for only one striker to start in matches. The Gunners need to sign an all-round striker to complement Mikel Arteta's tactics.
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