So far this season Arsenal have struggled to produce the kind of attacking numbers necessary if we’re going to win enough games to finish in the top four.
In small part it’s because we had two difficult games away at Liverpool and Man City, but Sunday’s defeat to Leicester saw Mikel Arteta’s side produce just one attempt on goal in the second half, and in general the team has been a bit shot-shy.
It has led to plenty of analysis, and suggestions that the manager’s structures/systems are too rigid, which don’t allow players to express themselves.
It’s something Arteta spoke about ahead of Sunday’s trip to Old Trafford on Sunday, calling for more aggression and for players to take responsibility in the opposition half.
“That structure is just to limit our opponents to certain things when we lose the ball,” he said.
“The other structure can flow. We have so many different patterns to try to attack these situations, depending on the formation that they play, and the value of spaces.
“That will be in different things. It’s more about our aggression, when we have the ball, our purpose, our aggression, our runs in behind. When do players take someone on and think, ‘I have to make something happen’?
“We want them to think about themselves, not him or him, we want them to take accountability.
“They need to want to put the ball in the box more often, because this is what top teams do. If the other team want to defend the box, make sure they’re defending the box all the team, and that we’re being very aggressive in the final third.
“It’s something we haven’t faced so much since I arrived here, but I think it’ll happen more and more.”
Nevertheless, Arteta admits he’ll have to find a way to make his team more effective, especially against sides which sit deep.
“Now we have to try to change our strategy a little bit and try to train against more certain blocks that I think are going to happen a bit more often,” he said.
“We have made teams think, ‘If we do that, we’ll be in trouble so we have to try to do something else’.
“We’re going to work on that and the moment we improve that, we’ll become even better.”