Brighton v Arsenal: Match in pictures
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Arsenal’s horrific start to proceedings in this season’s Premier League campaign have taken a turn for the better after a run of four games unbeaten – but the problems are not yet exorcised at the Emirates, with plenty of work to do over the international break.
The Gunners have risen from bottom of the table to 11th place after their 10 points from a possible 12, but fans are still not happy at where the club are after spending the majority of the Premier League era in the top four.
Mikel Arteta seems to be getting to grips with the season amid vast media criticism for his tactical decisions, and the Spaniard now has a two-week break to mull over what went so wrong in the first three games of the season.
Express Sport takes a look at what problems he can solve during the upcoming international break.
The goalkeeping situation
Bernd Leno has been Arsenal’s first-choice goalkeeper for the past four seasons, although the recent form of Aaron Ramsdale has kept the German shot-stopper rooted to the bench.
At just 29, Leno is moving into what is generally considered as a goalkeeper’s prime – but with no game time, he will likely pursue a move elsewhere if Ramsdale continues to start.
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And with just over 18 months left on his contract, Arteta will need to decide whether to keep the ex-Leverkusen keeper in his ranks, or recieve a substantial fee for him as opposed to losing him for free in the summer of 2023.
The main worry at Arsenal this season isn’t so much their defence, but their attacking output.
Having only scored in three of their seven Premier League games this season, the Gunners are on track to smash their worst-ever 38-game Premier League season in terms of goals scored as their 49 goals in 1995-96 will likely be broken this season unless something changes.
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang their highest scorer on just two goals, and with Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah’s contracts up at the end of the season, Arteta must think long and hard about his next move.
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There is a lot to be said for stability in the Premier League – especially in terms of starting XI.
The best sides in the league and those who win the league generally have the same starting squad most games as familiarity breeds consistency.
But with Arteta consistently chopping and changing his side – having used 26 players already – there needs to be a degree of structure at the Emirates if they are to progress.
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The long-term picture
Admittedly, Arsenal are now starting to develop a clear youth culture at the club.
Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith-Rowe, Martin Odegaard, Kieran Tierney and Ben White are all consistent starters at the Emirates which can only be seen as a good thing.
But with plenty of youth players on the fringes in north London not being used – namely William Saliba, Reiss Nelson, Matteo Guendouzi and Gabriel Martinelli – Arteta must decide who is going to make the cut, and sell those who aren’t good enough to boost the first-team squad to improve matters.
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