Arsenal star Jack Wilshere has admitted that his side's start to the season has left a lot to be desired, but the England midfielder remains adamant that the Gunners have enough quality in all areas to produce an upturn in fortunes swiftly.
Arsene Wenger's side have managed to win just two of their eight matches so far this season in all competitions, and one of those was the Community Shield victory over Manchester City.
Time for a rethink at London Colney?
Wilshere was at pains to point out that last night's insipid display against Borussia Dortmund was well below the required standard, but did quite interestingly admit that Arsenal could have fared far better by going long and utilising their pace on the counter rather than attempting to play through the middle.
He told the Evening Standard: “It was disappointing. Dortmund are a good team and we have got to be a bit smarter when we come to places like this. With their gameplan, they wanted to press us high up the pitch and we let them do it in the first half.
“I thought we started the second half quite brightly in the first couple of minutes and then unfortunately it was the same thing again on the counter attack and then the game is over.
“We knew what they were going to do. We should have played maybe a little bit longer in the first half than trying to play our football in our half of the pitch because once you lose it there, they are straight onto us."
No time to sulk for under-fire Arsenal
If anything Wilshere was one of the rare bright spots in a pretty abject Arsenal effort against Dortmund, harried and pressured into mistakes consistently by a team who never stray too far from their own blueprint of high-octane football.
Arsenal's first defeat of the season once again called into question Wenger's ability to set up a team that can deliver in the biggest matches, particularly away from home.
In fairness the Gunners did produce a smash-and-grab 1-0 win the last time they visited Dortmund less than 12 months ago, but that success seemed a mile away for almost the entirety of last night's efforts.
Villa Park must be sight of Arsenal fightback
Wenger will expect a big response from his under-fire troops in the Premier League this weekend, with Arsenal up against an Aston Villa who have made a tremendous start to the season despite scepticism from all quarters.
Champions League aspirations are now on hold for Arsenal as they weigh up the prospect of three games in seven days, which finishes with a North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur that could well help the Gunners forget all about another painful night on Europe's biggest stage.
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