Arsenal's performance against Liverpool highlighted a major tactical fault

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Following Arsenal's very average start to this season, it raises a few questions. Against Liverpool there was a lack of balance within the team, and space seemed to be a rare thing for an Arsenal player.

The contrast from how they carved Chelsea apart to score in the Community Shield was worrying. Again Arsene Wenger started with Aaron Ramsey playing on the right side of midfield, and for me this is where one of the main problems came from.

Joe Gomez played left-back for Liverpool, and demonstrated a maturity well above his years, but in truth he was never really challenge.


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Ramsey's tendency to cut inside with the ball and get involved with play around the box, meant that for much of the game Gomez didn't have too much to worry about.

However as an 18-year-old Gomez still lacks experience at Premier League level, and for that reason I believe that Arsenal should have played with a natural right winger, who would have took the game to Gomez.

This only happened late on in the game when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came on, and with his first attacking involvement, he took the ball down the outside of Gomez and whipped in a superb cross, for the first time Gomez looked in danger. But it was too little too late, as Arsenal were already consigned to the draw.

However on the opposite side there wasn't much more joy, with Alexis Sanchez having a poor game. Too often he would lose possession, and put his team under pressure.

It's clear to see that he isn't up to full-match fitness yet, but Wenger still insists on playing him, with the belief that he will produce something special.

In truth the greater threat on the left for Arsenal was Nacho Monreal, who had a superb game and offered lots of natural width, which Arsenal were desperately needing. However Alexis was also causing a similar issue to Ramsey by cutting inside all the time onto his favoured right foot, and again closing down all the space.

If Cazorla joined in with the attack Arsenal would often be left with four or five players all within a close proximity around the centre, which Liverpool easily dealt with. Against poorly organised teams playing close football is very effective, however against Liverpool who were superbly organised this wasn't successful.

Lucas Leiva and Emre Can provided a good shield in front of the Liverpool back four, with James Milner operating just ahead of them as the box-to-box midfielder. 

Furthermore the reason for Arsenal to get the ball out wide was even more prevalent considering the lack of defending that both Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho put in. If Arsenal had played with lots of width and encouraged the full-backs to join in with the attacks then they would have found more joy.

Overall the inclusion of Oxlade-Chamberlain from the start for the next game is a must, with removal of either Aaron Ramsey or Santi Cazorla, being the clear choice.

However with his poor form so far this season there is no reason why Alexis shouldn't be dropped to the bench for a game, with the possible inclusion of a more natural left midfielder, with the possible selection of youngster Jeff Reine-Adelaide being an option.

Although he is very young and inexperienced, he could just be the answer to Arsenal having greater width in their play.

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