The five seconds at Everton which demonstrated Arsenal's main problem

Arteta And Jedinak

A simple push from Ross Barkley on Mikel Arteta demonstrates one of Arsenal's main problems.

When Everton star Ross Barkley lost possession to Mikel Arteta yesterday, he responded by pushing the former Toffees midfielder to the ground.

It was a snapshot of frustration on the part of the youngster but something which could well demonstrate one of Arsenal’s main problems in their midfield at the moment.

What Arsenal seem to be lacking in the middle at the moment is that sense of real leadership and presence, which has been created in years gone by through the likes of Patrick Vieira, Tony Adams and other high profile players.

Could you see them allowing a 20-year-old to push them to the ground during an important game?

Arteta didn’t have his best game of the season yesterday for Arsenal by any means and his side need him to dig in and show strength through leadership over the rest of the season.

He needs to impose himself on a game and start making the Arsenal midfield a very difficult unit for any opposition side to move the ball through quickly or easily.

In short, he needs to try and ensure that the middle of Arsenal’s team doesn’t get pushed around in similar fashion to the way they were yesterday.

Although Arteta underperformed yesterday, he’s not alone in needing to do more in the middle of the side.

Mathieu Flamini was superb through the opening part of the season in terms of being a midfielder that it was very difficult to get the better of.

He needs to intimidate players, snap at their heels and let them know he’s around if they’re going to take on Arsenal players in the same way that Barkley decided to deal with Arteta.

Arsenal still stand a great chance of finishing in fourth place by the end of the season, which means Champions League football but they need their key players to become real leaders and create flashbacks of successful Wenger sides in the past.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch