'This is the slowest Arsenal team I have seen under Arsene Wenger'

Arsene Wenger Waves

The lack of the pace in the Arsenal side has been singled out by Jamie Carragher as part of the reasons for the club's poor form.

When it comes to form, Arsenal sit at the wrong end of the Premier League table. In fact over the past six games, the club sixth 17th in the league with just five points from a possible 18.

The absence of key players like Theo Walcott has been pointed out as a reason for the club's loss of intensity, with former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier earlier this month describing it as the single biggest reason for the way their title challenge has evaporated.

As well as goals, the big difference Walcott gives Arsenal is pace, and without him the Gunners do not look the same side.

Commenting on the side's loss to Everton, Houllier's former defender Jamie Carragher, now a pundit for SkySports, argues that without him this is the slowest Arsenal side he has ever seen under Arsene Wenger's management.

"It's the way they lost that's worrying. When I think of Arsene Wenger sides I think of power and pace, this team I see as weak and slow.

"It's the slowest Arsenal team I've seen under Arsene Wenger."

It was expected that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's return to fitness at the same time as Walcott's season ending injury would alleviate the blow of his absence, but the youngster has been played centrally upon his return, and not been asked or able to stretch the play in the same way as Walcott.

The two wide players at the weekend, Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla simply do not offer the same threat as the injured England star did. Successful Arsenal sides of the past have been built around fast players such as Thierry Henry and Marc Overmars.

Carragher's Sky colleague Gary Neville argued that the club's loss at Goodison boiled down to being outwitted tactically, and the players looking lost:

"The Arsenal players became so confused. You need legs and discipline, everything they don't have. They have no discipline, the players don't understand how to cover across.

"They didn't know where the (Everton) players were at all. They were outfought, out-thought and that is the most concerned Arsene Wenger will be, knowing he hass been outmanoeuvred in that match."

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch