Paul Merson identifies Arsenal's Achilles' heel

Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea all gave Arsenal a football lesson last season - one Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger may not have learned from.

Arsenal still play in a football style that leaves them far too open and vulnerable, implies Gunners favourite Paul Merson, who believes the club "came unstuck" last year when they allowed a 'rock-em, sock'em' tactic to spill over resulting in aberrations like the heavy losses to Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea.

All three teams not only stuck six goals past Arsene Wenger's side but gave Arsenal a footballing lesson, however, it appears to be one that the North Londoners have failed to learn from as the problem is yet to be addressed… the club still "open the game up".

"It's Arsenal's Achilles’ heel: in big games, they open the game up," commented Merson to Sky Sports. "Fair play to them. If you’re a neutral it’s great to watch but it’s a dangerous game. 

“They came unstuck last season in the Premier League against the big teams when they opened the game up – ‘you have a shot, we have a shot, we’re better than you’.

“Yes, the lesser teams they are [inferior to Arsenal]. But not the top teams and I think they need to change that."

Arsenal are undefeated in the season to date having registered a late winner over Crystal Palace ahead of a goal-less trip to Turkey having contested the first leg of the third qualifying round in the Champions League against Besiktas.

Wenger takes his guns to Goodison Park on Saturday, August 23 and will be hoping they fire on all cylinders.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch