Arsenal's problems against elite-level Premier League clubs have long been documented.
And there is no getting away from the fact that the Gunners were not handed a kind start to the 2014-15 fixture list as they have already taken on Everton at Goodison Park, Manchester City in North London, Tottenham Hotspur at home and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
In those four matches, Arsene Wenger's side has returned three points from a possible dozen and so it is no shock that the club are currently languishing in eighth place in the division, nine points adrift of pace-setting Chelsea.
If Wenger has any intention on closing that gap, he will need to study precisely where his team are failing and, according to statistical data from Arsenal's domestic season so far in comparison to the league average, there are nine clear problem areas.
|Defence||Headers won / game||Clearances / game||Defensive error led to a shot||Conceded / game||Games|
Arsenal lack the physical presence of a team befitting a ranking within the higher echelons of English football, are not as prolific as their Premier League peers when it comes to clearing the football and are prone to making individual defensive errors that allow the opposition to gain an advantage by taking a shot on goal.
Consequently, Arsenal's defensive deficiencies have cost them at various points and they are not far off the average for concessions per game (1.29 is still not good enough). The club have also been exposed by various personnel all through similar methods - counter attack opportunities - as Steve Naismith, Sergio Aguero, Ciro Immobile and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all scored after capitalising on fast break scenarios.
|Attack||Missed goal-scoring chance / game||Cross accuracy||Shot accuracy||Goals / shots||Defender goals / game||Games|
Even though Wenger has introduced £16 million signing Danny Welbeck to the roster, Arsenal are still wasteful in attack. They squander clear-cut goal-scoring opportunities far more frequently than the division average, are inefficient crossers of the football and lack precision when it comes to shots on target. Their goals to shots ratio is also a league standard 11%.
If the team unit were better drilled on set-plays and crossing of the ball, then goals may be more equally shared around the pitch but currently, Arsenal's defenders do not get on the score-sheet as often as their counterparts at other clubs.