PHOTO: Is this the picture which illustrates main problem for Gunners?

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Arsenal were disappointing in midfield yesterday at Swansea City.

Arsenal let slip a lead for the second successive match and were eventually downed 2-1 at Swansea City yesterday.

Alexis Sanchez gave the Gunners the lead, but a crazy and open five minutes with just under 20 minutes remaining allowed the hosts to wrestle momentum and fire in two goals in quick succession.

It was the sixth time in all competitions this season that Arsene Wenger’s men have failed to win a match after taking the lead, a record which is clearly not good enough.

But what is the reason for the North Londoner’s soft underbelly? For years now many observers have felt they lack a defensive midfielder, with pundits pointing out that area as a key weakness.

Judging by the photo above, it’s easy to come to this conclusion. With the Gunners 1-0 up and relatively comfortable, how did they find themselves in such a position and so open at the back?

  TeamTackles Won GAMEEffective Clearances GAMEInterceptions Won GAMEBall Recoveries GAMEAppearancesMins Played
Nemanja Matic Chelsea 2.64 2.82 1.73 8.18 11 990
Daley Blind Man Utd 2.25 2.88 2.63 5.13 8 720
Mathieu Flamini Arsenal 2.22 1.67 2.89 4.67 9 743
Aaron Ramsey Arsenal 1.4 0.7 1.1 4.7 10 618
Mikel Arteta Arsenal 1.17 0.67 0.67 4.33 6 360
Jack Wilshere Arsenal 0.88 0.25 0.38 4.75 8 471

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, the players who have slotted in to Wenger’s midfield on occasions this season just haven’t been able to impose themselves.

Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic and Manchester United’s Daley Blind are the type of players which Wenger’s side so desperately lack, and the stats back that assumption up.

The duo have completed more tackles, more effective clearances and more ball recoveries than the Gunners’ quartet. Flamini, to his credit, is the only player to have rivalled them in interceptions – completing 2.89 on average per Premier League game.

The North Londoners have been linked with moves for defensive midfielders ahead of the January transfer window, though reported target Adrien Rabiot looks a no-go after he recently signed a new deal with PSG.

Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin and Sporting’s William Carvalho are other names which have appeared in the paper, and duo could prove fine choices for the role.

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