Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City proved Mikel Arteta still has problems to address, says former skipper Tony Adams.
Arsenal fell to their second defeat in three Premier League games to drop out of the top-four spots. It also cost them a chance to close the gap to runaway leaders Everton, who drew 2-2 with Liverpool, to a single point.
Raheem Sterling’s 23rd-minute strike proved the difference as Manchester City snatched all three points against the Gunners on Saturday.
To be fair, the visitors pulled their weight after Sterling’s goal and forced Ederson into a handful of saves. However, they struggled in the defensive aspect of the game with Hector Bellerin notably struggling to contain City’s attackers.
So, in light of this recent loss, Adams has called on Arteta to drop his 3-4-3 system in favor of one that features a back four.
“I think it’s time for a back four. I’ve been saying it since the start of the season,” Adams said on Premier League Productions via Metro. “[3-4-3] wins you cup games, it doesn’t win you league titles – if he wants to build for the future.
“I think he’s got problems with Hector – I think his defending today wasn’t very good at all. But I’d like him to go to a back four. They’ve got Gabriel now, get him a partnership.
“They’ve been unlucky at the start with Holding going down but get them into a back four. They look like they’ve got a holding midfielder now who’s got a bit of presence and build for the future.”
The former Arsenal center-back also highlighted Bellerin and goalkeeper Bernd Leno’s roles in Sterling’s winner.
Adams added: “Arsenal have pressed them and they’ve played around the press very well.
“Hector Bellerin again, and the goalkeeper, I always look at it defensively.
“Man City were too good, they passed it around – he [Phil Foden] steps inside Hector too easy.
“The goalkeeper is pushing it into the danger zone. You’ve got to push it away out of the danger zone, and he’s [Sterling] had a tap-in, which is disappointing.”