Arsenal legend Ian Wright singles out two problem players for Mikel Arteta

Arsenal legend Ian Wright believes the Gunners midfield was a particular area of concern against Wolves on Sunday. Wolves beat Arsenal 2-1 at the Emirates in a game that was marred by a serious injury suffered by striker Raul Jimenez. Goals from Pedro Neto and Daniel Podence condemned Mikel Arteta’s side to their third straight Premier League defeat at the Emirates.

Arsenal are still without summer signing Thomas Partey after he injured his thigh in the 3-0 loss to Aston Villa earlier this month.

Mohamed Elneny was only named among the substitutes after recovering from coronavirus.

That meant Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka played in midfield, with Joe Willock in a slightly more advanced role.

Former Manchester United and England star Paul Ince said singled out Ceballos and Xhaka for criticism after the match.

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Ince told Premier League Productions: “When you look at the goals Arsenal concede and you talk about the midfield, it shows you how important Thomas Partey is because he’s got legs and that.

“But when you’ve got Ceballos and Xhaka in there, they don’t seem to be able to recover to get back into the right positions. Is that a problem?”

And in response, Wright agreed that the duo were to blame both defensively and going forward.

Wright replied: “I feel it is [a problem] and I feel that when they are that deep, they seem to have a real problem in getting closer.

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“So it’s the 4-2-3, they’re not getting close enough to the three so that they can pass the ball to the Willians and the Sakas, who can then release Aubameyang.

“It just seems like it’s very leggy, we haven’t got the legs to get up.

“That’s what I thought Joe Willock would have done today.

“He huffed and puffed a bit, I’d like to see him play a bit more, but unfortunately it didn’t quite happen for anyone at Arsenal today.”

Arsenal scored their first goal from open play for over seven hours when Gabriel headed in his second for the club.

But Arteta admits his side’s struggles in front of goal are a real issue.

“It’s very worrying. As you can imagine, you expect other things to happen,” Arteta said.

“We’ve lost games in many different ways but in the end we’ve lost them and that is our reality. After a few more games the table will tell you where you are and how much you deserve and clearly, we have to improve.”

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