Former Arsenal defender Tony Adams thinks that Mikel Arteta has “problems” with Hector Bellerin in a back three.
Arteta’s side were beaten 1-0 by Manchester City on Saturday night as the Gunners lined up in a 3-4-3 formation.
Bellerin played as a right wing-back, but never really got forward and spent most of the game defending.
“I think he’s improving day by day. Defensively he’s doing a lot of work individually with the coaches, and with the ball in the final third he feels much more comfortable,” said the Arsenal boss at the start of the month.
But the former Granada boss believes Arteta still has a problem with Bellerin, who has been an ever-present for Arteta in the Premier League this season.
David Luiz, Gabriel Magalhaes and Kieran Tierney played in the three-man defence, but Adams is not sure that is the right tactic. Brought up on a back four, the 54-year-old won four league titles with the Gunners – in a four-man raearguard.
“I think it’s time for a back four. I’ve been saying it since the start of the season,” Adams told Premier League Productions.
“It 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 a holding midfielder now who’s got a bit of presence and build for the future.”
Leno under fire
Speaking about the goal from Raheem Sterling which won the game for City, Adams pointed the finger again at Bellerin, as well as Bernd Leno.
“Arsenal have pressed them and they’ve played around the press very well,” said the former Arsenal captain.
“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.”