Mikel Arteta has been urged to get Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back playing together again to turn Arsenal into a real force.
The Gunners’ boss has chopped and changed his front line but left Lacazette on the bench for Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Benfica.
It was a fair decision, considering Aubameyang had netted a hat-trick against Leeds at the weekend, but Arsenal’s captain could not find his shooting boots as he squandered several chances.
The duo have played together at times throughout this campaign, though with Aubameyang shifted out to a more unfamiliar left-sided role, rather than as a pair.
And ex-England manager Glenn Hoddle feels playing both strikers through the middle could be the answer Arsenal need.
“In the system that they’re playing now they’re going to find it difficult. You feel as if he’s got a system that he really likes,” Hoddle told BT Sport.
“For me, for them to go to another level, how can you get Aubameyang and Lacazette on the pitch together?
“That’s always been, I thought, Arsenal’s best team when they’re out there together.
“Unfortunately at the moment Aubameyang has to go out and play on the left-hand side if they play that shape.
“He might try and find a way of playing the two of them. And if he can and get it all balanced off behind them I think that could take them into another gear.
“It’s going to be difficult, but I see that looking out looking in, that could take them to another level.”
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Martin Keown suggested Gabriel Martinelli could fulfil the role on the left flank, and chimed in: “He [Arteta]’s got to take it [the decision] quickly. They’re running out of games.
“Tenth in the table and they need to climb that table very quickly. Huge game again at the weekend, so there’s always another game to put it right, but it’s down to the manager more than ever to find the best XI.”
Arsenal controlled proceedings against Benfica but could not make their dominance count, before falling behind to Pizzi’s penalty.
Bukayo Saka pulled Arsenal back level immediately, but they could not find another goal to take back to the Emirates for the second leg.
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“I don’t think they’re ready to win a trophy at this moment in time,” Hoddle added. “They’ve got such good young players and they’re getting the balance right with the experienced players.
“I think in two years time they could be challenging again. They’ve got to stiffen up defensively again, they need another centre-back coming in at some stage.
“But the talent that they’ve got there I think they can challenge in two years. I’m not sure they’re ready now.
“This team is a work in progress, they’re not the finished article, by any means.
“But the potential there is massive, with the players they’ve already got. Let alone the ones they’re buying.”