Five areas where Arsenal need to improve to save their season after 4-0 loss to Liverpool

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Arsenal’s 4-0 capitulation at Liverpool has once again seen supporters and pundits aghast at familiar failings under manager Arsene Wenger.

Here are five areas of improvement required for Arsenal to save their season.

LEADERSHIP

Arsenal supporters are fearing Groundhog Day. There is an attitude of ‘here we go again’ and Arsene Wenger, as the manager approaches the 21st anniversary of his appointment, has to change something, anything, in his approach to rouse his players to perform.

He needs some on-field leadership, too. Although not the quickest, club captain Per Mertesacker performed well in May’s FA Cup final win and could be a temporary solution, with others not stepping up.

SELECTION

Wenger has some explaining to do on selection. Club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette began the loss at Anfield as a substitute. So did Sead Kolasinac, who has made a promising start in English football.

And Rob Holding was exposed in the centre of defence, where he has stayed while Gabriel has left and Shkodran Mustafi could also depart.

AWAY-DAY STRUGGLES

Arsenal have played 21 league games away to fellow ‘top six’ clubs – Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool – since the start of the 2013-14 season. They have won two of them and not since January 2015 at City.

There have been 13 defeats, including a 6-0 loss at Chelsea in Wenger’s 1,000th game in charge which came five weeks after a 5-1 loss at Liverpool. Those results do not include the 8-2 loss at Manchester United in August 2011. The Gunners must improve against their direct rivals.

CONTRACT CONUNDRUMS

Alexis Sanchez is one of a number of players whose contract expires at the end of the season. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mesut Ozil are two of the others. Wenger insists Sanchez will not be sold this summer and he would prefer the Chilean to leave for free after another season’s service.

He must stick to his guns in the final four days of the transfer window. Then Wenger must reignite Sanchez, in particular, as without him performing at his best Arsenal have little chance. Who knows? It could even persuade Sanchez to stay.

THURSDAYS

Playing in the Europa League is an unfamiliar concept for Arsenal, having perennially been in the Champions League. They must balance playing on Thursdays in Europe and Sundays domestically.

Victory in the second-tier continental competition offers a route back into the Champions League if Arsenal fall short of the top four.

Provided by Press Association

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Salah on fire as he scores in Liverpool rout and other things learned from Arab stars in the Premier League

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Salah was again on target for the Merseysiders.

The Premier League season is three games old and every week we’ll be keeping tabs on four Arab football stars on show in English football’s top tier.

What did you make of the following players’ performances?

Get in touch with your thoughts via Twitter and Facebook.

MOHAMED SALAH | LIVERPOOL 4-0 ARSENAL

Everything the Egyptian star touched turned to gold for the Merseysiders as the winger played a vital role in the Reds’ victory at Anfield.

Salah has more than lived up to the billing since his big-money summer switch from Roma, scoring a magnificent third for Liverpool after running half the length of the pitch.

He then turned provider late on, crossing for Daniel Sturridge to nod home.

The 25-year-old’s menacing pace, movement and work-rate was too much for the Gunners’ backline to handle.

Rating – 9/10

KEY STATS (LIVERPOOL)

Minutes – 90

Shots – 5 (5)

Assists – 1

Key Passes – 1

Passing Accuracy – 80%

Touches – 36

Passes – 41 (5)

Dribbles – 1

Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (R) celebrates with Liverpool's Senegalese midfielder Sadio Mane after scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on August 27, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Anthony Devlin / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read ANTHONY DEVLIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Salah is turning out to be a stunning buy for Liverpool.

RIYAD MAHREZ | MANCHESTER UNITED 2-0 LEICESTER CITY

The talented winger, who is rumoured to be leaving the 2016 Premier League champions before the end of the transfer window, struggled to make an impact during the defeat at Old Trafford.

Despite registering four shots on goal, the most out of any of his team-mates, his end product lacked the bite to truly trouble Jose Mourinho’s men on their own turf.

Mahrez has been linked with a move to Serie A side Roma and while his future is in doubt, he was always on the move trying to provide an outlet for his team.

Rating – 6/10

KEY STATS (LEICESTER)

Minutes – 90

Shots – 4 (1)

Assists – 0

Key Passes – 0

Passing Accuracy – 78.4%

Touches – 58

Passes – 37 (5)

Dribbles – 5

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 26: Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City in action during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Leicester City at Old Trafford on August 26, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

The Algerian couldn’t help muster a breakthrough.

AHMED HEGAZI | WEST BROM 1-1 STOKE CITY

The Egyptian defender didn’t enjoy an afternoon to remember at the Hawthorns.

His wrong-footed, sliced clearance allowed Peter Crouch the simplest of chances to nod home and bring the match all-square on level terms.

It was a costly error given the 26-year-old was under no real pressure at the time.

The fact he failed to score a second-half header from close-range only made matters worse.

Rating – 5/10

KEY STATS (WEST BROM)

Minutes – 90

Shots – 1 (0)

Assists – 0

Key Passes – 0

Passing Accuracy – 81.3%

Touches – 43

Passes – 32 (0)

Dribbles – 0

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - AUGUST 27: Peter Crouch of Stoke City scores his sides first goal during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City at The Hawthorns on August 27, 2017 in West Bromwich, England. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Agonising for the West Brom defender.

RAMADAN SOBHI | WEST BROM 1-1 STOKE CITY

The 20-year-old Egyptian more than played his part in Stoke’s crucial equalising goal in the midlands.

It was his cross that Hegazi and goalkeeper Ben Foster failed to fully deal with, allowing Crouch with the easiest of chances to nod into the net.

Apart from his key part in the levelling goal, Sobhi was largely anonymous and failed to get involved in the game.

Rating – 5/10

KEY STATS (WEST BROM)

Minutes – 90

Shots – 3 (0)

Assists – 0

Key Passes – 0

Passing Accuracy – 57.1%

Touches – 28

Passes – 14 (0)

Dribbles – 0

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - MAY 13: Ramadan Sobhi of Stoke City during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Arsenal at Bet365 Stadium on May 13, 2017 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

In action: Sobhi.

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Never-say-die Manchester City and four other things we learned from the Premier League weekend

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West Ham and Crystal Palace’s defeats thrust their respective managers back into the firing line, while leaders Manchester United now own the last unbeaten record in the Premier League.

Here, we look at five things we learned from the opening weekend of the season.

Share with us your thoughts using Twitter or Facebook.

Axe already hovering

The new season is not even into September yet but it not too early to suggest that Slaven Bilic and Frank de Boer are under immense pressure.

West Ham have played their first three games on the road so Bilic may get one last chance, but it does not excuse their terrible defending.

As for De Boer – he came with a reputation for attacking football and Palace have scored zilch so far.

Terriers show full set of teeth

Not since Charlton in 1996/97 has a promoted side kept clean sheets in their opening three EPL games.

Though Southampton are not the most lethal attack they will face this year, for Huddersfield to keep it so tight at the back and not look out of place against an established top-tier side is arguably the most encouraging evidence yet that they will avoid relegation.

It’s not just Aaron Mooy who has made the step up from the Championship.

Never-say-die City

Pep Guardiola has been raging against red card injustice for the past week, though inwardly he will be beaming at the fight that his players have shown.

They conceded first against both Everton and Bournemouth but out of awkward positions the Sky Blues clinched four points.

After so much lavish spending, the fightbacks have ensured Guardiola has not had to answer too many awkward questions.

Now they’ll be looking to start clicking.

In a league of their own

Everton have improved – it’s just a shame for them that the EPL is like a treadmill. No matter how fast you run, the clubs at the top are spending to get even better and the gap between them and reigning champions Chelsea was plain to see Sunday.

Wayne Rooney has made a good start back at Everton but if you’re chasing the Champions League, you need much more. The Toffees, better than any team not in the ‘top six’, are currently in limbo.

Nearly time to Spur on

The late-doors gut punch from Chris Wood sent Tottenham into the international break on a bum note.

However, this time last season they had a similarly mediocre start, collecting five points from three games without a goal from Harry Kane. Twelve months later they’re just one point worse off – while Kane is still yet to find the target. History suggests they’ll enjoy September more.

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