A lack of top-level quality threatens to condemn Arsenal's season after they recorded their third 0-0 draw this season.
The tame stalemate marked the fourth time this season Arsenal have been held scoreless in the English Premier League.
While the point away to Aston Villa is a valuable one, it emphasized the lack of elite flair and skill in this Gunners squad.
Despite controlling most of the game, Arsenal's attacking play was clueless. Moves frequently broke down due to a poor touch or a mistimed run.
Few outfield players seemed immune to mistakes in forward areas. Lukas Podolski was one of the biggest culprits.
He undid his recent positive showings with a clumsy display. The Germany international might want to master the art of controlling the ball before he next takes the field.
Andrei Arshavin's listless, pitiful performance as a late substitute must surely be one of his last for Arsenal. As frustrating as it might be, it's time Arsene Wenger wrote the disenchanted Russian off as an expensive mistake.
Olivier Giroud showcased some nice touches but was peripheral for long periods. Admittedly, a lack of credible service didn't help the target man.
Arsenal's big problem is that, aside from midfield wizard Santi Cazorla, they don't have another match-winner. If Cazorla is quiet, as he was against the Villains, Arsenal will struggle to trouble the opposition goal.
Wenger simply must recruit a game-breaker to go with the Spaniard. That player doesn't have to be a fellow midfielder.
However, he must be someone able to outwit defenses through top-notch creativity and skill. Flair and invention are simply missing from too many areas of this Arsenal team.
They are fortunate to have dogged and capable strikers like Giroud and Podolski. However, the pair will only flourish thanks to quality supply and smart ideas.
Wenger can take some solace from only a second EPL clean sheet since mid-September. However, adding some genuine class to the ranks is fast looking like his top priority.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!