Arsenal have failed to score in their opening three league games this season, a first for the north London club in the Premier League era.
The international break came at a merciful time for the Gunners, allowing the team to reset and work out how to turn around their poor performances.
More importantly, this international break has potentially given Mikel Arteta a new direction on how to improve the creativity amongst the team.
This past week has highlighted the need to start Martin Odeegard,Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka behind the striker. The only issue is that this would mean the record transfer signing Nicolas Pepe would be dropped.
Martin Odegaard signed for the Gunners this in a £30m deal this summer but one of the main concerns regarding his signature was how he could fit in a side with Smith Rowe.
The Norwegian was given a different role to his usual attacking midfielder position against Manchester City as he was placed in central midfield, which it’s safe to say did not work.
However, he was placed on the right wing for Norway against Latvia on Saturday and he excelled as his country came out 2-0 winners.
The 22-year-old is certainly familiar with this position as he was used there on a handful of occasions for Real Madrid too.
During his time at Real Sociedad he would constantly find himself creating chances in the right-half space or along the right touchline, showing his familiarity with the position.
Arsene Wenger liked to have players with a central/attacking-midfield background featuring on the right-hand side as we saw Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey placed there towards the end of the Frenchman’s tenure.
Having a player like Odegaard on the right allows more space for the full-back to overlap and he will be able to operate in the right-half space in the attacking third. This something that Arteta could look to explore.
Nicholas Pepe has featured in this position for the Gunners every time he’s been available for selection but has been highly ineffective in the league failing to score or provide an assist.
Bukayo Saka continued to stake his claim as being the left-winger for Arsenal ahead of this season after his success with England.
The youngster scored on his twentieth birthday for England against Andorra on Sunday afternoon, whilst also providing an assist for Jesse Lingard.
Saka had a magnificent game which saw him receive the man of the match award and it is no surprise as to why Arteta has started him on the left this season.
Despite Pepe’s success on the left towards the end of the last campaign, it would be some feat for him to dethrone Saka from this side of the pitch as things stand now.
Arsenal have had a disastrous start to the season but the one bright spark has been Emile Smith Rowe. He has been the only player to show energy and create chances from midfield in the league this season.
After being given the number 10 shirt for this campaign, only poor performances will see him be dropped which he is not doing so far.
The performances by the squad in the international would certainly have caught the attention of Mikel Arteta.
Source by Football London