Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta encountering ‘problems’ with Hector Bellerin

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Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin gave Mikel Arteta problems in Saturday's Premier League defeat to Manchester City.

That's the verdict of Gunners legend Tony Adams, who reckons Arteta needs to revert to a traditional back four if he wants to turn his side into title challengers.

Arsenal were beaten 1-0 by City thanks to Raheem Sterling's first-half goal at the Etihad.

And Adams highlighted Bellerin's defending as a weak link for Arteta.

"I think he’s got problems with Hector, I think his defending today wasn’t very good at all," the former England centre-half told Premier League productions.

Adams blamed the right wing-back and goalkeeper Bernd Leno for City's goal – with Bellerin having failed to pick up Phil Foden's run before Leno palmed the midfielder's shot back into Sterling's path.

"Arsenal have pressed them and they’ve played around the press very well,’ said the double-winning 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 [Foden] steps inside Hector too easy.

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"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."

Arteta stuck with a 3-4-3 formation for the City game, but Adams advised him to revert to a back four now that he has Thomas Partey on board to offer the defence more protection.

Partey started the game on the bench having had very little training time with his new team-mates due to the international break, after arriving at the Emirates on transfer deadline day.

He came on for Granit Xhaka with seven minutes of normal time remaining, and Adams said he the Ghana international can help Arteta change things up.

"I think it’s time for a back four. I’ve been saying it since the start of the season," Adams said.

"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."

  • Premier League
  • Raheem Sterling
  • Arsenal FC

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